As December To Remember entered its third night, the love fest continued at the Crystal Ballroom with another stellar show, this time featuring Hunter Hunted, Said The Whale, and Portland's perennial favorites, The Mowgli's.
Los Angeles duo Hunter Hunted got the party started with a short, solid set that was equally notable for its light, airy vocals and for their killer cover of The Pixies' "Where is My Mind?", before relinquishing the stage to Said the Whale. This Vancouver BC based quintet proved that they were an opener in name only - they rocked and riled up the crowd as well as any headliner I've seen. Interestingly, four of their five members took turns on vocals, giving the band a pretty wide range of sound, from the ballad-like "Seasons" to their hit single "I Love You," which has a bit of Britt Daniel vibe.
(Said The Whale)
After two rousing openers, The Mowgli's finally took the stage. After seeing the crowds at The Neighbourhood and Foals, I thought Portland couldn't get any more enthusiastic about a band... but I was sorely mistaken. The sound level at The Mowgli's never dipped below a low roar for their entire show. Much like their Dec2Rem compatriots and fellow Los Angeles residents, The NBHD, The Mowgli's made their Portland debut earlier this year during Febuary's "I Saw Them When" concert series at the Crystal, and are now making their third pass through Portland as part of their Random Acts of Kindness tour. And much like The NBHD, each show they've played in Portland has been successively better and better than the one that came before. The comparison ends there, though - because while The NBHD has always been a little too cool for school, The Mowgli's are all about spreading the love.
After kicking things off with "Emily", the band took the screaming crowd on a roller-coaster ride through their setlist, with band members jumping on amps, wading into the crowd, and encouraging the audience to sing (and at one point scream) along to favorites such as "Love Is Easy," "San Francisco," and "Time," all the while espousing their trademark gospel of peace, love and understanding. After the show, a couple of concertgoers told me they felt like they had gone to church and a rock concert, all in one - and while I'm not sure I would go that far, there's no doubt that everyone felt the love, that night.