The Mowgli's

Rarely will a performance strike me in such a way that it leaves a mark on my subconscious mind, and the memories catch me off guard weeks later while I wait in line for a bagel or check bank statements on the computer. Even more rare is serendipitously witnessing such impactful events twice in one week, but that’s just what happened to me earlier this month.

In the span of a single week I saw two dynamic concerts, one of which was Cold War Kids’ exclusive, electric performance at The Bootleg Theater, which LAmb’s Lead Editor/Writer Kristin Houser enthusiastically wrote about recently. The other concert that struck a lingering cord with me took place at The Satellite, a breeding ground for musical talent, and featured memorable performances by Coyol, Terraplane Sun, and The Mowgli’s. I left my usual camera companion, the Canon T2i, at home that night and instead used my iPhone to document this evening of music, as Instagram sharing and Snapseed filters just seemed so fitting.

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The night began with a set by Coyol, a bluegrass folk band from Silverlake that blends a cool flare of Old West country with New West alternative. The band’s lyrics carry a heavy load, touching upon bouts of struggle and unrest, while the melodies of the guitar and piano keep the mood jovial. Vocalist Celeigh Chapman brought a slight Dolly Parton feel to the songs, while John Isaac Watters brought a unique harmony to the music. “Pharmacist,” a track off Coyol’s self-titled debut album, played well with the crowd, and they ended their set as the large audience meandered silently about the venue, quietly listening.

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Terraplane Sun took the stage soon after, and a great shift in the energy could be felt in the room and throughout the crowd. The band brought a sort of dusty, music-hall-on-the-edge-of-the-desert kind of sound, with old-style bluesy rock swagger reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Johnny Cash. They played a full roster of their songs from the album Friends, released in 2012, as well as their 2010 debut, Coyote. It took no time for the crowd to wake from the Coyol trance and jump into the addicting rhythm of Terraplane Sun’s songs, including “Get Me Golden” and “Tell Me I’m Wrong.”

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In the middle of their performance, bandmates Ben Rothbard, Cecil, Lyle Riddle, and Gabe Feenberg were joined on stage by The Mowgli’s and special guest Chris Vos from The Record Company for an improvised set that felt very much like a backyard barbecue sing-along, only decidedly more professional. Terraplane Sun left the stage in a cloud of fulfilling trombone blares, guitar string plucks, and piano tinkers.

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The Mowgli’s rounded out the night of high-energy, expertly executed live entertainment with their equally spirited set. This band’s feel-good vibe came across in full force as the band members walked on stage barefoot, waved to fans and friends they recognized in the crowd, and started their musical performance with a bang. 

The band’s eight members — Michael Vincze, Colin Louis Dieden, Katie Jayne Earl, Matthew Di Panni, Josh Hogan, Dave Applebaum, Spencer Trent, and Andy Warren — crowded together on the intimate stage, and each song they performed, from “The Great Divide” to “Slowly, Slowly” off their album Love’s Not Dead,  packed enough positive vibes to power every coffee shop in Silverlake. 

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Bandmates Vincze and Dieden stood on amps while Warren and Trent kept the beat moving. Earl threw Valentines into the crowd, due to the show’s close proximity to February 14th, and just when it seemed like not a drop of gusto was left in the performance, The Mowgli’s ended the show with their radio blasting hit, “San Francisco,” inviting audience members on the stage to join in the dance.

After the performance, I bought The Mowgli’s album, picked up a sticker, filtered through the blurry pictures on my phone, and filed away in the recesses of my brain a night that I will never forget.