Story and Photos by Natalie Silva
Illiterate Light, an alternative rock duo comprised of Jeff Gorman (lead singer and guitarist) and Jake Cochran (drummer and backup singer), captivated the audience with their high-energy performance and virtuosity, building the excitement for headliner Mo Lowda & the Humble at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night. Although Illiterate Light’s newest album, Sunburned draws listeners in with its mellow charm, their set Saturday night was far from boring. Air drums and head nods filled the crowd as the band teased the audience with just the right amount of suspense before jumping—literally—into the rock and roll that lured hundreds of people to gather at this concert with friends, family, and strangers alike. Illiterate Light gained new fans with each guttural scream, tasteful harmony, and jaw-dropping instrumental break. Crowd interaction kept people on their toes, and when they finished the set with “Better Than I Used To,” it was clear that the duo had gained an increased respect for their craft.
Mo Lowda & the Humble took the stage shortly after. Hailing from Philadelphia, Jordan Caiola, Shane Woods, Jeff Lucci, and Kirby Sybert proved that a long history of friendship and a dash of charisma serves as the perfect glue for a band of talented musicians. Mo Lowda & the Humble opened their set with powerful vocals and an air of confidence in their talent. Each member held their ground as they drummed up anticipation for crowd favorites, though from observation, every song seemed to be a crowd favorite. Dancing and singing were at their height during “Curse the Weather” and “Power Trip,” with the encore of “Whitetails” and “Standing in Place” rounding out their fast-paced but fulfilling set. Jordan’s witty banter was sharply contrasted by his unique vocal tone that, combined with vocal and instrumental support from the band, conveyed a sense of urgency to really listen, and left the audience in a trance. In particular, the closing line of “Sleeves” seemed to hang in the air for a moment as people fully took in the haunting harmony. All in all, it was clear that Mo Lowda and the Humble’s performance this weekend was the place to be for indie rock lovers across Chicago. “If you come back, we’ll come back,” were Jordan’s words, and with the positive chatter that could be heard before, during, and after the show, people will most definitely come back.
Natalie with Mo Lowda & The Humble
Before the show I was able to sit down with the members of Mo Lowda & the Humble to discuss a bit more about the band, and how you can start listening to their music. While all members seemed to have their own preferred subgenres and distinct music tastes, Jordan agreed that iconic albums such as Radiohead’s “In Rainbows,” and artists such as My Morning Jacket both play a large role in generating musical influence for the band. With their favorite concerts ranging from Neil Young to Father John Misty, there’s no question that the band has an appreciation for different types of artistry as well as a consideration for the atmosphere that can make or break a concert. If you’re listening to Mo Lowda for the first time, Jordan and the band agreed that “Beachtown,” off of their recently released self-titled album, gives listeners the best feel for the band’s sound, with “Coast is Waiting” coming in at a close second. My personal Mo Lowda favorites include “Before Noon” and “Pearls” off of their 2020 album “Ready Coat,” which begs to be played in the summertime on a long car ride down Lake Shore Drive. If these aren’t your vibe, their three other records and a live album will give you plenty of other choices, and I have no doubt that everyone will find a song that strikes their fancy. While it seems right to give a huge thanks to the band for sharing their time with me, I think I have to give the thanks instead to Jordan’s dad, and his insistence that Jordan keep the guitar he got for Christmas as a kid. I’m sorry that you didn’t get the motorbike you wanted, Jordan, but I’m not sad that the alternative was getting to hear and talk to Mo Lowda & the Humble.