Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
A few weeks ago The Acoustic, in Bridgeport, CT, had a free night of local music, with four bands from Connecticut filling a jam packed bill. By midway through the evening, The Acoustic was pretty jam packed, as well.
One of the highlights of the night was Waterbury-based band Mandala. The five piece rock band led off the evening by performing their entire sophomore release, Cash For Smiles, winning over the crowd in the process.
What about the band won us all over? Check out these three reasons why you should see Mandala live.
1. Lead singer Morgan Fasanelli has great voice with a classic feel
Donning a flannel shirt, ripped jeans, and glasses, Mandala lead singer Morgan Fasanelli presented a Edie Brickell meets Janis Joplin aesthetic, and the visual was a fitting one, as Fasanelli’s voice is equal parts soulful, and old school rock ’n’ roll. This gives the band’s music a classic vibe, while still enabling them to embrace a modern ethos.
By the end of their set I wanted to hear a whole lot more from Fasanelli and the rest of the band.
2. There’s a little something for everyone who loves rock music
Mandala’s set was a mix of modern rock, pop-rock, classic rock, and even a little ska (at least for part of one song).
If rock music were a tree, Mandala seem to have a goal of climbing out on every branch possible.
For many bands, this might make a set sound a bit disjointed, but Fasanelli’s vocals are so consistent that they act as a thread that holds everything together.
Plus, being a real rock band, Mandala had guitar solos! Their songs weren’t just simple verse-chorus-verse deals. Instead, the band improvised, and had some fun.
Fun is good. Rock ’n’ roll is good. Mandala are good.
3. The band sticks around after their set
Some bands disappear immediately after their set (nobody likes those type of bands). Some bands stick around to meet with fans and take photos with them (everybody likes those type of bands). Mandala stuck around to hang out with their fans AND to check out all the other bands, as rhythm guitarist/vocalist Abe Azab could be seen in the crowd throughout the night taking photos and showing support. Personally, I think that’s pretty awesome.
So if you go to see Mandala, chances are not only will you have a good time, but they can probably also tell you about some other great bands to check out.
Mutual support is a beautiful thing!
To find out when, and where, Mandala will be performing next, check out their Facebook page for show dates.