10. Mondo Cozmo
Los Angeles’ Mondo Cozmo should be on everyone’s radar, if only because of his presence on nearly every festival bill you’ll see this summer. He’s down there in the small fonts, likely holding down an early set. The modern troubadour’s show is definitely worth getting on site early for, though, as his easy, pleasing rock was a great way to kick off the final day of a long fest.
Josh Ostrander spent years cutting his teeth in Eastern Conference Champions, so it’s not too surprising that so “new” an act has such confidence on stage. Even so, he’s clearly enjoying this Mondo persona, his sturdy voice and stage-devouring energy filled with pride in his show. It’s evident how much he’s learned from the Bruce Springsteens of the world, like on “Plastic Soul”, a slow burner that started with him at the mic before he slung on a guitar for the blazing outro. (There’s also that line, “Tramps like us, baby we were born to die” from “Future Bends”.) His cover of “Bittersweet Symphony” also made perfect sense, but he wasn’t just harping on other people’s tricks. Songs like “Higher” and “Automatic” easily drew in the crowd, and just wait until he gets bigger as the summer progresses — that closer of “Shine” is just gonna sound better and better the more people in the crowd are belting along. –Ben Kaye