Author: Frengers


Helsinki, Finland (December 7, 2017)

When Mew announced their Scandinavian tour, they took the geography of Scandinavia pretty seriously as initially Finland didn’t have a tour date. As Mew are known to be big fans of Finland, this was a bit of a shock at first. In 2014 Mew played their first show after Johan Wohlert’s return in Finland, and throughout the years there’s been tour starts and closings here, so it was only fitting the Visuals world tour would end in Helsinki on December 7th. Fear Me, December.

The Circus, where they also played their previous headliner in Finland in 2015, was almost sold out and you could feel the excited buzz of the last date of the tour. This venue sets an excellent frame for Mew’s visuals that once again were stunning. Like most 2017 shows, this too started with In A Better Place which shifted to Special, getting the more old school fans on their dancing feet too. No matter how often I hear The Zookeeper’s Boy live it always gives me shivers. The ending of it created the first magical moment of the night, getting everyone spellbound by Jonas Bjerre, Dr. Nick Watts, and Johan’s polyphonic harmonies.

It was Finland’s 100th Independence Day the day prior to the show. After Jonas’ congratulatory speech and remarks of our difficult language (says a Dane), they sent us to a bit more upbeat, rockier bit of the show with Satellites. During this part we saw the audience go crazy with hits like Snow Brigade and Introducing Palace Players. Especially Apocalypso’s wolf background visuals deserve to be mentioned as they worked perfectly with the song. After Twist Quest we were treated with a rare gem. In the ten shows I’ve seen Mew play, I’ve never heard them play Start and as I like to keep the setlists, a surprise I didn’t know they’d played it in (for example) Poland too. I was ecstatic. No More Stories EP’s B-sides are all my favourite and hearing Jonas and Mads Wegner do Start this many years after the EP was pure magic. This was followed by Water Slides, always guaranteed to be emotional – I had to blink back a few tears.

After Carry Me To Safety and overwhelming “We Want More!” chants, Nothingness and No Regrets, one of the more straightforward songs, started the encore. For the most of the show, a man standing before me would yell “Play Am I Wry!” every two songs and his wait was rewarded – as anyone who’s attended a Mew shows knew it would be. Am I Wry? No’s diamond ring-themed visuals were my favourite of the night, beautiful and simple.

After 156’s emotional dance party, we faced second huge surprise of the night when Jonas said it was “the time of the year for this”. It’d been years since I’d last heard the emotional She Came Home For Christmas live and it got not just me but everyone around me holding back tears – or not holding back and just sobbing. After Comforting Sounds, everyone around me were smiling and wiping their eyes. Their music means a world of different things to everyone but the outcome is the same: we all leave a Mew show with a smile and at least a figurative tear in our eye.

Text: Meri Jaakola
Photos: Marie Cover
Photo Gallery

Setlist: The Circus (Helsinki, Finland)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Twist Quest / Start / Water Slides / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / She Came Home For Christmas / Comforting Sounds

Sep 18

Live: Capitol

Perth, WA, Australia (September 13, 2017)

Hidden away in one of the most isolated cities in the world meanders a handful of creatures known as Frengers. Wandering the landscape of Mewstralia, these Frengers have listened to Mew’s otherworldly sounds for some decades, their hearts and minds fluttering to the sounds of their ephemeral orchestration. For myself, growing up with Mew’s music provided a sanctuary in a world mixed with chaotic and daunting moments. Escaped to a dreamy realm of abstract lyrics and peculiar arrangements, our souls found warmth in the songs that told us there are hidden magics in the world.

On June 28 it was announced that Mew would be making their first ever visit to our sleepy town of cranes, black swans and million dollar cactuses. And I swear, the sky glowed with the illumination of our happy little hearts when we read the news. But a tiny drop in the ocean, Mew graced us here in Perth on September 13 with their presence at the cozy Capitol Amphitheatre. With our entry stamp of Rick Sanchez proudly inked on our arms, we entered the venue.

