Concert Review: Handsome Ghost and The Mowgli’s at Mr. Small’s 6/24

June 30, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.50.32 PMA half-packed Wednesday night at Mr. Small’s started off with the eerie synth-pop that belongs to Boston-based songwriter Tom Noyes, AKA Handsome Ghost. Illusive, varied, and emotional, Handsome Ghost has the type of sound that appeals to the masses. The three-piece group wowed the audience with the electronic beats born from the ashes of Noyes’s indie and folk days. Most of Handsome Ghost’s sounds feature a smattering of acoustic instruments cleverly spun into synths and beats. The live performance was impressive, considering the distortion and other vocal effects that hang over the recorded tracks on their debut 2015 LP, Steps.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.51.24 PMThe headliner, The Mowgli’s, brought a positive vibe to the space with their upbeat messages and jumpy attitude. The Los Angeles collective brought out a younger crowd to Small’s, and focused on playing tunes from their most recent 2015 album, Kids in Love, including “Love Me Anyway,” “You’re Not Alone” and “I’m Good.” The Mowgli’s’ new songs already felt like classics, with the audience singing along veraciously. Katie Earl, Colin Dieden, and Dave Appelbaum, all clad in stripes, belted out with the crowd, sometimes crowding around one mic to do so.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.54.54 PMAt one point, Earl told the crowd: “Give your friends a hug and tell ‘em you love ’em” before belting out “Love is Easy” from Waiting for the Dawn. Later, the group inquired, “Are you guys happy? That’s the most important thing for us!” and jumped into “You’re not Alone.” Love was encircling the group, who seemed to genuinely be motivated to make everyone in the audience feel… good. The group ended the night by offering up a signed drumhead to whoever “rocked the hardest” to one of their most popular songs, “I’m good.” The drumhead was ultimately awarded to what had to be the youngest person in the room, a small boy on the shoulders of a man in the middle of the crowd.

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