The small indoor stage at Mohawk would be crowded with four people on it. With seven people, it is jam-packed. But Mighty Mountain uses every inch of the stage to deliver a memorable show. The band’s catchy music and enchanting stage presence helped it garner the reputation as one of Austin’s up-and-coming indie rock bands.
Formed just a little more than a year ago, the band mixes orchestral elements, provided by Jodi Lang on cello and Alejandra Cardenas on violin, with rock ’n’ roll. Mighty Mountain wants to use its music to bring people together and lift them spiritually. They won’t be found holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” although ukulele player John Edwards jokes about writing a cover of it. Mighty Mountain isn’t a Christian, or even a religious, band. Rather, they believe that everyone could benefit from some positive thinking and encouragement.
As Jonathan Horstmann, lead singer and bassist, rips into the first song of the set with a leap and a howl, every member of Mighty Mountain starts moving and they don’t stop until the last note. Horstmann speaks directly to the audience in a speech that is half motivational and half call-to-action. The moment he finishes, the crowd begins to cheer but is cut off by the band immediately resuming the vigorous pace of their show.
“You don’t really come to watch a Mighty Mountain show, you come to be a part of it,” Edwards said. “You’re not separate from it, you’re involved. It’s unique and you’re feeling the music in your bones, heart and soul.”
During the show, as confetti cannons explode and a bubble machine adds to the atmosphere, the band inspires the audience to move. Horstmann, jumping around far more than seems possible on such a small stage, constantly brings the head of his bass within inches of Cardenas’ head, but she doesn’t so much as flinch as she plays her violin and dances.
“You go to our shows and see these big frat dudes with their arms out and eyes closed, just really into it and you know that we’re doing something special here,” Horstmann said. “People know that they will meet great people at our shows.”
For the band, the music is about bringing their own passions to the next level, and inspiring others to do the same.
“It’s better to be broke and be doing something that you love, and that goes for anything,” Horstmann said.
At the end of the day, the band just wants everyone to have a good time.
“Come see us if you’ve had a bad day,” Horstmann said. “If people want to have a good time and feel better about their lives and just want to see a great show, we don’t hold back.”