Before the show I hadn’t listened to much of Melbourne’s Closure in Moscow, who opened for Mew for their last stop in Australia. I was caught by surprise by their infectiously catchy rock tunes which went straight in the bloodstream in electric thumps and out in head bangs. Digital rain poured down on the band from the screen above, as the changing lights changed the hues of the roses on lead singer Christopher’s sweater – a trippy touch to the spasmodic hits of energy. Possessed by the punchy riffs and grooves the band and crowd hyped up, closing with Happy Days. I can safely say I’ll be looking to these guys and their self-described ‘cheeky bangers’ to conjure boosts of energy and endorphin hits with their instantaneous, attention-thieving explosions.

A swift transition between sets and Mew entered the room to a buzzing crowd overwhelmed with anticipation. Mew kicked off the set with In A Better Place from their latest album Visuals, to a crowd freckled with smiling faces. We were quickly captured in a trance as the melodies unfolded before us, and we embodied the beats of Silas Graae’s intricate drumming, the alluring riffs of Mads Wegner and Johan Wohlert, the magical chords from Dr. Watts, and Jonas Bjerre’s ethereal vocals. For many of us, having listened to Mew only through videos and albums, hearing Jonas’s unique live vocals only amplified the surreal experience.

Special rolled into The Zookeeper’s Boy as giraffes of light played across the screen, and the elation was floating like waves through the dancing crowd. The glittering ambiance of Satellites rippled across the room as a breath of realisation was taken, our feet resting still for a moment. Dazed, we drifted further into transfixion, to a landscape effervescent with wonder, and how special it was. The heavy bass line crept out of Mads’ guitar with the cinematic-vibed Candy Pieces All Smeared Out. With our energies still soaring, we jumped back to 2009 with Introducing Palace Players, and the intoxicating thrills of Snow Brigade. The familiar visuals of dancing kaleidoscope creatures next lead us deeper into Mew’s dreamscape with Twist Quest, followed by a thunderstorm of strobe lights as the nostalgia kicked back in with Apocalypso.

Afloat clouds of ecstasy, our adoration-invoked delirium was gently grounded with the defiantly serene ballad of Saviours of Jazz Ballet, before the comforting closure of Carry Me To Safety. It was very hard not to cry during this one, alas I didn’t end up a blubbering mess alike that of Mew’s visit to Australia’s east coast in 2015! By the end of the show our endorphins flew high with And the Glass Handed Kites as we sang out to the hopefulness of Nothingness and No Regrets, Am I Wry? No, the forever mysterious 156 and violin-playing cats of Comforting Sounds.

It’s a really special thing to see a reverie projected in the mind bloom in the physical world before you. Tonight our molecules danced and sung and blissed-out on the golden melodies we’ve kept sewn in our hearts for the many years we’ve grown. On behalf of us all here in Western Australia, thank you, Mew, for venturing our barren red desert to see us here in Perth. It’s a night we will hold dear for years to come.

Text: Laura Gonsalves
Photos: Myles Wright

Setlist: Capitol (Perth, WA, Australia)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Twist Quest / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Melbourne, VIC, Australia (September 12, 2017)

Leading up to the show tonight, there was something that just didn’t sit right with me. Against all odds we managed to give Mew a warm enough reception the first time around to warrant a second tour of Australia, but the feeling wasn’t like last time. And that is the problem. You only get one chance to see Mew for the first time. Is it possible for the second tour to live up to the hype and excitement first tour? There was only one way to find out.

The night kicked off with the music and comedy stylings of Closure in Moscow, who made the trip all the way from Bacchus Marsh to teach us about Carmen Sandiego, and ask the eternal question “Who is Max Watts?”

After a brief intermission, the members of Mew filed onto stage one by one. I couldn’t help to think back two years earlier and compare the excitement that we all felt seeing Mew on Australian soil for the first time. I was very promptly bought back to 2017 by the opening track, In a Better Place, from the new album Visuals. Following this it was straight into the crowd favourite Special which naturally flowed into The Zookeeper’s Boy (is there any other way to play these two songs?) The brief And the Glass Handed Kites medley was all I needed to be convinced. 1st time, 2nd time, 10th time, it didn’t matter how many times you’ve seen them, seeing Mew will always be an exciting night.

