Starting the show with the first track off of 2013's Howlin, Jagwar Ma
dove into "What Love," a suspenseful and downright cool dance track. The crowd suddenly went from crossed arms to open hearts and began dancing wildly. Were we in a club? Were we at an alt-psychedelic show? Well, it was kind of both. Jagwar Ma consists of three Australian members: vocalist/guitarist Gabriel Winterfield, multi-instrumentalist/producer Jono Ma, and bassist Jack Freeman, who together, intertwine several different genres, creating an experience unlike any other.
After the first song, they dove into a personal favorite, "Loose Ends," off of the just-released sophomore album Every Now & Then.
The bubbly club beat and spacey bass synths made us feel like we were trekking through an electric jungle. Apparently, they only planned on playing hits that evening, because then they immediately dove into another one of their most popular songs, "O B 1," which delivered a perfect mixture of rhythmic guitar and once again, hard-hitting beats.
All three members stood there in their Vans, plain tees, and jeans. They looked so - for lack of better words - cool
, and the music they made matched. They whipped out songs that sounded very laid-back yet simultaneously energized the crowd and everything looked so effortless.
The group barely talked during their set, if at all, except for when Ma and Freeman took a break to get the crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" to Winterfield. People from backstage came out and blew a horn and sprayed the band with silly string, deeply fermenting it on the stage and drenching Freeman's mic stand in guck. Winterfield seemed to be over the moon and couldn't stop smiling and laughing with his bandmates. The chemistry was undeniable.
Later on after another song, he decided to acknowledge the election, "You don't have to be a part of a political party to have a real party." Nicely said. And a real party we had that same night.
For the encore, the group finished with "Say What You Feel," "Ordinary," and "The Throw," leaving everyone in a cheery mindset. Attending a Jagwar Ma show is easily the best way to harness a little positivity - if you're ever given the opportunity to see them live, you must see them live.