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Mitch Rowland wows crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Khushi Gupta

Indie folk artist Mitch Rowland played at the Music Hall of Williamsburg just hours before his musical performance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on March 13. Rowland was in New York City on tour, promoting his debut solo album “Come June.” The multi-instrumentalist, best known for being the lead guitarist in Harry Styles’ Love on Tour band and a major contributor to the English singer’s albums, released “Come June” last October.

Alongside his band, Rowland took to the stage in the intimate Brooklyn venue following two openers and effortlessly captivated concertgoers with a powerful performance. The show opened with performances by Butch Bastard, a close friend of Rowland’s who was invited for a partial run of the tour. The artist entertained the crowd with songs like “Las Vegas Salvation” and “I Am Not a Man.”

Bastard’s act was followed by the singing duo Harris Harper and CJ Harper, children of the versatile musician Ben Harper. The Harper family kept the audience tuned in with their dulcet tones and strong instrumental accompaniment. Harris played stripped-down versions of her songs on her guitar with her brother CJ on keys and backing vocals.

Rowland and his wife Sarah Jones, a talented musician, were spotted showing their support for both opening acts from the upper balcony.

Rowland’s alternative folk followed the same vein of musicality as his openers, creating a seamless transition between sets. The show featured all 12 songs from Rowland’s debut along with a new unreleased song and an encore performance of “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’” by The Velvet Underground.

Straying from the original order established in the album’s track listing, Rowland switched up the sequence. He also shared anecdotes about the making of tracks in between songs. Each song highlighted the detailed instrumentation behind each track and cast a spotlight on the talented performers part of the band.

The band itself is minimal, with producer Rob Schnapf on guitar, Jones on drums, Matt Schuessler on upright bass and another member on keys.

A variety of instruments like the cello and a lap steel guitar were played by the band resulting in rounds of applause from the audience.

Fans related better to the music live, as the instruments added to the intimate and close feeling that Rowland’s music brings.

Rowland told a few anecdotes about the making of the album, sharing with the audience a funny story about the song, “When It All Falls Down.” Rowland recalled sitting on the couch of his in-law’s house and watching a UFC fight on the television which inspired him to write the ballad.

Fans were overjoyed to be able to clearly hear Rowland and Jones’ vocals; they provided backup vocals for Styles but often got lost in the medley of voices. The crowd of both Rowland and Styles fans were easily swayed, reveling in the relaxing atmosphere filled with laughter and powerful music.

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