The 2015 album +- was revisited with Satellites, one of the stronger tracks of the album that always plays well live. This was followed up with another taste of Visuals with the track Candy Pieces All Smeared Out, which seemed to gather a good reaction from the crowd, even though the song doesn’t sit well with me. It almost feels as though it would work better as two separate songs. Another set highlight was the inclusion of Snow Brigade, which always hits hard live. This song was made better by the enthusiasm of Nick Watts when he was handed a guitar and unleashed from the keyboards.

At the back end of the set was Twist Quest, leading into Apocalypso, which featured a brief Saviours of Jazz Ballet outro. Watching Johan Wohlert work his way around the bass guitar whilst playing Apocalypso is always a sight to behold. Frontman Jonas Bjerre appeared as though he was ready to call it a night as he had a cup of tea delivered to the stage before wrapping things up with a final appearance of Visuals in the form of Carry Me to Safety.

After a very brief hiatus, the encore was kicked off with Am I Wry? No, followed by another crowd favourite, 156, which has morphed over the years from a great track to an amazing track. The night finally wound down with the somber Comforting Sounds. The set list did call for Nothingness and No Regrets to be played before Am I Wry? No, but this was skipped. Perhaps Jonas was getting a bit keen to finish his tea backstage.

As the night came to a close, it was with a sense of relief, knowing that after such a long initial wait, we have made Australia a place Mew are wanting to visit on a regular basis. Hopefully we will all be back in the same place in a couple of years from now.

Text: Bronson Schick
Photos: Aim Aris

Setlist: Max Watt’s (Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Twist Quest / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Sydney, NSW, Australia (September 11, 2017)

It’s 9:30pm on a Monday night. The Manning Bar, a long-serving venue in the midst of Sydney University, has a small gathering of people milling about its general vicinity. The crowd barrier has been removed, leaving attendees taking up the space left by its absence. Sun Kil Moon’s Common as Light and Love… plays over the PA – a bizarre choice of pre-gig music given its awkward starts and stops and its spoken-word storytelling. In other words, the room is devoid of magic; or even a vibe. It’s a stark contrast from when Frengers were last gathered in this very same space at the tail-end of 2015; comfortably filling the venue and exuding elated joy at the fact that Mew were finally playing shows in Australia. Such is the nature of the beast, a series of factors – playing a Monday night, an exorbitant ticket price for what is ostensibly a cult-following band – has seen the numbers significantly drop for round two some 20 months removed. While last time sparked excitement and anticipation in the lead-up, tonight feels dark and desolate.

That is, of course, all before Mew themselves emerge. It’s here that the light begins to seep in. By the time they’ve finished their opening number, In a Better Place, the audience is just that. There are smiles everywhere. The excitement is gentle compared to the fever-rush of last time, but it’s just as genuine. It’s still just as remarkable to hear these songs played live – older favourites like The Zookeeper’s Boy and the unexpected Apocalypso are joined by newcomers Candy Pieces All Smeared Out and Twist Quest from this year’s Visuals. The live ensemble, which was somewhat new in its current form when the band first came here, is well-cemented at this stage. Auxiliary members Nick Watts and Mads Wegner feel just as integral to the fold as the band’s core trio, each adding their own energy to the performance and appearing just as humbled by each and every round of applause.

Setlist quibbles aside – still no Why Are You Looking Grave?? And why was 85 Videos, perhaps the best single from Visuals, ignored? – it’s a genuine pleasure to get to see this band play again. The smiles on each of their faces at the thrilling conclusion of perfect closer Comforting Sounds says it all – whether there’s zero or a zillion people watching, the music of Mew feels like home. Many happy returns.

Text: David James Young
Photos: Jess Gleeson
Photo Gallery

Setlist: Manning Bar (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Twist Quest / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Brisbane, QLD, Australia (September 10, 2017)

It is the kind of anxiety that feels heavy, like a coat that’s too big and scratchy when the air is suddenly very hot. I’m late for doors and slip inside the venue after riding in the car with my brother from my apartment in Red Hill. It is the kind of anxiety that can only be unstitched by the craft beers we order at the warehouse around the corner. I haven’t seen Mew live before and my attention span is crowding with anticipation. In the venue, I’m surrounded by Mew fans, or so I gather. I’m sipping cider and glancing at the people as they stand in little groups. Part of me is envious as my entire Mew experience has been solitary—apart from in the moments where, late at night in somebody’s car, I’ll say, “here’s a song for this piece of highway, my friends. Let’s turn the volume up for a little and talk later…” For all my seclusion, in the Triffid I somehow feel as though I am among family. I’m filled with a warmness—one perhaps captured by the Danish word hygge—for the friendships I imagine as I look around, friendships for whom Mew is more than a montage shared under streetlamps.

