By Kimberly Ilkowski
There’s no better way to start off the semester than a night of dazzling lights, wicked dance moves and exuberant live performances. CUB’s Welcome Back Concert on Saturday, Jan. 31, featured the indie-pop sensation Misterwives and the Southern California, eight-piece folk rock group The Mowgli’s in Kendall Hall’s Main Stage Theater.
After its wildly successful EP “Reflections” and being named one of MTV’s Artists to Watch in 2015, Misterwives has already garnered a great amount of attention and acclaim for a band that has yet to release a full-length album.
The bubbly young group, comprised of vocalist Mandy Lee, bassist William Hehir, drummer Etienne Bowler, guitarist Marc Campbell and keyboard and trumpet player Jesse Blum, bopped around the stage playing a few tracks off its upcoming album for the first time ever live.
Dynamic frontwoman Lee danced around the stage with an ensemble and demeanor that matched Gwen Stefani’s fiery, girl-power persona.
Performing new tracks like “Vagabond” and “Not Your Way,” the band had the crowd moving and clapping to the music.
Halfway through the show, the band switched gears and opted for a synth-happy cover of Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 hit, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Misterwives wrapped up its set with a bang, playing the new track “Our Own House,” which featured a fresh and funky trumpet and saxophone solo at the end.
The band’s first full-length album, also entitled “Our Own House,” will be released on Tuesday, Feb. 24, which will be followed by a spring headlining tour with opening act Borns.
In an interview with The Signal, Hehir recounted what went through his mind when he found out almost every show of the tour had sold out.
“Our manager called us up and was like, ‘We got the Bowery show … We actually think it sold out,’ and we were like, ‘No way man, there had to be an error,” Hehir said. “It’s baffling for us to sell out in New York but then to have the opportunity to sell out around the country is the most humbling thing of all time.”
Last month, the group had the opportunity to record a song at the renowned Electric Lady Studios in New York City, covering a song by John Oates in part of a project with Kia, where the former Hall & Oates member surprised the band at the very end of the session.
“It was like a religious experience,” Hehir said. “We just walked into the place and immediately got goose bumps.”
The Mowgli’s kept the energy levels high as they took the stage next.
The band, made up of Colin Louis Dieden on vocals and guitar, Katie Jayne Earl on vocals, Matthew Di Panni on bass, Josh Hogan and Spencer Trent on guitar, Dave Appelbaum on keyboard and Andy Warren on drums, showcased its large sound with its equally large stage presence.
Aside from Dieden and Earl, the other members of the band also contributed vocals throughout many of the tracks, giving the songs a fuller sound.
Songs like “Emily,” “Clean Light” and “Love Is Easy” off its 2013 album “Waiting For The Dawn” made for upbeat sing-alongs, while never-before- heard releases like “I’m Good” and “Sunlight” offered a glimpse into what its new album “Kids In Love” will sound like when it is released in the next few months.
The group’s breezy, beach vibes and positivity radiated out of each member during the set, which was reminiscent of Grouplove when they performed at the College in the fall of 2013.
The night came to a close as The Mowgli’s performed its biggest hit “San Francisco,” which stirred the members of Misterwives — who were previously dancing in front of the stage with students — to hop on stage to join in on the dancing and singing.
For its new album, the band will be hitting the road again this spring, something the band members are all too familiar with at this point in their lives.
“We were out touring almost one year straight (before),” Earl said in an interview with The Signal. “And we’ve just gone completely crazy. We’re having fun, that’s how we’re still alive.”
Each band brought the crazy and the fun to Kendall to revitalize student spirits for the beginning of another semester, now complete with an exciting new soundtrack.
Thank you to our friends at LTV for filming the interview!