Before even stepping on stage, Anthony Watkins II moves like a wild-eyed cat, and if you’ve got your own eye on him, you know the night is about to take off. As the lights dim to blue you notice a strange screen to the left of the stage announcing the band’s name: Mobley. The screen changes to black and white images, but you’re no longer paying attention to it, because at this point the beat kicks in and moves your head, heart, and body simultaneously. In the words of Douglas Adams, “resistance is useless.”
Mobley’s performance at Mango’s on Friday, August 20 was easily the best show I’ve seen at that venue—and as a crazy bonus, it was FREE. Four or five other acts performed that night, but not only did I forget all of them; I would have paid to see just Mobley, because they absolutely killed it. From opener “Hard Times” through epic closer “Ego is,” Anthony and crew kept the intensity at fever-pitch. They played almost every single track from their latest album Cold War Cold, plus a track that would make even the most devout head-nodding hipster ashamed not to dance: “The Editor (Cutting Room Floor).” Watkins’ voice rising above the funky bass grooves created an otherworldly sound with a life all its own, while bassist Tim Shelburne Jr. (who started off the set with a keytar) and percussionist Sergio Trejos also demonstrated their amazing talent, bringing the beats and maintaining the dynamic intensity of their energetic frontman.
Originally from North Carolina, songwriter Anthony Watkins II has since relocated to Austin, and Texas has welcomed the band with open arms. Watching Mobley perform live is an absolute thrill not to be missed. Anyone still in doubt needs to head over to their website—if you’re not hooked in less than 30 seconds, maybe you need to stick to Top 40 radio, because this band is one of the most original and inspiring groups performing in today’s indie scene.