I think it was in 2007 when I discovered them late at night on Rage. I remember hearing The Zookeeper’s Boy and feeling the rush of the song’s moodiness gather in my stomach and manifest as a jolt of mania. I think I was 15 then and I didn’t have much money but I remember going to the store the next day and asking the man at the counter about the single. He had it in stock. I bought it and listened to it over and over. Not long afterwards I ordered And the Glass Handed Kites.

After two supporting acts—Brisbane’s own Aerials and Closure in Moscow—Mew is on the stage for the second time ever in this city. The crowd, as you’d imagine, goes wild and any remaining anxiety unstitches itself in the snare of the cider and the low-lit setting. The show begins with In a Better Place from the new album Visuals. It’s sweet and calming, welcoming in its familiarity of style, fresh in its newness. A lightshow of sorts characterises the background with an undulating display of the unearthly and uncanny imagery that is consistent with the bizarrely-haunting Mew-specific genre. I don’t know enough about music or enough about the world we live in to ascertain how but, as the show unfolds, it feels like it’s a painting of a piece of the world we live in—as seen from a spaceship or a planet outside of this galaxy.

After the opening track, we’re taken back to 2005’s And the Glass Handed Kites. Special guides us effortlessly into The Zookeeper’s Boy, a transition that is as natural as the shift from evening to night, except that somehow all of Mew’s songs feel like they’re occurring during hours when the rest of the world is asleep. They’re on stage and they’re playing and we’re let for just a moment into their spaceship.

The first set closes on Carry Me to Safety. Fittingly, it’s the closing track to Visuals and is built from all the right chords to physically construct the hardest goodbye you can imagine. “Come, let’s wave to everyone,” Jonas Bjerre is saying to us, his voice still the same song of a storm bird it’s always been. “They came all this way to see us.” It’s like they’re going back to some far off planet.

In its entirety, the show is comprised of five pieces from Visuals, four from Frengers, four from And the Glass Handed Kites and one each from No More Stories… and + —.

And they’re gone. But before the spaceship leaves our planet behind forever, it’s back.

The set that closes on the final track of Visuals re-opens on Nothingness and No Regrets, the opening track of the same album. If Carry Me to Safety is the ominous lullabye that draws you into the nightmare, Nothingness and No Regrets is the part where the morning birds are outside your window and you start to wake up with the sun, realise it was all a dream, and return to your world much the same person as before you fell asleep, but not quite.

The song ends, the band leaves, and I leave too.

Text: Ebony Graveur
Photos: Claudia Bill

Setlist: The Triffid (Brisbane, QLD, Australia)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Twist Quest / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Los Angeles, CA, USA (August 26, 2017)

I like to believe that I live my life as unapologetically honest as possible. As I write this review, I find it hard to wrap my head around a beginning; so I guess we can just start off with when I saw Mew two years ago in Los Angeles. Mew was my first concert, I truly didn’t know what to expect and I went into the venue with a million thoughts in my head. This time around, when I walked into the venue I felt the same overwhelming excitement as I did two years ago, but I also had expectations, something I didn’t experience last time around.

The El Rey Theatre was one of the most simplistic and beautiful venues I’ve ever stepped foot in. The main floor itself was such a unique design and the blue lighting was a great touch to this ambiance that already existed in the venue. Something that I did notice that was different from last year was the people there at the concert. As I walked through the venue I felt almost a warm presence from everyone, if that makes sense.

People were coming up to each other and saying hi or hugging each other, it was very interesting to see this kind of dynamic. My best friend, who had came with me to the concert, had told me, “I don’t even feel like we’re in a concert. I feel like we’re at a friend’s party and we know everyone here.”

