Boone Favorites The Mantras Return to Boone Saloon on Wednesday, April 20

Published Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

By Bailey Faulkner

Watch out Boone — Greensboro’s “six-piece jam machine” The Mantras will break out the grooves at Boone Saloon on Wednesday, April 20. The Boone regulars have played to a packed Boone Saloon numerous times over the years.

The genre-melting band is made of:

Keith Allen    (guitar, vocals)

Justin Loew  (drums)

Kenn Mogel   (guitar, vocals)

Brian Tyndall (bass, vocals)

Brent Vaughn (percussion, vocals)

Julian Sizemore (keyboards)

The Mantras

The band got its start when several original members met through UNC Greensboro’s music school. In the band’s early days as “Marcus and the Mantras,” the name “Mantras” reflected the Eastern influences in the band’s lyrics and sounds.

Over time, the name transformed to “a mantra about how we live our lives — always focusing on music,” Sizemore said.

The Mantras Live

The Mantras/facebook.com

The Mantras, better described as a “family of rock” than a musical group, have now been “conquering crowds and melting minds all over the country progressively for 10 years.” In that time, the band has shared the stage with Umphrey’s McGee, The String Cheese Incident, Tea Leaf Green, Perpetual Groove and many others.

Describing The Mantras’ sound is difficult to say the least.

“There’s a lot going on. We go everywhere,” Sizemore said.

If he had to describe the band’s sound concisely, Sizemore said he’d probably call it “progressive jam.”

Perhaps the most defining feature of The Mantras is the sense of closeness both within the band and between the musicians and audience members. The band’s dueling lead guitars, heavy-hitting bass lines, screaming synthesizers, perfectly-blended dual percussion section and complete projected light show never fail to entrance audiences.

As a testament to the band’s intimate relationship to its fans, The Mantras were able to secure $10,000 in 2014 through crowd sourcing to record a new album.

In true jam band fashion, The Mantras always include something unique and original in every set, so you never know what will happen when the band takes the stage!

The Mantras are continuing to expand their fanbase every year. In 2013 alone, the band played over 180 shows. The next year, The Mantras ended their tour at Mantrabash, a popular music and arts festival located in Ferguson, North Carolina. Along with Jake’s Billiards, the band presented Mantrabash to over 1,000 excited fans during Labor Day weekend at the High Country Motorcycle Camp.

Playing last year’s Mantrabash was one of the band’s most fulfilling experiences to date. The Mantras had the unique and unforgettable opportunity to perform with Bernie Worrell, legendary keyboardist and founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic. Sizemore was humbled to play the keys alongside one of his biggest idols.

“We were in the same little world. There was a real authenticity to his playing,” Sizemore said.

The Mantras keyboardist places this at the top of his list of highlights in his musical career.

Unfortunately, Mantrabash will not be held this year. However, the event’s Facebook page promises a strong return in 2017. It will surely be another must-see show for festivalgoers.

Playing with Worrell was just another notch in The Mantras’ belt. In July, the band played an after-party in Chicago during the Grateful Dead’s “Fare Thee Well” event. Realizing an irresistible opportunity when they see one, the members were delighted to check out the Grateful Dead on the last day of its three-day farewell event.

Now, the band is working on the final steps of an upcoming studio album. The group hopes to release the album in the coming months. In the meantime, the band will continue to live by its mantra — keep playing music.

The Mantras are currently touring the East Coast. You can check out the band’s tour schedule here.

If you really like the band and want to get free tickets to shows, you can join “The Mantourage,” The Mantras’ street team. The band rewards loyal street team members with free tickets for spreading the word about upcoming shows and events.

Boone Saloon

The Mantras’ show at Boone Saloon will start at around 10 p.m. and will be 21 and up. The cover charge for the show will be $15 — that’s not bad considering The Mantras’ popularity!

“Boone has always been one of the best spots for The Mantras,” Sizemore said. “There’s a spirit about the town that is into what we do.”

If you want to stay informed about the band’s upcoming shows, events and releases, you should check out The Mantras’ website or Facebook page. You can also listen to the band’s music on its Bandcamp page. The band uses the site to post recordings from every live show it plays.

If you’ve never watched The Mantras perform, Boone Saloon’s April 20 show is the perfect opportunity to see what they’re all about. If you already love the band, you probably don’t need me to convince you to go!

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