KjEE’s Summer Round-Up

Dante Elephante, Law, Awolnation, Cold War Kids, and Dirty Heads Shared the Bowl Stage

Paul Wellman

At KjEE’s annual Summer Round-Up, rock lovers immersed themselves in a night of drum-and-guitar-boosted sets by Dante Elephante, Law, Awolnation, Cold War Kids, and Dirty Heads. Santa Barbara indie legend Dante Elephante opened with a dreamily composed set highlighted by woozy guitar strums. Next up was Law, whose lead singer, Jakob Nowell, showcased his lilting falsettos. The punk-rock elements of its set got the audience on their feet, with some joining in the music by playing air guitar.

Alt-rock band Awolnation had an energetic stage presence that included electrifying guitar solos. Lead singer Aaron Bruno repeatedly asked the crowd, “Are you comfortable with who you are?,” encouraging attendees to ditch insecurities and freely express their feelings for the live music. During the harmonious performance of the band’s hit “Sail,” which gained prominence in the electronic-dance genre, most concertgoers raised their phones to capture the moment.

Cold War Kids were hypnotic as they trotted out their hits “Hang Me Up to Dry” and “First.” The instrumental arrangements from the band’s latest album, L.A. Divine, embraced soul-induced rhythms, exemplified by the jam “Love Is Mystical.” Lead vocalist Nathan Willett exclaimed his gratitude for playing at the Bowl, saying, “We can’t wait to perform here and actually play a full set at this beautiful venue.”

Strobe lights and the roar of the audience accompanied the energetic spirit of reggae performers Dirty Heads, who offered a smorgasbord of eclectic sounds, from rap-leaning lyricism to rock delights that kept the crowd headbanging until the last minutes of the show.