words + photos by Maria Arroyo
Over the weekend, Johnny Brenda’s hosted an incredible show with the opening band, Little Image, from Dallas, Texas and the headliner, The Jungle Giants, from Australia!
There was already a pretty decent crowd size when the show started. They had a great dynamic between them and the chemistry between the three of them is wonderful to see in a band. I really appreciated that the singer is very versatile vocally because it created more demand to hear the rest of their songs. Their set was a mix of some older songs and new material that has not yet been released.
Usually, I don’t pay too much attention to anyone other than the singer; however, their drummer, in particular, had my eyes glued to him for most of the show. His energy from playing radiated off his body. He never overplayed or overshadowed his bandmates, and even connected with the band and kept eye contact with them. It was very apparent that they were grateful and excited to be opening for The Jungle Giants and it showed in their demeanor. Later on, in their set, the vocalist started using a harmonic effect to create the illusion of multiple singers which I think he executed very well.
If there is anything I was not too keen on was the placement of the keyboard and/or synthesizer the vocalist used a few times in the set. Even placing it to face the drummer would have been better than his backside to the audience. The band also had an issue with the lack of stage space seeing as they knocked half their equipment over. They managed to recover quickly, but definitely was a setback for me. Overall, their sound was great and I would go see them again for sure! Their communication with each other and love for music and what they do does not go unnoticed.
Now I was not familiar with The Jungle Giants so I was excited to see what they were all about. Right before they were about to go on, the room was beyond packed. They filled every inch of the floor in front of the stage, as well as the balance area above. A loud roar erupted from the crowd as the band took the stage.
Immediately, the vocalist exudes this incredible stage presence and energy that set the tone for the rest of the night. He was able to use the space of the stage very well, while not overdoing it. When he first started singing, his sound did not sit too well for me. It didn’t seem to match the rest of the band, and some of his falsetto fell on the pitchy side. The softness in his voice could have been matched better if the band wouldn’t have played so loud. At first, they didn’t seem to be on the same page as far as dynamics and an overall end goal for their set.
Right away, they showed me they are a different kind of band with a very distinct sound. Their sound had deep inspirations from tonal and psychedelic music.
As the night went on, something in me clicked and all of the little things that didn’t sit too well for me started to fade as I personally connected with their music. They kept the crowd energized the entire time and had the entire venue’s floor-shaking till the end of the set. Having the singer jump off the stage and into the crowd to dance with us was an added bonus to the already intensified show. Something that sets this band apart from others is the attention to putting on an entertaining show!
The more they played their material, the more his voice became something I couldn’t get enough of. His distinct switches between vocal registers became “his thing” and he turned into an artist I won’t soon forget. At the end of the night, they even had the bartenders dancing with the crowd!
The Jungle Giants have made their mark in Philadelphia! The contrast between the two bands sounds is a great mix because while their music is different, their energy is big and fun. I think we can expect to have them back to play bigger and better venues.