On Thursday night, Mammoth Life, Cowboy Indian Bear and Cloud Dog braved a muggy venue to bring a night of dancing, sweating and celebration to the people of Lawrence. The show left us soaked in sweat, but it was a blast.
Cloud Dog is a shirtless drum party of epic proportions. When I walked in, the band was already in full force and the crowd was dancing hard.
Cloud Dog’s live show is comprised of three mustached men without shirts (pecks ahoy!), banging on drums as hard and rhythmically as possible over various loops and electronic noises. The songs can range from soothing to frantic, mainly due to the ruggedness in the lead singer’s voice. Sometimes he’s serenading you, other times he’s shrieking and growling at you.
Hold on tight, Cloud Dog is a trip (and a dancey one). No one is safe from their beats.
Cowboy Indian Bear
Cowboy Indian Bear started things off with their signature entertaining soundchecks, which involved leading the audience in a rendition of Shania Twain’s “Still the One.”
The band came loaded with new music tonight. The indie crooners have recently been testing out their new material on tour, and tonight the crowd welcomed them with open arms as the four-piece trudged through probably one of the swampiest and sweatiest sets they’ll ever play.
It has become quite obvious how at-home the band is feeling when they play in Lawrence. Two years ago, I wouldn’t hear much dialogue out of the them when they took the stage. But now, all bets are off. They spend just as much time cracking jokes and talking with certain fans in the crowd as they do playing music. Nothing gives me greater joy than to watch a band grow and really connect with their hometown fan base the way Cowboy Indian Bear have. What’s even more precious is the type of people they attract to the show. They come from all walks of life, and they come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s one thing they all have in common: listening to a live set from Cowboy India Bear brings out the best in them. Everyone danced, everyone cheered, and everyone left with a smile on their face.
Tonight was a celebration for Lawrence husband and wife art-pop duo Mammoth Life. They have a new EP out filled with songs that will make you proud to be a Lawrencian, and tonight was their EP release shindig. They’ve also got a massive tour ahead of them, and they started it off here in Lawrence.
There may very well be no livelier guitarist in town than the man with the shades in Mammoth Life. Ever the showman, he provides just the right amount of enthusiasm for the toe-tapping music. Offstage, he’s genuine, humble and extremely polite. But onstage, he’s a striking and enchanting entertainer.
I never really thought this much fun could come out of an acoustic guitar / organ combo, but Mammoth Life proved me wrong. The band is leaving Lawrence for San Francisco soon, so if you get the chance to see them before they take off, do it. They’re great fun, and their music is catchy as hell. You can tell by their music, they truly love the Midwest. So it’ll be hard to see them go.
Fare thee well, Mammoth Life.