After gathering inspiration for yesterday’s song of the day based on The Shins’ incredible live performance, I took a look back at other bands that surprised me with their performing abilities during that same festival. San Fermin, which is the Spanish name for the annual “Running of the Bulls” event in Pamplona, Spain, was a surprise favorite as one of the festival’s opening acts. They combine numerous brass instruments with heavy percussion and multiple vocalists to create odd harmonies that are meant to catch attention rather than seamlessly blend together.

San Fermin are quite the theatrical live performers, with every member of the 8 piece band (other than the drummer, obviously) dancing their hearts because of their primal need to do so. This theatrical mantra makes sense when considering the band’s founder, Brooklyn-based composer and songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone, attended Yale to study composition and wrote a great deal musical scores for film, operas, and theater. I’ll never forget my friend whom I saw San Fermin live with turning to me and saying, “Who the hell is this band again…? This is really really good…”