Being back at a concert was great, but the rose-colored lens nostalgia I had for it while the 18-month pandemic ravaged through the country was brought back to reality (ope, there goes gravity) a tad with some minor annoyances.
Luckily Jungle didn’t shut everything down while the world did. Nearly half of their setlist was composed of tracks from their new album, Loving in Stereo, that I believe was completed during 2020. It makes sense if you think about it, Jungle makes music that keeps us moving, so naturally they themselves don’t stop creating music – hence the name of my favorite new song “Keep Movin’.”
I love Jungle, but the new album felt too familiar to stand out much. One of the biggest complaints I get from people who I introduce to Jungle for the first time is that their songs all sound the same. It’s a tired criticism in the music world, but for Jungle, I can totally see it. Their harmonies are great, but they make it hard for individual tracks to stand out.
Where they succeed with changing it up enough is with “Casio” from their second album, For Ever. The lyrics are sung solo for the verses, while bringing in their trademark harmonies for the chorus. It’s not a significant change, but it’s enough to make the song seem different from the rest – and that’s what I need more from Jungle, variety.
As is always the case, Jungle blend together their funky music with equally appealing visuals. They have a reputation for having incredible music videos with slick production and impressive choreography with a taste for fashion I could only dream of. They made sure to carry all those elements through to the stage. Changing out the interesting multi-light bulb backdrop (a photographer’s nightmare), for a more dynamic lighting design. They have a dope 70s disco vibe with all the golds and reds, it made me want to do cocaine and dance all night. Jungle makes it easy to pull that off by seamlessly rolling from one groove to the next.
The concert experience itself was more of a hassle than I remember. It’s all in the name of safety, but damn was that security line long. Emptying pockets, showing ID to get a wristband to drink, showing vax card to get in, being searching for weapons, it makes for a safer experience when you get in, but just a bummer. Also, getting to the bathroom was a bit rough. The show was sold out, but trying to walk through all those people (most of whom were dancing) was awkward. So, I guess the lesson here is that I can complain about anything. Let’s not leave this review on such a low note.
The highlight of the show was the entire encore, starting with the aforementioned “Casio,” then rolling into their most popular tune (judging by the crowd reaction), “Busy Earnin’” and ending with “Time”. It was an incredible night of dancing with a huge group of people at a sold out show… it’s good to be back.