Mew | Hiro Ballroom | 7.26.2006

Listage: Ten things about Wednesday night’s Mew show at Hiro Ballroom:

  1. Mew are apparently huge in Denmark, though I guess that’s like being huge in West Virginia. Still, it is surprising that their fourth album, And the Glass-Handed Kites, is their first to get US distribution. It’s predecessor, Frengers, really should have… it’s the real winner in their discography. It was also the first date of their first-ever US tour (not counting showcases in NYC and LA in 2003).
  2. The guitarist looked exactly like Sean Patrick Flannery.
  3. I am a sucker for bands that put the drummer at the front of the stage
    (Echo & the Bunnymen most famously), though it puts your gear at
    risk (see #9).
  4. Singer Jonas Bjerre is the most doe-eyed person I’ve ever seen.
    Surely he must have played Tiny Tim in a grade school presentation of A
    Christmas Carol. Maybe it was the scarf.
  5. The crowd was vocal, especially the two German guys behind me who sang along — loudly — to every songs. I sang along a little bit to "Snow Brigade," my favorite from Frengers.
  6. Overall this was a good show. Mew have a very produced (very ProTools-y, but in a good way) wall of sound on record and they for the most part pulled it off live — their first US gig ever. That said, I think there was a fair amount of playing to tapes/laptops. Vocals seemed to perfect at times (though Bjerre was clearly singing, just maybe with canned backing vocals, though every member had a mike) and everything was very, very in synch with the projected background videos.
  7. Those video projections, as well as some clever floor spots that lit up each members face, made this show an easy one to take cool-looking photos… even on my crappy cell phone. Yet some dude in front of me insisted on using flash every time, resulting in really boring pics.
  8. Mew really aren’t that far off, musically, from Muse, though I get the feeling Muse realize how ridiculously over-the-top their music is. Mew seemed pretty serious… I prefer Bjerre’s vocals to Muse’s histrionics, however.
  9. After attending five or so shows at Hiro, I really think it’s one of NYC’s better venues. The sound is great and there are multiple levels so the shorties can see. Plus, the way stage is set up  — jutting out like a runway — allows the audience to stand on three sides, offering unique vantage points. Like watching some guy steal a drumstick taped to the side of the kick after the show finished, and then talking his girlfriend into stealing another from his stick bag.
  10. That said, it still hurts to pay $7 for a bottle of beer.

MP3: Mew – "Snow Brigade"

Also in attendence: Music Snobbery, more to come I’m sure.

Photos courtesy special SoundBites correspondent Edwin De La Cruz. A few more after the jump…

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