Mighty Oaks played a show in Vienna with the support of Jackson Dyer.
Seen on: 18.2.2020
I saw the Mighty Oaks a few years ago at the Frequency Festival before I even really knew them and enjoyed them then, but it took me another few years to really start listening to them some more. But now the timing was just right: I listened to them a lot, they just released a new album and I was ready to see them again. And it was a wonderful concert.
Jackson Dyer came along as the supporting act. I’d only listened to him a little before the concert. His music is pretty calm. He was alone on stage with his guitar, further cementing the relaxed nature of his songs. Unfortunately the audience was incredibly inattentive. I have never seen an audience talk so much during a performance on stage. Even when Dyer was just talking between songs, I had sometimes trouble understanding him. It made me very uneasy because I found it so disrespectful. And I don’t get it – his music maybe isn’t quite there yet, but it’s really nice and worth listening to (only his Aretha Franklin cover was a little difficult – mostly because it is a song I don’t think many people know and if you do cover versions, it’s probably best to tap into the sing-along potential).
Fortunately the audience pulled itself together for the Mighty Oaks (even though there was dude behind me who had to emphasize every few minutes how long he has known them and how often he has been to their shows already, which was slightly annoying). They had a very simple, but very clever stage design with a big LED sculpture of the letters M and O at the back of the stage, that changed its light according to the song and looked really cool.
Their setlist was a nice mix of old and new stuff – with an emphasis on the new album, of course. It was also a well-paced collection that nicely switched between tempos. To my surprise they played my favorite of their songs, Howl, which is from their first album and never was a single and is pretty calm, so I didn’t think it would make the cut for a concert, but it did and I was absolutely happy with that.
Even with a lot of the new songs, people were singing along a lot and the entire band, but especially singer Ian Hooper, encouraged that singing and generally interacted very nicely with the audience. At one point, Hooper even jumped off stage and went for a little walk through the audience, later thanking us for letting him feel like a rockstar which I found pretty cute and just charming enough to not come across as gimmicky.
The band ended with an encore that included an acoustic version of just the three guys and their guitars singing Aileen, which was very beautiful. Altogether it was a great concert and I immediately started listening to their music again as I left the concert venue. That’s what I like.