Metro (Chicago, Illinois, December 7th)

On Mew’s latest visit to the States, they made a return to the Windy City. One would think that Mew have grown quite familiar with the frengers of Chicago: this being their fourth show in the city since the No More Stories -era began. These dates consists of two support slots for Nine Inch Nails, the Pitchfork Music Festival last summer and this solo show. The venue chosen for this event was the Metro, a concert hall just down the street from the iconic Wrigley Field (baseball). The smaller size allowed for a more intimate experience, especially with the standing area being particularly wide. The layout along with a balcony allowed for a great opportunity to enjoy the band’s backdrops and lights. There were still a lot of tickets on sale hours before the show, but in the end it looked like it was pretty much sold out (capacity 1100).

All the Day Holiday, the opening band, played an exciting supporting set. Their style could be described as pop punk mixed with a touch of art rock. Mew finally entered to begin the show. Bo Madsen was wearing a stylish grey jacket, Jonas Bjerre a buttoned sweater and Silas Graae had his signature white shirt with black suspenders. There was a balance between the number of songs from each of their last three albums. The set began with a block of four And the Glass Handed Kites -songs. Then it moved on to the usual Frengers -songs. The No More Stories -block began with Introducing Palace Players and went into an explosive Repeaterbeater. During the set, Bo used time between two songs to plug in his support for Barack Obama. He does not understand why the President has only a 50% approval rating when 100% of the girls in Europe would do him (!!!). Jonas also asked the audience if the band Chicago were really from Chicago and the crowd confirmed that they were. They closed their actual set with Snow Brigade. Although there was clapping to the beat at a few points during the show, the energy of the audience was typical of an indie rock concert: only the first few rows responding to the music with the others simply standing and staring. It’s a shame knowing that Mew make their music so exciting and danceable while their audiences tend to be so calm.

The encore was where the variety of Mew’s music really shined. The unexpectedness was cleverly used to take the audience on a roller coaster ride. Apocalypso faded into Saviours of Jazz Ballet, creating an explosive combination. The long version of Beach allowed Bo to show off his guitar skills that needed to be seen to believe. Bamse (also known as Bear) was a very beautiful, yet haunting addition to the show. To the surprise of many, Louise Louisa was the last song, taking the place of the expected Comforting Sounds. The sound quality of the performance was near perfect, with every detail of the instruments being able to be heard clear, especially Bo’s guitar.

Overall, the show was a dream come true for me, and everything I had hoped for.

J.J. Lundy

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Responses

  1. amelia

    i have to admit.. that the first time i saw them in brooklyn i was so nervous to be actually seeing them that i got myself inebriated and hence was too slow to respond (slow sluggish body), AND i was soooo spellbound and shocked that i was ACTUALLY hearing/seeing them live that i was just still as a statue in awe.. frozen, paralysed in adoration

    but then the second time i got to see them i deliberately stood up closer and made sure i wasn’t inebriated this time… and even though i’m not the dancing type i found it was easier not to be so shocked.

    But really, the first time i saw them it was just so shockingly good that i was frozen as a result.. ;-o

  2. Detkanin

    Cold it be, that Comforting Sounds is not that well known in the US. It seems to me that the songs from Frengers are not as popular as the songs from Kites…. Maybe they are just tired of Comforting sounds now 😛

  3. J.J. Lundy

    Louise Louisa Really gave the ending a whole different feel because near the end of the song, the members of the band walked off the stage while the song was still playing! I believe Bo was first to say goodbye, then Silas, and so on. Dr. Watts was the last one to leave the stage. I could imagine how different it must have been from comforting sounds where the end basically explodes. Louise Louisa is much more calm at the end, which was different, but still very Mew.

  4. Eric

    I had a blast at the show. Stood with friends in the middle about 30 feet from the stage. The sound was excellent and far superior to Pitchfork.

    I admit that I was “frozen” at Pitchfork since it was a dream coming true to see them after 4 years of being a fan. Seeing them again only months later was great, especially with the projector visuals to provide the full experience. I drove three hours there and then three hours back on a school night. I was groggy the next morning but it was definitely worth the trip.

    Louisa ending was an unexpected conclusion, but Jonas was so spot-on I couldn’t complain. Best concert I’ve seen in years.

  5. GG

    They used to play Comforting Sounds in the states and truthfully, they played it at my previous two shows and didn’t play it at the last show in NYC. I think they are just mixing up the set list, which is always good. Frengers is very popular here though. As for Bo’s comments about the Prez of the US, he’s too cute with his love for our commander and chief. Bo Rocks!

  6. GG

    …oh, and the shows I went to, the crowd was pretty excited. The shows in Philly on Nov 30th and Dec 4th in NYC were amazing and the crowd was very interactive. Even more so in NYC. I think some times audiences vary from place to place, but the shows I’ve been to, the audiences were very receptive and very excited.