Saturday night brought jungle fever to The Independent, with Jungle and Beat Connection performing for a packed house. Seattle’s Beat Connection seemed very excited to open for Jungle on their West Coast tour. The sold out show began around 9:30, as Beat Connection got things moving with a bright and polished set. The band will release a follow-up to 2012’s The Palace Garden later this year. Between sets, Justin Milla occupied the DJ booth with Fleetwood Mac disco edits and other surprises.
Hailing from London, Jungle was one of this year’s must-see acts at SXSW. Since none of the actual music-makers appear in Jungle’s main promo shots, nobody really knew what the band looked like. While some may have been surprised to see that the funky act is fronted by two fair-skinned young men, the band’s talent is never called into question. Seeming to come out of nowhere with their bona fide dance-floor jams, the synth-playing pair were joined by a guitar player, drummer, and backup vocalist.
Nothing too flashy on stage besides The Independent’s lighting rig, except for maybe the frontman’s bright yellow shaker and the drummer’s glass bottle chimes. Jungle was stoked to be in San Francisco, with the synth/bass player thanking the crowd and yelling something in his thick accent about buying skateboards. They appeared to be having as much fun on stage as we were on the floor.
The attractive crowd couldn’t keep still for full-bodied singles like “Busy Earnin'”, working up a sweat to the red and blue sirens on “The Heat”. While the act only has about six tracks released thus far, Jungle offered a taste of new material from its upcoming full-length, including their new single “Time”. Ending on a high note during their encore with “Platoon”, Jungle proved that their live sound indeed lives up to the quality of their studio recordings.