Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3 Big Shows - First up: Mew at The Fonda 9/25/15

Over the past month I've seen some remarkable shows and I want to put some of my impressions into words and post some of the shots I got. I'll start with the first one and post later on the other two.

Mew, on September 25, at The Fonda left me somewhere in mid-air for weeks afterward. So stimulating and played with such inspired beauty I was left awestruck. I was always left in a state of euphoria every time I saw them in 2008 and '09 and, after a hiatus of six years, it was super to see that they still have the power to overwhelm.

Typical of The Fonda, even though it was crowded, I was able to get a spot real close to the stage and bask in the sound wafting from the stage. Although the bulk of the set list was culled from their latest album, +-, they played enough from their prolific catalog to satisfy every need to hear their classic songs again. The first two songs were the first two songs from the newest album, in reverse order, priming the audience.

But when they launched into "Special" followed immediately by "The Zookeeper's Boy", from And The Glass Handed Kites, the audience fell into a deep reverie from which we didn't recover until the show was over. It was as if a mass hypnosis had taken place. Even when the more familiar songs were performed, at first the audience began singing along, and it was a bit annoying. But as quickly as it began, I think the audience realized they were drowning out the lead vocals of Jonas Bjerre, and we were all there to hear him sing, and everyone shut up! I don't think I've seen that before and it was most gratifying.

In fact all the band member sing, and the glorious harmonies that pervade their records is presented in all their astonishing glory right before your very eyes and ears. It's totally intoxicating, especially when backed by their sweeping "dreamy thunderstorm pop" as they describe their sound. I stayed right through the encores because I didn't want to miss a minute. This band should be far bigger than they are...so far.

The show went on for a good 90 minutes that swept by like an instant. I was so happy to hear almost all the new songs, and they performed all their material with a commitment and the obvious aim to please. They were grateful for the committed and respectful response of an adoring audience. Sometimes Los Angeles makes me incredibly proud when I see a band obviously moved by a truly knowledgeable and appreciative audience, which they don't get in every city.

Next I'll tell you about  Beirut and Father John Misty.