Although the band’s biggest hit yet (it reached no. 11 on Billboard’s alternative chart) is called “San Francisco,” The Mowgli’s frontman, Colin Dieden, says his heart belongs to Kansas City. Dieden, who grew up in Overland Park, reps his roots every chance he gets, often sporting a KC, Kansas Jayhawks or Royals shirt when the band performs at major festivals such as Austin’s SXSW and Chicago’s Lollapalooza or as the musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Tonight Show.
Although the band is based in California, Dieden comes back to KC every chance he gets to “slow down and pretend [he’s] a normal guy who isn’t in a band.” There was no escaping the spotlight on one recent trip home though, when The Mowgli’s packed the Power & Light District as the headline act at a St. Patrick’s Day show. The same week, they gave a free pop-up concert on the Plaza to raise funds and collect goods for local diaper bank Happy Bottoms.
The band will take a break from touring when it heads back to the recording studio in May—and there may well be some surprises on its next release. “I’m trying to write for and explore different genres of music,” Dieden says. “I just want to become the best writer I can be.”
Bringing the story of Dracula to the stage in a gripping performance is just one of the ways the Kansas City Ballet’s new artistic director is making his mark on the venerable institution. Carney also plans to form a second company to create opportunities that will attract more young talent to KCB and serve as ambassadors that will keep the arts organization in the public eye.