An odd thing happened in the days leading up to this show. I had purchased the latest Mew album, No More Stories Are Told Today I'm Sorry They Washed Away No More Stories The World Is Grey I'm Tired Let's Wash Away, before their last show at the Troubadour in September. But it is not immediately accessible and it wasn't until I went back to it to prepare for the show at the Fonda that I perked up and realized, "This is really, really good". As much as I loved And The Glass Handed Kites, and thought it may be the ultimate Mew record, I found myself becoming increasingly obsessed with some cuts from No More Stories..., to the point that I wanted to hear them performed more than my former favorite Mew songs. I think this is a testament to the growth and extreme talent this band shows off effortlessly. And I think, on the strength of Monday's performance, they're only going to get better.
They didn't even play my favorite song from the new album, "Cartoons and Macrame Wounds", but I was still completely satisfied. Opening with "Hawaii" with it's shifting tempos and salsa rhythms which break away into their trademark thunder, the impossibly complex vocal patterns sent the crowd soaring from the very start. The developing density and complexity of the sophisticated songwriting is easily evident in "Vaccine" and "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" The lyrics belie the fact that English is not their native language in their intelligence and poetry.
Yes, they did make the Fonda vibrate as few bands can do, and, indeed the music can be overwhelmingly powerful, but it never, for an instant stops being supremely beautiful. Maybe some of the most beautiul music I've ever heard. With the addition of an extraordinary lightshow and film projections that are hypnotic and bizarre, even occasionally disturbing (the fiddle-playing cats come to mind, with their blinking eyes) the whole evening took on the feeling of grand theatre.
(Thanks to Kmetron for the great shots from Mew's show in Brussels)