I think that’s something that completely stood out in the crowd, everyone was mutually excited. When the opening band Monakr came on to the stage, you’d expect for the crowd to be quiet and confused about the performance. And I was genuinely surprised to see people smiling and dancing to songs they may haven’t even heard before. But the beauty of Mew is that they attract people who just enjoy music and enjoy being around each other.

When Monakr ended their set, the anticipation in the room was so high, I could feel everyone around me growing more and more anxious. I didn’t know what to expect last time I saw Mew, but this time I had more expectations and more ideas of how the show was going to be like. But just like Mew and every new album, you really never know what to expect.

Mew’s performance was incredible, I can’t think of a better word to use to describe the experience I had that night. When the opened the show with In A Better Place I felt everyone around me gleaming with joy. It was amazing to see Jonas Bjerre’s reaction when the crowd was singing along. I found that during songs like Special, The Zookeeper’s Boy, Water Slides, Twist Quest, even 156 the crowd’s singing would just take the entire band back. I’ve never seen the band so surprised and so excited; I guess you can say they too never expected the kind of response they got from the crowd.

Each song contained its own visuals (see what I did there?) I think Mew did a fantastic job of using their visuals to transport the entire audience into their thought process of this new album. It was a very bold and eye-catching performance from beginning to end. I was moved to tears during Comforting Sounds, the crowd song along with Jonas as the stage faded into black with stars in the background. It felt like a dream; a wonderful dream.

I always say this, but if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Mew live in concert, you must. Mew is one of the very few bands that are capable of creating an experience for you from beginning to end.

Text: Tricia Lopez

Setlist: El Rey Theatre (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Start / Twist Quest / Water Slides / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Denver, CO, USA (August 15, 2017)

Mew is something more than a favorite band to me. Mew was the soundtrack during some of my most influential, chaotic, and life changing years. I listen to Mew and I feel nostalgic, happy, and sad all at once. I have more Mew plays in Apple Music then any other artist by far. I know I’ve seriously annoyed quite a few people with the amount of times I’ve suggested or played Mew when I was the party DJ.

I frequent forums and travel across countries just to see or hear all things Mew, so it’s a understatement to say I love this band. The one time I missed them on their “+ -” tour, a friend with a mutual love for Mew flew out to Denver to see them. With Bo Madsen (one of my favorite parts about Mew) out, I needed to know everything about the show. What did they play? How did they sound without Bo? Did they play Rows? Are they aging gracefully? What is Mew without Bo? After I vomited all that anxiety out my friend just kind of smiled and shook his head and said “Dude, Mew was Mew.”

Flash forward a couple years and months later and I agree with the MewX curators to put a review and photos together for Mews show at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. I was able to organize a 10 day trip from Florida to Denver to see Mew, catch the eclipse, and spend the rest of my time backpacking across Glacier National Park in Montana. Pretty much the best trip ever! but… Would I have time to really enjoy and soak up the show with all the other amazing things going on? Do I really want to worry about taking photos instead of being present for my all-time favorite band? Do I have time to turn-around photos and a review within the 3 days as I had agreed to?… Well, yes and no.

I purchased 4 tickets to the show. I was kind of my forcing my girlfriend and 2 other friends to go to the show. They were mostly with us for the backpacking part of the trip. My girlfriend doesn’t really share the enthusiasm for Mew that I have even though I had once convinced her to do a Mew cover. I also brought along 2 other friends who unfamiliar with Mew asked me which album they should listen to before the show? I suggested that maybe they should just listen to them for the first time live and so that’s what they did.

We arrived 20 minutes before MONAKR went on. I was a little too distracted and excited to really form any opinion on MONAKR. I was too busy thinking about how I could to take these photos while dancing and singing. How should I take notes? How do I take this abstract experience and make it a analytical one? I know everything I say to anyone reading this review will just be preaching to the choir. I love Mew and if you’re reading this chances are you love Mew too.

