On the one year anniversary of the tragic Boston marathon bombing, band of merry pranksters The Mowgli’s paid tribute to the victims and supported #BostonStrong with a popup pre-show. Prior to their sold out concert in Cambridge, the band gathered some wooden stools and donations from lucky passersby, Twitter savvy fans and regulars at small bar venue The Great Scott in honor of the tragedy’s one year anniversary. All proceeds from the show went to One Fund Boston , a foundation helping those most affected by the tragic bombings that occurred last year in Boston.
Bright-eyed frontwoman Katie Jayne Earl invited all in the bar to come in close and gather round, like friends sitting listening to a jam session. Everyone danced and sang along as drummer Andy Warren used two trash bins and the bar’s wooden floor to keep rhythm while the rest of the crew effortlessly transformed the mid Tuesday afternoon dive bar into a hippie collective of friends dancing barefoot around the campfire.
Earl and her buddies introduced each song with a thoughtful and witty tale of the power of music, inviting consideration of the songs’ relatable and positive lyrics. Opening with an acknowledgement of the day and a powerful tribute to the victims, the band played their popular hit “Great Divide” to kick off the show. With tambourine, banjo and garbage bin drum set, the vocal harmonizing brought together this amalgam of instruments, musicians and friends that had the small crowd dancing and singing along. The well-traveled festival circuit band created a carefree and inviting atmosphere for the small crowd to jam along like old friends, a rare delight– especially considering the sold out show that awaited the band later that evening.
Inviting suggestions from the crowd, the Mowgli’s next played “Clean Light.” With acoustic whistling kicking off the playful song, the crew danced and tapped their feet as everyone sang along, “We all live right here underneath the sun / the same clean light and the same love.” The tune was a wonderful celebration of life and commemoration of the national experience of tragedy.
The small crowd cheered in response to this uplifting song before Earl introduced the next, “Just Say It,” about “being young, being alive and embracing the life you want to live. It’s a campfire song, so let’s all sing along.” The catchy refrain and beaming faces of the band invited even the old lonely bar regular in the back corner to crack a smile and nod his head along. This song is designed to be sung live. Those who were lucky enough to see the song performed on bar stools felt in on the secret of this song, and the band’s musical endeavor. Hearing it over the radio on a sunny day may come close, but not even the later sold out show could achieve the same genuine sense of lightheartedness, goofiness and unity as that acoustic rendition in the sparsely crowded Great Scott bar.
The Mowgli’s ended the short set with mainstream hit “San Francisco,” thanking everyone who came out to support the cause or just listen to some good music. They invited all to catch the rest of the set later that night at The Sinclair, if they could make it early enough to get the last few secret door tickets. Walking right into the crowd and chatting up fans and delighted bar patrons alike, the musical collective showed genuine connection and care beyond the stage and spotlight, hanging out and grabbing a beer with us all before their big show.