by Jaz Bowens
The Theater of the Living Arts has always been something I just pass as I strolled down South Street. But, on Sunday, Nov. 17 I had my first experience at the TLA by attending The Mowgli’s concert- an awesome show and line-up that included Royal Teeth, X Ambassadors, and Wild Rompit.
The first band on stage, to a rowdy awaiting crowd, was Philadelphia’s Wild Rompit. Blair Ollendor, Brandon Bost, Paul Impellizeri and Sean Donaghy knew they had the hometown advantage, playing with confidence and ease. Although people were still coming into the venue and getting settled in, the attention was definitely all on Wild Rompit. Their album, Spirit Moves, was released in August and feature’s their single “For the Night, For Our Life”. Ollendor’s deep, raspy voice fits perfectly with the piano and just makes for a nice, up lifting song.
X-Ambassadors, from Brooklyn, NY, were next on stage. Sam Harris, Noah Feldshuh, Casey Harris and Adam Levin played a song for everyone. Sam Harris puts the “E” in energy and I was amazed at his ability to dance, sing and play an instrument all the while going from one end of the stage to another and interacting with the audience. The keyboardist, Casey Harris, was rocking hard on the keys, in his own world as he banged his head along with every beat and bump. Overall, I’d have to say that they really did their own thing on stage and put on a great performance! It makes people like me (a new listener) interested in the band. I’ll be looking forward to new music from them.
Royal Teeth, hailing from Louisiana, came out ready to give Philadelphia an awesome performance. Joshua Wells on bass, vocalist and guitarist Gary Larsen, vocalist Nora Patterson, Josh Hefner on percussion, Stevie Billeaud on guitar, and multitalented Andrew Poe had a lively stage presence. The audience became part of the show as Larsen sometimes joined the crowd to sing along. Even the lights became a part of the show. They flickered in and out with the beat and helped bring intensity to each song. Patterson’s strong voice really got the crowd pumped before The Mowgli’s came on stage.
For The Mowgli’s, all eight microphone stands were lined up in a row on the edge of the stage. The stands might have stayed like that but band members were all over the stage once they got started. The Mowgli’s have been in Philly plenty of times before and really love the atmosphere and love of music that the city exudes. So, it was no wonder The Mowgli’s seemed authentically pumped for the show. While speaking with Michael Vincze during an interview earlier this month, he expressed how excited he was for the performance because he has made many friends in Philly. The band was very appreciative of those who came out to the show and really thankful for all the donations that were bought for Philabundance. Their performances always show that The Mowgli’s stand for love, peace, equality and harmony. This show, of course, encompassed all of those elements.