American Authors Tour
On the surface, American Authors appear to be like most bands that appeal to the teen music fan set and to some extent that view is correct. The Brooklyn-based band that headlined the Honda Civic Tour at Austin's Mohawk last night goes deeper than that though. In fact, the band has impressive credentials as the members met at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston in 2006 before launching their music career as Blue Pages. The hundreds of teen girls who packed The Mohawk likely know all those details and more. Most of the young ladies near the front of the stage could be seen mouthing lyrics to all their songs (and covers) as the band ran through their 15 song set list.
Equally as compelling were The Mowgli's who endeared themselves to Austin music fans during Austin City Limits Music Festival last year when the band performed on the street after their Sunday time slot was rained out. Their impromptu concert in front of Austin's First Steps Homeless Shelter generated the most single-day donations to the charity in its history. The group also participated in a series of well-publicized concerts in front of Los Angeles' City Hall during the height of the Occupy Movement.
Their feel-good set was highlighted by a performance of hit, "San Francisco" with the audience loudly singing the chorus. The Mowgli's also turned "Say It, Just Say It" into a sing-along, warming the crowd for American Authors. The irony of a Southern California band singing about San Francisco and championing social causes when their Northern brethren are more likely to do so was not lost on Examiner. Actually, their earnest effort and pleasing harmonies were a welcome breath of fresh air. It was easy to see why so many fans made it out early to catch their opening set last night.
Despite the fact that it was American Authors' lead singer, Zac Barnett's birthday, there was little mention of the occasion last night once the group took the stage. We did hear a few fans yell out congratulatory well wishes to the good-looking singer who wore a sleeveless white and black plaid shirt and matching Chuck Taylor Converse shoes. The band's Berklee creds were evident as the set began. Drummer, Matt Sanchez was particularly good driving the rhythm section like a skilled percussionist should. His counterpart, bassist Dave Rublin held down solid bass lines while guitarist, James Shelley demonstrated his diverse set of skills, even breaking out a banjo for a few songs.