The Mowglis & Walk the Moon :: Roseland Theater :: 10.22.2013
by Yume Delegato,posted Oct 22 2013 11:38AM
There's always a certain degree of uncertainty when you go to see a band perform for the second time. Will they sound better than they did the last time? Have they honed their sound or have they gotten sloppy? Have they given up rock n' roll to dabble in experimental jazz? You'll never really know until you see them a second time. Fortunately for The Mowglis and Walk the Moon, time has treated the two bands pretty kindly. Hot on the heels of last week's "I Saw Them When" show with Palma Violets, these two "I Saw Them When" alums returned to Portland for a class reunion, of sorts.
After an enthusiastic opening set by Smallpools (If you miss the super-upbeat brand of indie pop that bands like Metro Station and Plain White T's made popular in the mid-2000s, you should definitely check these guys out. They also did a pretty entertaining cover of New Radical's "You Get What You Give."), The Mowglis came onstage to much fanfare. (The crowd was so psyched, they even cheered for The Mowglis roadies when they came out to set up.) The Los Angeles-based octet's sound hasn't changed much since their show in February - cheery jam-band songs about love and social change - and some people might criticize their sound as overly simplistic (they're basically leading a giant singalong), but if you like what they're throwing down, it's a great ride. (Tickets are still available for their December 2 Remember show with Said the Whale on December 3, so get 'em while you can!)
(The Mowglis. Or most of them, anyways.)
While there wasn't much surprising about The Mowglis, Walk The Moon's performance was something of a revelation. Last summer, when they played The Crystal Ballroom, Walk The Moon had a solid set, but crowd response was pretty lackluster. This year, armed with facepaint and an improved repertoire, they whipped the crowd into a screaming frenzy with songs like "Next In Line," "Tightrope," "Shiver Shiver," and, of course, their best-known song, "Anna Sun." Their stage banter may be a little heavy on the feel-good platitudes, but there's no doubt these "I Saw Them When" alums have graduated to the next level.