At the end of the day I decided the best way to capture the photos and still enjoy myself was to just film parts of the show in 4k and then pull high quality stills from the video, that way I didn’t have to worry about the constant changing exposures. I didn’t really have to think that much about the camera at all. What’s really funny is now I have all this really high quality footage of my favorite band but it’s all the filler stuff since I would record the parts just before the grandiose moments and then turn the camera off, so you would see these huge Mew moments building and building and right before the peak, the clip just ends 🙂

After the show we bee lined it to Montana. I had no service and no words for MewX. I was way past the deadline and feeling a little bummed that I couldn’t give anything back to the band that had given me so much. As I started to pull stills from the video my friends watching began chiming in with their experience. The stuff they were saying was untainted and honest compared to the predictable praises I had going on in my head; it was way more fulfilling to hear what they had to say about Mew.

My friend who had never heard of Mew before the show said, “Well, I guess I’m a Mew fan now.” My girlfriend said, “Hey they played the song you had me cover, did you hear me singing along?”

“Mew and everyone in the crowd look like the nicest people ever.”
“How do they sound like that? They sounded perfect.”
“Those guys are masters of their craft.”
“That bass player was really going for it.”

Then my girlfriend said, “The singer looks so cute and sweet, there is just something about him… Like, he looks like an alien or he’s on some good drugs or something?” and then almost in unison my girlfriend and friends said “No. Not drugs, he looks euphoric!” She elaborated, “He looks like he was feeling the way we all felt and the experience had felt euphoric and otherworldly to all of us. He was there with all of us.”

Oh, and also my personal favorite was when my girlfriend said “Did you see the guy on the keyboard? He was like a mad doctor back there or something.”

So with all that said my review for the Denver show is this.. Mew is still Mew 🙂 If you know Mew you know what you’re getting.

Text and Photos: Stephen McKendree
Photo Gallery

Setlist: Bluebird Theater (Denver, CO, USA)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Start / Twist Quest / Water Slides / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Chicago, IL, USA (August 12, 2017)

I was waiting for the wrong train. We were already running late, in an unfamiliar city, unfamiliar means of transportation helping even less; this Florida girl could not imagine living in Chicago and having to rely on a train to take her to her destinations. “How do people do this every day?” I kept thinking. This wasn’t the only problem we ran into today on our way to see Mew; we had gotten on the right first train, which took us to our connecting train stop. And then, of course, the elevators and stairs to the connecting second train were closed off for construction. “Where can we find a connecting train?” we asked a staff member. “Two blocks down, two blocks to the left,” he said. We took off sprinting.

We finally get to the new station, and we hurry to scan our passes and run up the stairs to wait on the train. We catch our breath, and we feel a wave of relief blanketing us. And then the train stopped in front of us, not two minutes later. On the opposite side of the tracks. Our hearts sank. That was it. That was our ride, and we had just missed it. “Let’s just go back home,” my boyfriend muttered. He was upset, tired, sweaty, and ready to give up. “I’m going to get us there,” I vowed. I ran downstairs and asked a staff member, “Which train will take us to Kimball?” She pointed in the direction we needed.

We get back upstairs and we wait. We’re quiet, frustration steaming out of us. It was past 7 PM, and we were worried about not getting there in time to get good spots. The train finally makes its way to us, about 15 minutes later. We sit without speaking to each other, already knowing what the other is thinking. As we jerk back and forth with the movement of the train, I tell him, “At least I’ll have a good story to tell.” He smiled, and the mood lightened up a bit. Little did we know that my statement would be the most absolute truth.

Armitage. We got off at this stop. And we started walking. And walking. And walking. Jeez, Chicago! How big is this place anyways? My feet were hurting like never before; I think next time I’ll go with comfortable shoes instead of cute shoes in a city. Actually, never mind; I would never let Jonas Bjerre see me in anything other than cute shoes. Ten, fifteen blocks later—I’m not sure, I lost count—we had arrived to Park West. We hurry in to meet our friends, who were waiting for us. We check out the merchandise table, and I decide to buy the white shirt rather than the black shirts. This is important to know, as my decision will be played out later tonight.

As we waited for Mew to begin the night, we make our way towards the front of the stage. I managed to get almost to the front; just one person in front of me. Good enough! This is my second Mew concert. The stage is set up, and the lights are dimmed. The band walks out, and the audience cheers and claps. It’s such a surreal moment, even though it’s my second time seeing them. I feel my heart beating rapidly in excitement.

