A Euphoric Triple Bill at Brooklyn Bowl

November 20th, 2013

The Mowgli’s/Royal Teeth/X Ambassadors – Brooklyn Bowl – November 19, 2013

The Mowgli’s

Last night at Brooklyn Bowl, a triple bill of bands with emotionally charged music greeted an eager crowd that had trekked through the windy cold, eager to hit the dance floor. X Ambassadors were crooning through their opening number, “Down With Me,” as I approached the stage. The band members were gyrating fiercely to their own soulful, dark music, and soon the crowd followed suit. The haunting clarity of sentiment behind each lyric gives X Ambassadors’ live set a huge edge. The band played the entirety of their debut EP, Love Songs Drug Songs, with an intensity that swept up the crowd. And frontman Sam Harris jumped into the audience for the last song, “Brother.”

Royal Teeth took the stage next for an infectious set filled with some of the best songs in their repertoire. Hailing from Louisiana, they have an undeniable air of Southern charm about them, which translates well into their upbeat rock. “Hold Me,” off the six-piece’s most recent album, Glow, rang out, sending a wave of elation through the audience. “We are so happy to be here. We will be back as many times as you guys will have us,” said lead singer Gary Larsen, his smiling face gleaming in the psychedelic pink and blue light. The crowd cheered in agreement.

As the Mowgli’s—eight members strong—launched into their first song, “The Great Divide,” everyone in the crowd was jumping up and down. The Mowgli’s are currently on their Random Acts of Kindness tour and entreated audience members to donate canned food for the upcoming holiday season. The band’s positive attitude is awe-inspiring. Plucky strings, rumbling percussion and earnest lyrics swiftly drove along the performance. The Mowgli’s are clearly a well-rehearsed team, as they glided through their set spontaneously switching places and microphones often. Julia Nunes, who accompanied the Mowgli’s on their 2012 tour, helped out on the vocals for “Clean Light.” The band played the majority of Waiting for the Dawn and closed out the set with a delightful version of “San Francisco.” Followed by uproarious cheers for an encore, they returned with members of Royal Teeth and X Ambassadors to play an elaborate version of “Time.” All three bands have enough collective energy and positivity to break through even on the most mundane weeknight. And with any luck, they’ll be back soon. We could use some more euphoria around here. —Schuyler Rooth