Live: The Fonda

Hollywood, California (September 25, 2015)

Los Angeles’ usual heavy traffic and never-ending annoyance of car horns filled the scene in front of the Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California. The Fonda Theater, located on Hollywood Boulevard, was a nice cozy venue for what was to be an incredible performance. As I waited in line, I was extremely happy to see more and more people showing up to the venue, wearing merchandise and discussing their excitement with each other. As it got closer to 8 PM, it was obvious everyone in line was anxious to race inside and get the best spot.

Walking into the venue felt like stepping into another world, the lighting was dim but not eerie, and smiling face of everyone that was walking in made you feel secure that the energy from the crowd was going to be great. I had purchased balcony seats; in a way, after the concert I, did regret not being on the floor, but the Fonda Theater had a balcony that was surprisingly close to the stage. It was first come, first serve, as I walked up the stairs and made my way to the balcony I got incredible seats that saw the stage perfectly. As we waited patiently more and more people were crowding around the stage and eventually the balcony was full.

The Dodos came on at 9 PM and performed very well a couple of songs, they even brought out a boy named Chandler they just recently met to perform a trumpet piece. By 9:30 PM The Dodos had finished and the entire theater was filled with anxious Frengers waiting to finally see Mew perform. This being my very first time ever seeing Mew live, I was excited to not only hear songs from their new album, but my heart was anticipating listening to some songs that made me fall in love with Mew like Special, Saliva, and Comforting Sounds.

10 minutes before Mew came on, you could hear the faint sounds of guitars being strummed and drums being played, a little tease before they came on. At this point my heart was pounding and as the background music was playing, and I was just waiting for the music to be cut and the curtains to rise. At exactly 10 PM the final song ended, and the curtain lifted up, the crowd went wild. Silas Graae did a quick drum solo as Johan Wohlert walked on stage, then the new guitar player Mads Wenger, Nick Watts on the keyboards waved to the crowd, and then Jonas Bjerre finally entered to sing the first lines of Witness. I was over the moon as I sang along to Witness and saw the crowd jumping and clapping their hands, it was definitely a sight to see.

Satellites was performed and the lighting fit the mood of the song, a mystical blue filled the room and it was truly a magical experience witnessing the very band that I have been in love with ever since I was 12. After Satellites, the band immediately switched and began playing Special, and you could hear everyone in the theater singing along. To my surprise they played Introducing Palace Players and as Johan described it, it was the “closest thing that Mew will ever get to making a sexy song.” They did a wonderful performance of Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy and Water Slides and at this point I was beginning to think I was in a dream.

Rows was the ending song to the concert, leaving the crowd ecstatic, and as they walked off the stage the crowd kept cheering and clapping, in hopes that we’d get an extra performance. To our surprise, 30 seconds after they quickly come on and played Am I Wry? No and 156 which drove the crowd wild. After that performance Jonas looked to Johan and said, “being in Los Angeles and all the palm trees, it reminds us of Christmas.” Sure enough, they unexpectedly performed She Came Home For Christmas and closed the show with Comforting Sounds. That performance in particular to me was very emotional. Jonas seemed to be really putting himself into song, to a point where his voice cracked a little and his smile never wiped away during the song.

It was an incredible experience to see Mew live, when people say they sound exactly same in the studio when they play live, that’s a lie. They sound even better live than in studio, they had so much energy and were genuinely excited to be playing their music. Mads fit right in, he did a fantastic job and the crowd loved him. The entire time of the concert every Frenger in the room was smiling and singing along. It was truly an incredible concert that I will remember for the rest of my life. If you ever have the opportunity to watch Mew live, take that opportunity I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Text: Tricia Lopez

Setlist: The Fonda Theater
Witness / Satellites / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Introducing Palace Players / Snow Brigade / Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy / Making Friends / Water Slides / Rows / Am I Wry? No / 156 —– She Came Home For Christmas / Comforting Sounds

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