Indianapolis’ Deluxe in the Old National Centre was the scene of a love-fest recently, as The Mowgli’s brought their “Kids in Love” tour to town.
The show was opened by Hippo Campus, a young Minnesota band who has been making quite a name for themselves, with their first national tour and an appearance on Conan O’Brien in March.
Sounding like a mix between The Kooks and something out of a John Hughes movie the indie-pop band immediately captured the crowd’s attention. Showing no sign of timidity, lead singer Jake Luppen was more than happy to take command of the crowd as he toed to the very edge of the stage to lean over the barricade.
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The reception from the crowd was overwhelming, with new fans cheering and yelling out to the band even as they were carrying their gear off the stage. If the rest of their year is anything like the first quarter has been, Hippo Campus will be dominating the scene in 2015.
Next up was Night Riots. The San Luis Obispo band kept the 80’s vibes going strong, but took their sound down a decidedly moodier path. The stage was washed in blue, purple, and white lights for much of their set, giving off a ghostly, ephemeral quality that fit their sound perfectly.
With the band’s dark attire they look as though they could’ve stepped out of a Tim Burton movie, and this darkness carried in to their sound as well. There’s a seductive quality both to the music and their stage presence, which the band certainly had a lot of.
During their set various members of the band hopped off stage and into the crowd, stood on the barricade, hung from the scaffolding, or stepped up on a monitor. For their final song lead singer Travis Hawley stepped over to a synth pad that had female vocal clips programmed into it, and started into the hook of “Contagious,” which the crowd was quick to lend extra vocals to.
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There was a lengthy break before The Mowgli’s, but the wait proved to be well worth it. As soon as they hit the stage the room erupted into cheers and the dancing fired up and didn’t stop until the very last note of the night.
With their album Kids In Love releasing April 14th the energy and enthusiasm from the band couldn’t have been any higher. One of the highlights of the night was when they played their current single off the new album, “I’m Good,” which the vast majority of fans already seemed to know word-for-word. The song epitomizes the joyful spirit of the band and has all the makings of that perfect summer soundtrack song.
Not content to just talk the talk when it comes to their message of positivity, the band takes tangible steps to get fans involved. Vocalist Katie Jayne Earl mentioned that they had teamed up with Freedom Indiana to “help make sure these kind of bills don’t get passed under your nose again,” a clear reference to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that’s made headlines around the world. They also had a special button pack for sale, giving all proceeds to a suicide prevention organization.
The attendance was surprisingly low (although the fact that it was a Wednesday show probably had a lot to do with that) but it ended up being a major plus for the fans that made it out, as they were able to spread out a little and dance around.
All in all, it was a night full of love, joy, and celebration. Sometimes a band’s positive energy doesn’t always carry over to their fans, but The Mowgli’s Indianapolis fan base is perhaps the nicest you’ll have the pleasure of running in to.
Those in attendance seemed just as excited about being exposed to the new music of Hippo Campus and Night Riots as they were about singing along to their favorite songs from The Mowgli’s- a true sign of a good show.
This just might be the happiest tour of the Spring.
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