The Mowgli’s concert review from Cleveland, OH’s Beachland Ballroom on June 23, 2015
The next time you are feeling bummed out or overwhelmed, I know the perfect way to pick yourself back up: find the nearest Mowgli’s concert. This hippie band of six from Los Angeles will radiate positive vibes from the first note they play until they walk off stage; leaving one on cloud nine.
The band’s tour was centered around their fun new album, ‘Kids in Love,’ that was released earlier this year on Photo Finish Records/Island Records. Fittingly, The Mowgli’s opened with the upbeat title track from the new record, a perfect way to engage the crowd in singing, dancing and clapping to set the tone for a fun filled night.
Fans already seemed well versed in the new tunes, passionately singing along to every word. Songs like “Whatever Forever,” “Through the Dark” and their single “I’m Good” were standouts from the new album, all containing a combination of beach vibes and rock sounds.
The band delighted tenured fans as well by playing a handful of songs from previous albums. Standouts like “The Great Divide” from the 2012 release, ‘Sound the Drum,’ was one of the fan favorites of the night. Another oldie but goodie off of the record, “San Francisco” was a crowd pleaser as well. Fans went absolutely nuts during this song: crowd surfing, jumping around and screaming the lyrics as loud as their vocal chords would let them.
Few good shows are complete without solid opening acts, and The Mowgli’s brought along two very talented groups to kick the night off. The first band, Handsome Ghost brought a unique sound to the stage, featuring songs with heavy synth lines and hauntingly beautiful lyrical pieces. The group’s cover of “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit was a favorite of the night; a difficult song to cover, but Handsome Ghost definitely did it justice.
Direct support act Vinyl Theatre is no stranger to Cleveland, having stopped here numerous times on recent tours. The Milwaukee natives got the crowd moving around with their upbeat indie rock songs. After signing with Fueled by Ramen in 2014 and releasing their album ‘Electrogram’ in September of last year, Vinyl Theater came ready to pump up fans, both old and new, with their catchy songs. Having seen them open for other groups before, it’s clear to me that the group is growing and developing a greater stage presence and I’m excited to see them continue to tour and grow as artists. [Vinyl Theatre returns to Cleveland on July 21 (eve of the Alternative Press Music Awards) to perform an outdoor show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame plaza with New Politics.]
If I could sum up my night in a few words, I would use those of Mowgli’s percussionist Katie Earl: “We’re all about reminding people that there’s a little bit of goodness left in the world.” And that’s EXACTLY what they did. Through the entire band’s fun personalities and various talents, they showed everyone that night how simple it is to be happy.
The Mowgli’s weren’t only supporting their new album, but also the suicide prevention group, Yellow Ribbon [yellowribbon.org]. Fans were asked for donations at the merch table or to take time to look into the organization. If there’s anything that’s better than a band spreading happiness through the music, it’s a band that continues to spread happiness off the stage.