Oh Honey, The Mowglis, and American Authors - Philadelphia - November 8th, 2014


Last Saturday we made our way down to The Trocadero Theater in downtown Philadelphia for three killer performances from Oh Honey, The Mowglis, and American Authors as part of the Honda Civic Tour. 15768678945_9a1117aef8_o Oh Honey, an indie folk/pop duo from Brooklyn, opened up the show with  their uplifting, feel-good pop folk tunes and spirited personalities. Most of the  songs were from their With Love EP, but the audience was also treated to a  few extras. Vocalist Danielle Bouchard engaged the crowd with her fun dance  moves throughout each song while vocalist and guitarist Mitchy Collins  encouraged the audience to sing along and let loose. The entire  performance was great, but certain songs stood out in their six-song set. The  first was Don't You Worry Love,  which Collins introduced by describing the  message of the song, "It's about believing there's always tomorrow." This  acoustic-driven folk song features impeccable harmonies between Bouchard  and Collins, as well as a powerful, catchy beat that underscores the spirit in  the lyrics.

The next song was one of the most exciting in the whole set. Collins hinted  before it began asking the crowd, "who remembers the 90s?" He then continued to name off various 90s television shows, and the audience reacted with fond cheers. The band then expertly began an incredible acoustic cover of No Scrubs by TLC, one of the most popular songs from the 90s. The crowd immediately recognized the lyrics as soon as Bouchard's crystal clear voice articulated them, and everyone sang along. The band put their own spin on the Top 40 hit by transforming it into a tender, stripped down tune marked by unwavering harmonies and acoustic guitar-picking, all the while maintaining the song's fierce attitude.

15744984956_d5d6236597_oOh Honey finished out their set with their biggest hit Be Okay. This happy folk-pop song that choruses the lyrics "Can't complain about much these days, I believe we'll be okay," communicating the optimistic, life-loving nature of this band. The crowd ate up the fun yet purposeful lyrics and delighted in the perfect harmonies and strums flowing from the stage. Ending on the happiest of notes, Oh Honey exited the stage, leaving the crowd revved up for the rest of the acts to come.

15766822261_6fb6282937_o Shortly after, The Mowglis, an alternative rock 7-piece from sunny Southern  California graced the stage with their equally sunny presence. Despite the crowded  stage, vocalists Colin Dieden and Katie Earl stood out and delivered their opening  song Emily. Throughout the whole set, each member of the band was rocking out,  which made the performance that much more enjoyable. Earl's undying energy  kept the crowd alive while the band jammed out tunes like The Great DivideKids  In Love, and Summertime.15583522167_7a601fc502_o

They finished out their 9-song set with  crowd favorites Say It, Just Say It,  and San Francisco. Each of these songs encompass The Mowgli's ecstatic energy and happy disposition as they try to spread their message of love and light through music. The band absolutely killed it on stage and honestly reminded me why I love going to shows. The bonding aspect of live music was in full force during The Mowglis' set, which isn't an effect every band can have on an audience.

15148728034_64cfd4d8cd_o To wrap up the night, American Authors took the stage for their  headlining spot on the Honda Civic Tour. Their set included  each song off their 2014 debut album Oh, What A Life, starting  with Home, an anthem-like tune that tells the story of a man  trying to get back home after a long journey. The next two songs  were Heart Of Stone and Believer. The latter is the opening  track on the album, and it is an optimistic, up-beat song about  believing happy change will come soon: "I'm just a believer that  things will get better."

The next song was definitely one of the best of the night. Luck, which is also on the debut album, is a tune about following one's dreams and ambitions despite disapproval. This was a particularly powerful point in the show because lead singer Zac Barnett mentioned they had some family members who came to see them at the concert. During this song, Barnett repeatedly looked up at the right balcony, where it seemed some of his family was sitting. As an on-looker, I immediately got chills when Barnett sang the lyrics to the song while his family was watching, particularly "I'm sorry, Mother/ I know I let you down, I'm sorry, Father/ I didn't stick around" and "Just like my old man, I make my own luck." This performance was incredibly moving and gave life to the song. 15149267443_54c6d10a89_o

During their set, American Authors performed two breathtaking covers. The first was Yellow by Coldplay. They turned the song into a happy folk-rock tune with acoustic guitars, a banjo, and one drum. The whole crowd sang along being led by Barnett's impressive vocal range. The second cover was Stay With Me by Sam Smith, and it came towards the end of the set. Keeping the slow, tender tempo and embracing all the emotion wrapped up in this song, the band gave a beautiful rendition. The performance was primarily acapella, as the band formed a horizontal line on the stage with each member having a microphone in front of him. The song had a gospel style to it, and the crowd grew quiet as the remarkable voice of each band member filled the room, led by falsettos from Barnett.

15744974326_25fe26e156_o As the night was winding down and there was only one song left  to be played, bassist Dave Rublin commented on how he could  visually see the level of success they have reached since playing  for the first time at that venue. The Trocadero has a main venue  and a very small, intimate balcony venue. Rublin recounted that  when they were just starting to tour as a band, they were  opening up for another band in the much smaller balcony  section of the Troc. Both Rublin and Barnett thanked the fans  for supporting the band and getting theme to the main stage of the venue. After this heartwarming speech, they proceeded to perform the last song on their setlist, Oh, What A Life. This song is nostalgic and reflective, which perfectly fit the recount of American Authors' success. The crowd sang and swayed, and we all left with full hearts.

As previously mentioned, that night at The Honda Civic Tour reminded me why I love music and attending shows. It is a unique ability for a band to be able to make an audience feel bonded through the notes and lyrics, and all three of these acts accomplished that. Philly was home to love and light that night because Oh Honey, The Mowglis, and American Authors were in town.

To view the full gallery of photos from the show, click here.

Concert ReviewsSophia Galvan