I have been listening to Mondo Cozmo
for a couple of months now and let me just say I adore him. Joshua Ostrander, the singer/songwriter behind the name Mondo Cozmo, seriously knows what he's doing. His music will force anyone listening to be overcome with emotions like love, hope, pain, sadness, anger, and pure, pure joy. Reminiscent of Bob Dylan in his early days, Ostrander has an honest raspiness and shaky cadence to his voice that is instantly recognizable.
I'm always shocked at how small Mercury Lounge is as a venue. I immediately made my way to the front of the stage to claim my spot before the overflow of people made their way into the sold-out space. I kept hearing grown men call out "Mondo" while a stranger would respond "Cozmo" in anticipation for the band to come on. I seemed to be the only 20-something year old female who was genuinely a huge fan of the band. I may have been the only one of my kind at this show, but that did not stop me from vigorously singing along to each song.
Mondo Cozmo came on stage and immediately brought this incredible energy with him. In between songs, Ostrander kept laughing off the fact that he had lost his voice from partying too hard the night before in Brooklyn.
The band played a total of seven songs. "Higher," an upbeat rhythmic rock song that grows in each proceeding chorus, is meant to be danced to. Most people were dancing and cooing along to the chorus.The band kept huddling in towards each other and smiling. It was clear that they were genuinely having an amazing time.
The band also performed, "Hold On To Me," Ostrander's first song her ever wrote under the Mondo Cozmo name. It's a slower-paced yet powerful anthem with thought-provoking lyrics like, "Why you sitting on your broken-hearted hands tonight? You wanna sing like us? You gotta rip your eyes out."
The chorus erupts into the band's unified cry, singing, "Hold Onto Me," which had many people in the audience screaming/singing along. Oh, and FYI, the song's unscripted music video has actress, Anna Faris interacting with residents of a nursing home. The result is raw and heartwarming.
The band encored with "Shine," Mondo Cozmo's most popular song with almost 2 million hits on Spotify. This was the highlight of the show. Remember when I mentioned earlier that the band's music will force you to be overcome with emotions? Well this one in particular will have you erupting with pure joy and hope. After the first couple of verses, Ostrander had six gospel singers come on stage already singing the powerful chorus in harmony. The chorus' lyrics, "Let 'em get high, let 'em get stoned, everything will be alright if you let it go,"
seem like words that we have no choice but to live by in this day and age.
Mondo Cozmo's performance was short, but definitely sweet. I couldn't hang around long enough to get a drink with Ostrander and his band mates, but I will always remember the humbling offer. I left with a big smile on my face, knowing I will get to see him play again at the upcoming summer festivals.