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Wednesday, December 13

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Review Wed Oct 07 2015

Big Fans and Big Sound for Mew

Sometimes at shows I wonder how many people in attendance consider the act on stage to be their favorite ever. It's just speculating for fun. But some nights it's easy to see, like Tuesday at Metro when there was zero doubt about who the #1 super fan was. Maybe the tip-off was the outstretched hallelujah arms, the barricade-hugging, the desire need to be recognized by the band, or all combined. While those actions alone shouldn't be disturbing, nobody wants to stand behind that package of grandiosity for an hour and a half. On the other hand, Mew hasn't played Chicago in six years, so that's a lot of pent-up excitement exploding at once.

Unlike many bands, Mew's singer Jonas Bjerre is perhaps its most laid-back member, allowing bassist Johan Wohlert to shine as the energetic one who banters with the crowd. But Bjerre doesn't need to bounce around to be the star. It's his voice, reaching an upper register that not even the 20-something girls next to me could hit, that gives Mew a big part of their identity. (And it was in top shape Tuesday.) However, another definer, the prog-rock elements that separate them from many alt-rock/dream-pop bands were a little muted, like on "Introducing Palace Players."

Still, the band was focused and crisp reeling off the hits mixed among new album songs. Standards "Special" and "156" were greeted with great applause, and closer "Comforting Sounds", an epic 9-minute progresser, brought the house down within its first few notes. For Mew, it was business as usual operating at a high level. For Chicago fans who haven't seen them in six years, even just casual fans, exuberance is maybe an understatement.

 
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Nick W / October 11, 2015 10:16 PM

Mew! Hell yeah. I forgot about them. Used to blast them in college. I will bring them back into my life. Thanks for writing about them.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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