House of Blues in Orlando was buzzing Wednesday night as three hot, talented acts took the stage for a night of excellent new pop rock. We were there to see The Mowgli’s who put on another fantastic set, sandwiched between two blossoming female-fronted acts Phases and Lights.
In their relatively brief career, The Mowgli’s have developed a well-deserved reputation as an invigorating band spreading good music and positive vibes everywhere they play. On this night, the talented seven-piece showed a bit more diversity than I’ve witnessed before in their hearty sixteen song set.
The setlist was bookended by their two biggest hits off of their fantastic 2013 release, Waiting For The Dawn, kicking off with a rousing “Say It, Just Say It,” and closing the performance with a raucous singalong version of “San Francisco.” In between those two tracks, we heard plenty of selections from their excellent new album Kids In Love.
We had a chance to see them dig a little bit deeper into their repertoire this night, and display their musical versatility. The vocals are shared between guitarists Colin Dieden and Josh Hogan, as well as Katie Jane Earl, who traded off lead roles throughout the show. These three beautiful rock voices, who all brought their unique flare to the mic, were just part of the band’s diversity. Throw in three guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, an occasional mandolin and other fun percussive instruments and the crowd was treated to a distinctive show.
We interviewed Dieden and Hogan before the show and will have that interview shortly, so make sure you Follow/Like Us to assure you don’t miss it!
Early in the set, Dieden set the vibe for the night “We have the best job ever. Are you guys happy too?” and buoyed by the crowds accompanying hand claps, ripped into a fun version of “Summertime,” a song which I still believe has yet to be formally released by the band. The band offered up eight or nine tracks off of the new album, and in general they were well received. I found the music a bit deeper than their original offerings, and it was a welcome change of pace.
Highlights from the set included a rocking “Love Me Anyway” which featured keyboard player David Applebaum playing lead guitar, and “Whatever Forever” a slick tune with Spencer Trent on mandolin. “Hi, Hey There, Hello” had a party fell with gang vocals, killer harmonies and plenty of crowd participation. My favorite new track on the night was “Make It Right,” a hearty rocker which featured searing guitar riffs from Hogan.
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One other highlight was “Room For All Of Us,” a new standalone single, and another Mowgli’s song for a great cause. All proceeds from the single are being donated to the International Refugee Committee to aid refugees displaced by conflict throughout the world. (We’ll have more info on their thoughts on giving back in our upcoming interview)
The band always delivers a fun energetic experience and on this night, they left the fans feeling positive and hopeful; and the fact that they are committed to great causes like IRC is just a nice cherry on top of the wonderful layer cake that is The Mowgli’s.
The other two acts on the bill also delivered entertaining sets. Phases opened the night with an energetic set of upbeat radio-ready tracks. We’ll have a follow-up post on their set, including a few photos in the next day or two.
The night was closed with a captivating set from Lights, the talented Canadian pop artist supporting her new album Little Machines. She had an instant bond with the crowd and delivered an intimate show in her return to Orlando. She had the crowd singing along throughout and actively engaged in everything she offered, including a nice acoustic session, where she grabbed a guitar and joined her band members at the front of the stage. The highlight of her set was undoubtedly her searing version of “Running With The Boys.”
A nice way to wrap up a diverse night of new pop rock at House Of Blues, where everyone in attendance had an opportunity to listen to some excellent new music, and learn a bit more about some new talent on their new music radar.
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The Mowgli’s Setlist
Say It, Just Say It
Love Is Easy
Through The Dark
Room For All Of Us
What’s Going On
Hi, Hey There, Hello
Shake Me Up
Love Me Anyway
Make It Right