Show Review: Mikal Cronin @ Mohawk (6.27)

Sure, we knew it was going to be a sweat night, with temperatures still bordering on 100 when the bands took the stage at The Mohawk, but how hot would it get? Real hot. Sweat from bands, sweat from fans and sweat from our drinks. Regardless, the rock must go on, and rock it did. A Giant Dog, Shannon and the Clams and Mikal Cronin get commendations for valor in the face of hair dryer air.

Read on for our thoughts on all the bands and see B.Gray’s pretty photos.

If you’re in Austin, I hope you’ve heard of A Giant Dog.  If not, you need to.  The five piece group has been burning up stages for some time, and things got real serious this year when the group released Bone, which is a phenomenal listen.  Live, the group’s an animal, with front woman Sabrina playing the role of gyrating sex-kitten as she moves from side to side across the stage.  But, it would all be just some schtick if she didn’t have the pipes to back it up…which she clearly does.  The rest of the group pummeled the audience, winning over fans with their anthemic blend of rock n’ roll.  I was pleased to see so many show up early, which is just a sign that the group is clearly ready for bigger things.

What more is there left to say about the night’s second act, Shannon and the Clams?  Had Shannon and her group been born several decades ago, they’d surely be the biggest thing on the planet.  Whether it was Cody manning the microphone or that hearty purr of Shannon, the audience never stopped shaking.  They played several hits from their recent album, Dreams in the Rat House, such as the very excellent “Hey Willy.”  I’d also like to mention how much I enjoy watching Cody play, with his feet clicking together and his legs tapping the stage.  My favorite jam “Troublemaker” was included in the set, which always brings a bit of a smile to my face.  It may be classic rock n’ roll of the simplest form, but with dynamic voices and perfect execution, there’s nothing better than the Clams.

Personally, I was really interested to see how Mikal Cronin would pull off his solo work.  He’s been known lately for his work as Ty Segall’s accompanying noise maker, but his solo effort, MCII, definitely has a slight softer side to it.  I was wondering if he’d unleash some sort of fury on us all, and he definitely lived up to my expectations, if not more so.  First, you’ve got to give props to his other guitar player, who shredded the solos endlessly throughout the evening.  In the end, what sold me on Cronin’s set was the enthusiasm of the audience.  He’s seemingly blending heavier moments with melodic anthemic rock, allowing the audience to slam into one another while screaming the lyrics aloud.  Whether he was playing a jam from his self-titled album or his recent effort, the crowd seemed to know every word.  It’s easy to see that he’s conquered that unique blend between soft and loud, all the while allowing the audience to partake in every instant.  The closing highlight came when Mikal returned to the stage to play the classic Wreckless Eric hit “Whole Wide World.”  Successful closing, encapsulating everything I appreciate about what MC is doing.  A must see show.

Photo Guy Notes: So I try to have fun every now and again, a challenge if you will. I had one camera with a nifty fifty on it and decided I wasn’t going to crop any pics when I processed them. I cropped a two or three to protect the innocent, but I had fun – 3×2 ratio FTW. There are a few more pics at the photo site

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