Elsinore and Cameron McGill at Cowboy Monkey

It was a hoppin’ night at Cowboy Monkey last night, with the bar being unusually crowded and energetic despite the enticing shows at Mike ‘n Molly’s and the Highdive. But with a surprise set from Elsinore opening for Cameron McGill and What Army’s concluding show of their May tour with Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, the thick crowd was justified and the Monkey enjoyed a pleasant night of booming business and great music.
Elsinore began the night with their high-energy song, “The General” and kept the energy up all the way until Cameron McGill’s turn on stage. Ryan Groff’s voice soared through the well-crafted chorus of “Chemicals” and “The Long Run,” from the band’s first effort, Nothing for Design. Groff dedicated the full-band version of “Wooden Houses” to “those who love love,” and the full instrumentation proved the album take something to look forward to after the release of the solo acoustic piano version on The General EP. The band closed with the marvelously written “Landlocked,” “an opus of two parts” that ended Elsinore’s set with passionate melody, sincere lyrics to us Midwesterners, and a great outro of noise and emotion.
Next up was historically-persevering Cameron McGill and What Army, leaving the Cowboy Monkey crowd in military jackets, ponchos, and weathered army boots for the readied stage. Playing songs mostly off of their upcoming record, the band established their musical maturity regardless of their self-conscious gimmicky image. With consistently thick instrumentation of catchy piano riffs, haphazard harmonica injections, and twangy acoustic guitar, Cameron McGill and What Army knew exactly what they wanted to sound like, colorfully decorating their well-written folk tunes. With excellent vocal harmonies and a unique kind of energy on stage, the group sold their upcoming album to the crowd, asserting their indie-pop prowess while still establishing their own unique identity.

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