Jonas Bjerre of Mew

Mew

Mew at The Henry Fonda Theater, Hollywood, CA, December 14th, 2009

Dec 17, 2009 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
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The quote of the evening goes to the girl next to mewho just before Mew took the stage emphatically announced "Mew aren't Danish! They're from Denmark!" Errr...pardon? Audience confusion aside, the three Danes men from Denmark known as Mew (along with two touring members on bass and keyboard) put on one heck of a showeven after a delayed entrance post curtain-rise caused the (much saner) girl next to me to mutter, "Concertsyou're doing it wrong!"

Of course, when Mew did finally take the stage they did "do it right," eradicating quibbles about opening bands, nationality, timing, parking, weatherand pretty much any other illwith a blast of pure musical transcendence. Now, this may seem like the battle cry of an over-exuberant fan girl (which I'll readily admit to being), but taking into account the blissed-out faces of audience members and the absolute shrieks of delight when Mew launched into crowd favorites (nearly every song played off Frengers and And the Glass Handed Kites), "transcendence" might not be such a hyperbole.

This was particularly true whenband taking a much deserved breaklead singer Jonas Bjerre took a seat at the keyboard, announcing, "I'm going to play a difficult song for you," before performing arresting solo versions of "New Terrain" and "She Came Home for Christmas,"his effortlessly haunting falsetto proving to be Mew's strongest weapon. Bjerre would later close the evening out with the a cappella strains of "Louise Lousia," his powerful voice once again stilling the audience's rustlings.

In addition to a musical performance that proves Mew are ready for bigger venues, more hearts to break, and an eventual bid for musical world domination, the night featured a beautiful-albeit-creepy visual component. An accomplished artist (turn to pg 20 of your Under the Radar Summer 2009 issue for more evidence), Bjerre's fingerprints are all over Mew's show projectionsfrom the dancing skulls during opener "Hawaii" to the child chorus during "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" to inexplicably, a cat with a violin during "Am I Wry? No." After "Saviours of Jazz Ballet" Bjerre strolled over to one screen, his seemingly magic touch activating an eerie animation of a teddy bear, whoin a low growltold us, "We will always be your friends."

I hope so.

Set List:

01 Hawaii

02 Circuitry of the Wolf/Chinaberry Tree

03 Am I Wry? No

04 156

05 Introducing Palace Players

06 Beach

07 Sometimes Life Isn't Easy

08 New Terrain (piano version)

09 She Came Home for Christmas (piano version)

10 Special/The Zookeeper's Boy

11 Silas the Magic Car

12 Apocalypso/Saviours of Jazz Ballet

Encore:

13 Repeaterbeater

14 Snow Brigade

15 Louise Louisa

(www.mewsite.com)




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