Mew began their performance as soon as they stepped onstage. There were no introductions, no pause; they went straight into what we all waited so long to see. The night began with In a Better Place. As they continued to play, the crowd grew comfortable, familiar, calm. We began to dance and sing, more and more with each passing song. Special was next. Along with their newer tracks were Apocalypso, Saviours of Jazz Ballet, Am I Wry? No. I was absolutely surprised and delighted to hear older songs, these which I have essentially grown up with, and with which for years I have sang repetitively in my room at home, swaying back and forth to the melodies that both calmed me and excited me. I felt the same calm excitement tonight with these home-like songs.

The most thrilling thing to hear was the beginning of Candy Pieces All Smeared Out, with all its hardcore, strange beauty. I felt an adrenaline rush with the emphasized beating of the drums, and the stars of the night head-banging to the addicting rhythm. They were rockstars.

Then, halfway through the set, they dim the lights and our world turns dark. But it feels safe. We can barely see the people next to us, but then the most nostalgic tunes begin to sound from the piano: Start. When do we have the opportunity to hear such rare, beautiful tracks like this in person? Not the first time I attended their show, that’s for sure. Jonas is serenading us with emotion, and everyone in the room is silent and entranced. This was such a treat.

And finally, the the very end, everyone walks off the stage except Mads Wegner. I get the most chills here. He begins to play Comforting Sounds, and Jonas comes back to us to give us one last gift. This song is one of my favorites, but there is no comparison to living and experiencing the song in person. There is something about the slow incline that the song takes, the journey upwards that is both inspiring and saddening to me. This is art in its rawest form. THIS is who Mew is to me. I am pushing back tears at the end of the song, which is the song that finalizes their show.

Sixteen angelic, ethereal songs later—those of which included The Zookeeper’s Boy, Satellites, 156, and my favorites, Twist Quest, Introducing Palace Players, and Snow Brigade—we congratulate them in a roaring round of applause. The band comes together to bow down, holding hands, while we admire the magic we have just witnessed.

We make our way to the lobby, looking to buy last minute items (those egg magnets are soo cute!). The venue is almost empty by now, with the exception of our small group of four, and about two other small groups. There was a lady making rounds and kicking people out. “Are you VIP?” she would ask. If not, she led you out the door. She came to me and asked the same question. “I’m writing for the fan website,” I told her. She shrugged and kept walking. Phew! I thought that was the end of the night for us.

Not five minutes later, I hear the voice of an angel; Jonas was standing behind me. He was taking pictures with the small groups that were still inside. I turn around and immediately take my phone out. Picture time! I was in a daze as I neared him and smiled for the camera. We took pictures with everyone in the band, and I was thrilled to hear Mads speak Danish to a few admiring fans who also spoke Danish. Even though I had no idea what they were saying, I felt like this was the most authentic experience I could have had with Mew. Johan Wohlert was so sweet as well, giving each one of us attention and pictures. We even had Silas Graae come out JUST for us! He was the only one who hadn’t come out, so naturally we asked where he was. They ran off to go get him, and when he came out he was so sweet and polite about it. Whoops! At least we got our pictures! My boyfriend took out a permanent marker from his pocket. I’m so glad I got the white shirt instead of the black one, so all the autographs showed up perfectly! And as if that wasn’t enough, Jonas told me happy birthday! Did I mention it was my birthday? ☺ He also wrote it on my new white shirt; now I can’t ever wear the shirt. I’m all right with that though!

What we thought was a terrible beginning to a fun concert ended up being the build up to one of the most memorable birthdays of my life. Thank you to MewX for the wonderful opportunity; if I had not said I was writing for this website, I would not have had this amazing encounter with the best, sweetest, most genuine band in the world.

Text and Photos: Yaritza Lopez

Setlist: Park West (Chicago, IL, USA)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Start / Twist Quest / Water Slides / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Detroit, MI, USA (August 11, 2017)

For me, Mew shows coincide with significant turning points in my life. Their 2009 show in Brooklyn aligned with a tumultuous family falling out. In 2015, I saw them in D.C. shortly after beginning a Master’s program. This July, I moved 7 hours from home to Detroit, a new area where I knew absolutely nobody.

