Nestled in the heart of North Park in San Diego, California lies the North Park Observatory. The restored circa-1939 theater was a surprisingly lively venue with its highly ornate blood red walls. Having lived and covered shows in San Diego for almost 5 years now, I had never ventured into the red-decked cathedral halls that lay the foundation for The Observatory. It was stunning, to say the least. The perfect backdrop for the modern soul musical collective, Jungle.

The band began just after 9:20, which was perfect considering it was a Monday night. The intimate performance started out with a bang, as they began with their classic “Platoon“. All we were missing was the 9-year old breakdancer! The seven-piece band was illuminated by all green lights, suiting their name properly. Next up on the docket was, “Julia“. While The Beatles may still hold the title for the best song named “Julia“, I must say Jungle’s comes in a close second. The two front-men of the band, Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson are able to hit notes your little sister couldn’t even reach on one of her high pitched screaming routines.

After getting the crowd clapping in unison during their fiery single, “Heat“, they slowed it down a bit; dropping an ID track that had everyone in the crowd a bit confused, to be frank. We could really sense the passion coming from every member of the band as they let us know that it was their first time in San Diego. I must say that after seeing Jungle three times now, this was the first solo show of theirs I’d ever seen. With a full set, the band was really able to take their time fading in and out of songs, and even bless us with an encore. Leaving San Diego with an extended version of “Time“, the crowd gave it up for them one last time. Tom dropped to the floor, and the lights immediately went to black.

Shout out to Rudi Salmon, their female vocalist. She literally left me with chills. Go see Jungle!

Go see Jungle!

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