Live: El Rey Theatre

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

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