Thursday, July 14, 2011

Live Review - Mona @ Studio at Webster Hall

Roaring guitars, pounding rhythms, dirty rock and roll – this is the formula to the much talked about Nashville quartet that is Mona. They have been a band we tipped to be one of the breakouts of the year and depending on what side of the world you are on, my calculations are correct. Much like another band from Nashville, Kings of Leon, Mona are finding a massive amount of success overseas in UK and the rest of Europe while they are still relative unknowns to most of America. Unlike the Leon clan they keep gaining comparisons to, the band formed in 2007 in Ohio and relocated to Nashville for more exposure, now that sounds like what The Black Keys have done, but that’s another discussion. Mona are no means a “southern rock” band, they are just a straight up, good time, American rock outfit that is ready to blow the roof off any joint they step in. At a packed part of Webster Hall, the intimate basement setting of the Studio at Webster Hall, for 50 minutes Mona showed the crowd that they are going to remember them and they want all the glory the business can offer these days.

The band has been in and out of New York City for the past year and is developing a strong fanbase in the process, “Everything great starts small. Everything that is great was once small” singer Nick Brown superciliously said halfway through the bands set. Brown has no intention of being a singer in a small band, it is his cocky report that has gotten him much attention in the press comparing himself to Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Robert Plant and Bono, his bravado may write something he cannot eventually fulfill but that is not going to stop him from trying. While the rest of his band remained mum during their performance, it was evident that each song could be the next great rock and roll single on whatever existing FM channel still actually plays rock and roll, it is evident that the crowd who were stage diving were ready for more it was also evident that their money is where their loud mouths are. With grand rip roaring tunes like “Listen to your Love,” “Teenager”, “Cloak and Dagger,” it will be hard to not pay attention to them. The bands self-titled debut arrives via Island Def-Jam this September, it is with that record that the next time they come back to New York City, it wont be any studios they will be in and this maybe the one time they perform to a paying audience in that type of space for a while.