My first mission was to meet new Frengers. Doors opened at 8, so I was hoping to arrive at least an hour early to have some conversation in line. Unfortunately, I had to stay late at work until 7:30. I left for the concert at 7:45, and still arrived as the line was being let in. Usually driving 4 or more hours to see Mew, I found a 20-minute commute to the venue almost too good to be true. Fortunately, I was still able to land a front row spot after buying a new shirt.

What I was looking most forward to was In A Better Place. This song has struck me most personally from Visuals; I played this on repeat when moving to another state. The moment Silas Graae began drumming, I was teary eyed. In A Better Place was exactly what I needed to hear. During Special, there was a slight hiccup in the performance. I’m not entirely sure of what happened, but it sounded as though there was an issue with Dr. Watt’s keyboards, which may have thrown off Silas. Because I was front row, I was able to see the setlist placed on the floor. I am unsure if this was because of the aforementioned hiccup in Special, but The Zookeeper’s Boy was skipped (much to the dismay of fellow concert goers).

Jonas Bjerre had a different energy during this show. Many times, I found him grinning, making small talk between songs, and even (trying to) dance on stage. The rest of the band, however, seemed somewhat reserved. Usually, I feed off of the electric energy of Johan Wohlert, but this night I found Jonas to be the most mesmerizing. After Apocalypso/Saviours, Mew added Carry Me to Safety. Carry Me to Safety hadn’t affected me in the way it seemingly had others, but hearing it live placed a new heavy, bittersweet tone to it. In a way, I could hear the strain of a lost friendship in the way Jonas sang. It gave me a tightness in my chest and choked me up more than Comforting Sounds. At the end of the show, I managed to snag a setlist (thank you kind Frenger for giving it to me!).

After the concert, a dedicated league of four Frengers waited outside for about an hour. Because there were so few us, we were able to have some decent conversation. As always, I was slightly starstruck, but this may have been the most I’ve talked to them. This concert brought a familiarity I didn’t know I needed. Part way through the show, I realized that the only people I knew in any capacity were those on stage. I felt I had to cling to every note, every word sung because it was the first comfort I had felt in over a month. Thank you Mew, for always feeling like home.

Text and Photos: Shannen Stiffler

Setlist: Magic Stick (Detroit, MI, USA)
In a Better Place / Special / Satellites / Ay Ay Ay / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Start / Twist Quest / Water Slides / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds


Philadelphia, PA, USA (August 7, 2017)

Hello, my name is Lydia and I am a very anxious Frenger. I was fortunate to see my favorite band Mew perform at the Fillmore in Philadelphia on 8/7/17. It was an amazing and moving experience that I hope to remember forever!

Mew is my favorite band so getting to see my favorite songs performed live is very moving and intense! Mew is excellent live and does not disappoint. Seeing certain songs performed live showed me different aspects to the songs that I would have missed if I had just listened to the albums, and it also emphasized details that I would have otherwise missed.

Another extra special aspect to the live concerts are Jonas Bjerre’s animations-they add a whole other dimension to the stage shows. The animations all have his distinct style of ominous cute dreaminess. They also make the shows extra special because some of the animations are only used during live shows. They really set the tone and add to the magical mood.

All day I had been so incredibly anxious, you would have thought that not only was it ME that was going to perform, but that my performance would determine if I would live or die. But once the music started to play I knew that I was exactly in the right place at the right time. Out of anywhere in the world I could have been, I was in the right place.

I am so grateful for their music-I hope they continue to make amazing albums but even if they do not, I have the albums they already made to cherish for the rest of my life. Jonas is an amazing singer with a truly unique voice-able to reach amazing highs. Seeing him perform live only affirms that he deserves my utmost admiration! The energy of the band is very high, I can’t imagine the endurance it takes to sing/play the way they do. I thank Mew from the bottom of my heart for their music, and I thank Ann for the opportunity to write this review!

Text and Photos: Lydia O’Neill

Setlist: The Foundry at The Fillmore (Philadelphia, PA, USA)
In a Better Place / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Satellites / Candy Pieces All Smeared Out / Introducing Palace Players / Twist Quest / 85 Videos / Start / Water Slides / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Carry Me to Safety — Nothingness and No Regrets / Am I Wry? No / 156 / Comforting Sounds