At last year’s NonCOMM Music Meeting, Songline’s Sean Coakley played a new track that turned out to be “Hold On To Me” by Mondo Cozmo — the west coast band of Bucks County native Josh Ostrander. It was well received by the usually critical crowd, with XPN Morning Show host Kristen Kurtis declaring Cozmo one of her favorite bands. A year and many radio plays later, Ostrander and his five bandmates filled the downstairs stage at World Cafe Live with an intoxicating string of rock songs.
Introduced by Comcast Sportsnet’s Reuben Frank, the band launched into a sparkling style of arena rock with “Chemical Dream” and never looked back. The wall of sound was thundering and relentless, but well-crafted synth lines cut through the heaviness to add a euphoric, cinematic quality across the set. A space-y noise interlude led into “Higher” with its prominent syncopation – a perfect pairing with the staccato, Berlin dancehall-like beats of “Automatic.”
Along with many members of the music community, Ostrander was hit hard this morning by the sudden death of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. Before dropping into the sample driven “Hold On To Me,” he sung a few lines of “Fell On Black Days” from the grunge pioneers’ Superunknown. The frontman also paid tribute to his father listening over the radio, encouraging the crowd to give some “hip hip hoorays” for his pops. Closing with mega hit “Shine,” Ostrander praised public radio saying he wouldn’t be on this stage without their support.
Mondo Cozmo returns to the area for Firefly Festival in Dover, DE this summer.
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