Mitch Rowland sways a younger audience for Free at Noon - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Mitch Rowland Free at Noon - 10.13.2023

It’s unbelievable what a lucky connection and a single phone call can do to change your life forever. For Mitch Rowland, it landed him a musical partnership with global pop star Harry Styles. 

Originally from Columbus Ohio, Rowland moved to LA in 2013 to pursue a career in music and roomed with audio engineer Ryan Nasci. When a session guitarist canceled at the last minute during the recording of Harry Styles first album, Nasci called and asked Rowland to fill in. Despite having no studio experience, Rowland was a natural fit and has been co-writing songs with Styles ever since. 

After years of intense touring, writing, and recording songs with Harry Styles, Mitch Rowland has released his debut solo LP Come June and graciously showcased his tranquil folk pop sounds today at the World Cafe Live free at noon stage. Exhibiting a musing array of dreamy melodies and pop rock, Rowland and his backing band left the afternoon crowd in awe. 

When Rowland performs, it is with visionary passion and otherworldly concentration. His eyes were shut tight while he softly plucked away at acoustic strings, lucid in his own euphonious world. A brilliant lyricist at heart, Rowland’s reflective and alluring words echoed from his gentle voice which created a trancelike atmosphere, especially in songs “Bluebells” and “When It All Falls Down.” Consistently switching from a trio of guitars by his side, a soulful soundscape was superbly assembled between him and his band mates. The highlight of the show, without doubt, was hearing Rowland’s sweetly upbeat hit “Here Comes The Comeback.” This track was originally written to be featured in Harry Styles’ third studio album Harry’s House, but after the piece came into full fruition, it was simply too good to let go of. On stage, Rowland grabbed his shining blue electric guitar and brightened up the audience with this ear candy tune. 

Mitch Rowland | photo by Paige Walter for WXPN

The backing band executed immense musical expertise in Rowland’s mellow compositions. The iconic record producer and musician Rob Schnapf, famous for co-producing Elliot Smith’s albums, was featured playing perplexing solos on his electric guitar. The bassist thudded away on an upright bass with incredible dexterity, keeping a steady melodic rhythm in place. When playing “See The Way You Roll,” he used a bow to perfectly emulate the wistful sounds heard on the studio recording. Sarah Jones (Rowland’s wife and Harry Styles’ drummer) revealed remarkable coordination with booming drum beats. Switching out drum sticks for mallets during “The One I Love” was the key to creating an ultimate haunting folky vibe. Witnessing a stage full of exemplary talent made for such a noteworthy experience. 

Mitch Rowland will be returning to Philadelphia this upcoming March to perform at the Theater of Living Arts. You can listen to his mystifying LP Come June now wherever you stream music. 

Setlist
Oct
13
Mitch Rowland
  • Bluebells
  • See The Way You Roll
  • On The Line
  • When It All Falls Down
  • Here Comes The Comeback
  • The One I Love
  • Shadow Range
  • All The Way Back
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