• Review

Show Review: Mom Jeans at Bogart's

Photo Cred: Jared Bowers

Until last year’s Sad Summer Fest, I was unaware of how popular Mom Jeans really was. Even now, as they were playing to a sold out crowd, I was genuinely, pleasantly surprised. Maybe it's their earnestness, it could be the general sense goofballery, or perhaps it’s that they’re good enough at what they do to know it, but still not take themselves too seriously. I imagine, like all good things, it’s a little bit of all of that, and likely more.

 Headlining a national tour is no easy feat, selling out shows in spaces the size of Bogart’s? Doubly so. Mom Jeans is making it happen across the country with elf ears, singalongs, and poppy, quirky emo emo-tinged jams for everyone.


For Cincinnati’s date, Columbus’ own Palette Knife joined the fun and got the night off to a ripper of a start. They occupy a sonic space very much in the “This is aimed squarely at me and me alone” category of musical stylings. Time changes, finger tapping, mathy emo leanings, and keyboards. I was excited to catch them live and felt a bit of shame at not having the pleasure of doing so before - I can’t wait until they’re back in town and will be dragging friends along with me to check them out.


Hunny followed a mere 15 minutes after Palette Knife’s set ended. Punk rock vibes, not punk rock times. A super fun trio playing emotive and poppy emo-esque tunes with a ton of energy and great stage presence - really everything you could want in an opener, and a band that feels like they have a ton of potential yet untapped. Also, kudos to their bassist for really going full Elf - there was Big Elf Energy coming from that side of the stage - and committing to the bit. Oh, you probably don’t know that a lot of fans at last night’s show dressed up in Dungeons & Dragons costumes. Because they did, and it was awesome.


Summer Salt was the big surprise of the night for me. While still musically in line with the other bands on the bill, they were certainly the most chill and vibey, and were on the quiet side compared to everyone else. As direct support, it wasn’t quite counterprogramming, but it offered enough of a change of pace to play into Mom Jeans moderate sense of chaos and give them a bit more space to let their weirdo flags fly. I was really into what they were doing as an unassuming, sort of California Surfer overtones with indie and pop undertones - it was airy without feeling slight, which is a hell of a balancing act to pull off.


Closing out the night - as headliners are wont to do, I suppose - Mom Jeans jumped right into it. A bare bones stage setup that I appreciated immensely, house lighting (thank you!), and a sense that they were exactly where they belonged doing exactly what they were meant to be doing that was palpable, these things a Mom Jeans make. Their particular brand of heart on their sleeve, dorky, almost comically earnest blend of emo and pop has absolutely wormed its way into the ears and hearts of a lot more people than I realized, and I couldn’t love that more for them. They’re a fun, sincere, goofy, and good band. It would be one thing if they were only some of those things, but what they’ve been able to bring to life in less than 10 years is pretty remarkable. A headlining tour across the country in 2024 with dates selling out more often than not? Legitimate cause for celebration. The crowd was 100% in the mood to celebrate with them last night. I’m really, really glad I got to see it happen.

Mom Jeans

Open Album