Written by Julie Ann Shaw
New Zealand has already given this world Middle Earth, a gift that has made life a whole lot better, and one that is impossible to reciprocate. It would be unreasonable to expect New Zealand to give us anything more, and yet, she gave us the alternative indie rock/pop group, Mild Orange, anyway.
The Roxy Theater opened in 1973 and has seen some truly remarkable performances upon her stage from Neil Young, Bob Marley, Chaka Khan, and so many others whose music has shaped our lives. I stood outside The Roxy for some time, watching the line to enter that wrapped around the corner quickly disappear through the metal detector and into the door, only to wrap around the corner again and again and again before I even had a chance to finish my coffee. This, and the level of excitement from almost everyone in the line, were the first indications that I was about to experience an amazing show.
Upon entering, I quickly became overwhelmed by the number of people inside this small-ish venue. The opening act wasn’t scheduled to begin for another 20 minutes, but already there was very little room to move. I found a spot by the front of the stage and readied myself for the evening to come.
Opening for Mild Orange, was the synth-pop project Low Hum, a.k.a. Collin Desha, accompanied by the drummer and multi-instrumental artist, Keveen Baudouin. Low Hum has a unique sound that I had never heard before, mesmerizing auditory dreamscapes that both evoke and suppresses, all manner of realities.
Low Hum played a forty-minute set that included “Model Me,” “I Don’t Know Me Like You Do,” “All I Know,” “Nebraska,” and “Comatose.” During the set, Low Hum took a moment to recognize a young man in the audience, Josh, who was at the front of the stage rocking out and headbanging to all of his music. Low Hum couldn’t have been more humbled and grateful for Josh, and the rest of his fans who came out to see him.
Mild Orange, Josh Mehrtens (lead vocals, guitar), Josh Reid (guitar), Tom Kelk (bass), and Jack Ferguson (drums), stopped at the historic The Roxy Theater in Hollywood, CA, for their Looking For Space Tour to promote their new album, Looking For Space. By the time they took the stage, The Roxy Theater was packed from wall to wall. There was no room to move anywhere near the stage. As the curtain went up, a wave of pure joy and energy washed over the entire venue.
The music of Mild Orange, named for the sense of calm elicited by the color, is beautiful and very calming. It’s the kind of music that fills your mind with pleasant imagery, your soul with peace, and before you are even aware, your entire body is moving.
“This Kinda Day,” from their new album Looking For Space, is Mehrtens‘s story of his six-month battle with pneumonia and pleurisy. He wrote this song to inspire people to reach out for help if they are suffering in any way mentally or physically.
They played Looking For Space almost in its entirety from the singles and most-streamed songs “This Kinda Day,” “Clourise,” “F.E.A.R.,” “Hollywood Dreams to Aurora,” “Oh Yeah,” and “The Time Of Our Lives.”
Mixed into the set were fan favorites from their past two albums, Mild Orange and Foreplay, “Getting Warmer,” “Share This Dance,” and “In The Living Room” included. No one was ready for the night to end, but like all things, it must, and did, with one of their new songs “What’s Your Fire?”
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