The Mowgli’s and Jukebox the Ghost came through Pittsburgh on their co-headlining “Making Friends” tour. They brought Twin XL along with them, and let me tell you, this lineup brought some summer vibes to our still cold city.
Twin XL is a three-piece band from Los Angeles consisting of vocalist Cameron Walker-Wright, Stephen Gomez on bass and John Gomez on guitar. They said this was their first tour, which I found interesting considering how long the other two bands have been on the road.
The first thing I noticed about their set was a giant backlit sign that said “you are having fun.” The sign was true! The audience seemed to be having a great time. The band really knew how to connect and interact. One member said he “might just leave his heart in Pittsburgh.” This obviously earned a cheer from everyone in the room.
Twin XL released their first album, How to Talk to Strangers, at the beginning of March. Make sure to check it out! Just a fair warning: you probably won’t be able to stop listening to it.
The Mowgli’s are a self-proclaimed “quintessential California band.” The alt pop band’s music sounds like what I assume a sunny summer day on the west coast feels like. They gave off those same happy vibes that Grouplove and The Mainland have.
Despite releasing a new album in late 2018, and an EP at the beginning of March, The Mowgli’s opened with a couple of their older songs “Say It, Just Say It” and “Whatever Forever.” It really set an uplifting tone for the rest of their set.
Part way through their show the band did a partial cover of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. They then took a moment to encourage the audience, telling everyone they need to make the choice to love and respect themselves a little bit more. “Say ‘I’m good and mean it! Leave all the bullshit here for Mr. Smalls to take out with the trash tonight.”
The Mowgli’s ended their set with “I’m Good.” The band had the audience dancing and screaming the lyrics back to them. It was a great way to leave everyone hyped up and ready for the next act. At one point, someone in the pit raised their crutches up into the air. I admire their dedication to having a great time.
Jukebox The Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost was the second trio of the night. Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel and Jesse Kristin are all from Washington, D.C. where they formed their band while in college. The audience was more than ready for this show.
While this tour was mostly in support of their latest album Off to the Races, it was also in celebration of their first album Let Live and Let Ghosts turning 10 years old. The band explained their first album was a collection of songs mostly about love and the apocalypse. I’m not sure how those two topics go together, but they made it work!
Throughout their set they played a good mix of both old and new songs. It showed how their music style has changed over the past 10 years. You could tell the audience loved that the band didn’t ignore their older music. With each song the crowd seemed to gain more and more enthusiasm. It was tangible that everyone in the room had such a great love for this music.
Jukebox the Ghost ended the night in a perfect way, covering Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” About halfway through the song they motioned for the two other bands to come back out on stage. It was a bittersweet way to say goodbye.
Everything about this show was pure magic. The lineup was phenomenal. The venue (which was once an old church) was beautiful. The crowd was insanely passionate. I hope every single one of you reading this gets to experience a concert like this one.