All types attended this show by the most refreshing band to come into indie pop this decade. They describe themselves as rock n soul, but they’re just not as easy to pigeonhole as that.
VÉRITÉ was a prime choice for the supporting act of the night; just like MisterWives, she’s from New York, and she’s backed by a three-piece band of guitar, bass and percussion. Her mid-tempo alternative pop tracks began the night not too far afield from the main show. While the venue was still yet to fill out even at the end of her set list, those who had made it in time were committedly attentive. The mixture of the rock kit and the electronic drum pad made for a modern day Fleetwood Mac feel, with her emotive vocals providing hints of Ceremonials era Florence + The Machine. She used the dual microphone setup to a great advantage, as the heavy reverb from one of them provided depth and atmosphere. At the end of her punchy set, I’m sure I’m not the only new fan she gained – she’s one to watch.
It would be impolite to outshine your headliners, though, but it’s unlikely that such a magnetic band could have picked another support act charming enough to do so. What MisterWives proved on the night of 21/05/15, is that they’re an immaculate choice for festival line-ups. I think we’ve found the band to fill the hole in popular music that appeared when No Doubt became anything less than the centre of Gwen Stefani’s career.
All but one of the original songs in the set list of the night appear on their 2015 debut album titled Our Own House. The other was the first track of their Reflections EP, ‘Twisted Tongue’. Their fans’ penchant for singing along was definitely felt by the band, who made effort to pause between songs and applaud their own crowd – a testament to the strength of their choruses. It was the kind of show where I found myself refusing to look behind me, in case my frantic enjoyment of the show was angering somebody twice my size. It was proven by the comment I overheard upon leaving the venue that not everyone had been up to the task of enjoying the amount of energy the band provided; “The people jumping were doing my head in!” You, my friend, might want to stay home from future shows.
While it was a mild disappointment that some of the songs had a slower tempo than their studio counterparts, it did give the show a more sporadic feel. Seeing the crowd in front of me dance at different speeds during any one song, especially with the band’s ska influence, was fantastic. Between an audience participation-laden cover of 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun', an on-stage dance off between the members of the band, and the use of a clapping game to introduce a song with wildly youthful vigour, it wasn’t just sweat they were oozing; it was charisma.
The massive finale in the form of a well-deserved encore was the highlight of the show, and don’t take the opinion of anyone who left before it happened. If one good thing comes out of ‘Uptown Funk’, it’s that MisterWives can cover it. Mandy Lee gave her fantastic operatic pipes a rest and took to the drum kit, and the band segued straight into their final song, ‘Imagination Infatuation’ with dancing, solos and smiles apiece. They are an ensemble, and every band member gets their moment in the spotlight. That night, MisterWives gave a venue that I’ve been going to since I was 15 a new vitality.