Last night was another show where I had no idea what I was getting into. I am apparently the only one in the Twin Cities who really hasn’t gotten into Mew. The show was sold out. And I mean, sold out! You could barely walk in let alone get a drink, go to the bathroom, or even raise your arms to clap by the time Mew started.
Mew is an experimental, alternative, indie, pop, progressive (I really have no clue how to classify these guys) rock band from Denmark with a giant following. Last night was, by far, the smallest venue they have played on this current tour. Just two nights before they were playing the Gothic Theatre in Colorado which holds over 1,100 people. Last night they played the Triple Rock Social Club which holds just under 400 people.
Was this a good or bad thing? If you ask me, it was a bad thing. These guys have a sound that is just too big for such a small venue. I could have seen this show more at First Avenue, even Roy Wilkins before I saw it being held at Triple Rock. Judging from the amount of people being turned away at the door, they could have easily filled up a larger venue.
All of that being said, if you ask any of the fans that made it to the show, this was a dream come true. Of course I didn’t understand it because I had no idea who these guys were but then it hit me. This was their Alkaline Trio at the Triple Rock (see my blog post Alkaline Trio: A Reflection). I didn’t get it because I didn’t care enough to get it. That’s not to say it was a bad show. But I can only take the claustrophobia for so long before I get fed up and need to go outside for air. That was different at the, back to back, four nights of sold out Alkaline Trio shows that I went to. At those shows I didn’t care that we were packed into the venue like sardines, nothing phased me because I was seeing one of my favorite bands in such an intimate venue. Last night was the opposite. It was quite strange to be on the outside looking in at something like this.
It only took a couple songs for the packed house to warm up but by the time Mew played Special the crowd was bouncing up and down to the beat. You truly couldn’t help yourself. The music was catchy but not overpowering. It was loud but not too loud where you couldn’t recognize the true musicianship behind it.
Singer Jonas Bjerre has an incredible voice. It’s one of those voices that you hear and you instantly know who it is. It’s also one of those voices that you think would be impossible to have at a live show. Bjerre pulled it off somehow and now, while I’m listening their album And The Glass Handed Kites (My friend I bumped into outside of their show told me this was their best one), I truly can’t believe what I saw last night.
Bjerre’s voice is unnaturally high but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He is able to go from the highest voice you have ever heard down to a very beautiful lower register seamlessly. It isn’t just his voice that’s amazing. The whole band is super talented and their music really does give you calming, happy feeling.
The show was opened up by The Dodos, a two piece indie band from California. Unfortunately, within the first song, a guitar string snapped and they had to pause so Meric Long, singer/ guitarist, could grab another guitar. After that, it was smooth sailing for the rest of their short, half hour, set. Some people in the crowd were singing along but the band seemed to be fairly unknown compared to Mew.
All in all it was a good night. I didn’t get my panties in a bunch over the show but looking back, I get why some people did. This is just another prime example of why the Twin Cities are so cool. Here’s another show that could have been at a big auditorium, being held at a small rock club. Do you want to move here yet?!
Venue: Triple Rock
Sausage Fest Meter- 7 out of 10
Broken Bones- None
Average Age- 28
Flower Headbands- 2