Friday, December 18, 2009
Mew at the Henry Fonda Theater
Mew put on one of my favorite shows at the Detroit Bar back in September. They didn't get a chance to headline a show in Los Angeles as they had opened for Nine Inch Nails at the Hollywood Palladium a few days prior. This was remedied when they closed out their US tour at the Henry Fonda Theater.
Didn't know too much about The Outline when they appeared on stage. Opening for Mew is a difficult task, but The Outline did give it their best with some post rock tunes featuring various shading with synthesizers. Graham Fink (Vocals/Guitars) was utilizing a Rickenbacker guitar for a shimmery tone that reminded me of a more upbeat version of the Editors. The crowd responded well to their set but I will have to take a listen to their recorded material to form a better opinion.
It was back in April 2007 that I caught Mew at the Henry Fonda Theater. Realizing that it might be another two and a half years before I see Mew again, I fought off my exhaustion from my busy weekend to make it to the Henry Fonda.
After some intro music, the members of Mew took their stations for "Hawaii". The song plays like two Mew songs fused together because when it hits the 2:14 mark, Jonas Bjerre (Vocals/Guitars) kicks his voice into the third dimension for a woozy spoken word chorus backed by lush vocal harmonies. Hearing this live is quite intense.
Mew quickly switched gears to the hard driving "Circuitry of The Wolf" that dissolved into "Chinaberry Tree" as Jonas nailed the high falsetto notes. Bo Madsen (Guitars) seemed to have troubles with his monitors and walked off stage for a bit but quickly came back in with his Fender Telecaster.
Strobe lights flickered intensely with the drum hits of Silas Jorgensen as the unique visual of a cat playing a violin projected on the backdrop during "Am I Wry? No". The theme of songs from their vastly underrated album Frengers continued as they played "156".
The bizarre time signature live wire guitars of "Introducing Palace Players" completely messes with your head in the best way possible. Does one move to the beat of the drums, guitar or bass? They are all doing something different time wise but Mew magically paste it together. "Beach" is dictated and driven by a humming bass line and the hiss of Silas's hi-hat carrying Jonas's vocals into the upper stratosphere.
Jonas would take center stage behind the keyboard for medley of songs that had a majority of the theater in silence. The band would return and I was elated to see Bo grab his Danelectro baritone guitar for a mind blowing extended version of "Special". I never get sick of hearing that song. Their energy on stage did not waver when they followed it up with "The Zookeeper's Boy", "Apocalypso", "Saviours of Jazz Ballet". Could the night get any better?
"Repeaterbeater" kicked off their encore with a strong start but "Snow Brigade" had people leaping off the ground in excitement. "Louise Louisa" ended the evening on a somber note but exhilarating nonetheless. Never hesitate to see Mew live if you have the chance, you will not regret it.