G#’s Musical Radar: Top five concerts of the school year

Various Columbia venues hosted a slew of great performances.

There’s no doubt about it — many amazing artists came to Columbia this school year. Smaller bands and more well-known acts alike treated audiences to wonderful shows and distinctive sounds. St. Lucia mesmerized the crowd with its electro-pop, and The Mowgli’s brought a sun-soaked, energetic atmosphere to Missouri. Without further ado, here are the top five concerts of the 2016-17 academic year.


California natives The Mowgli’s brought its beachy vibes to Columbia when they performed at The Blue Note in September. The alternative band first entered the music scene with its debut studio album, Waiting for the Dawn, which had singles such as “San Francisco” and “Say It, Just Say It.” The band stopped in Columbia to promote its latest LP, Where’d Your Weekend Go? and put on a lively performance.


When St. Lucia played at The Blue Note in October, it was my first time seeing its headlining set. Beforehand, I had seen it twice as an opening act, and the headlining set was far beyond what I had previously seen. The light show was colorful and the setlist was balanced with danceable tracks such as “Physical” as well as slower songs like “Love Somebody.”


While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Cold War Kids’ latest LP, L.A. Divine, its live show was absolutely incredible. It is relatively easy to distinguish between a recording and a live performance, but Cold War Kids’ sound was as clear as its studio albums. The indie rockers played fan favorites like “Hang Me Up to Dry” and “Hospital Beds” but rounded out the set with new tunes such as “Can We Hang On?” and “So Tied Up.” It was undoubtedly one of the best indie rock shows I have seen in Columbia.


This summer, Beach House played approximately a week before classes started, and eased the typically jarring transition back into academic responsibilities. Beach House had incredible set fluency, and its closer, “Days of Candy,” took an unexpected turn when the song finished, but the band jammed for a few minutes afterward using the primary chord progression. The band had not been to Columbia for seven years, so it was nice to see it return for an intimate show.


Local Natives not only put on the greatest concert I have seen this school year, but the greatest concert I have seen in Columbia. The indie rockers’ engagement with the crowd was remarkable. Vocalist Taylor Rice danced with the crowd during “Villainy,” and even crowd-surfed during the set closer, “Sun Hands.” Local Natives surprisingly treated the crowd to old favorites such as “Who Knows Who Cares” as well as its single from March, “I Saw You Close Your Eyes.”

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