mewithoutYou, Kevin Devine, Buried Beds
July 18 @ The Glasshouse (Pomona, CA)
These acts need no introduction. Both Kevin Devine and mewithoutYou have cemented legacies that draw crowds from all around Southern California, and for good reason – they’re simply fantastic at what they do. From the packed parking lot to the crowded merch line before the show, it was clear we were in for a fun night.
Though Buried Beds fit the show’s vibe, they weren’t terribly impressive. A great deal of their set felt misguided and forced, as if the band was shoving every musical influence into each song. It takes careful construction to make three-part harmonies, two guitars, keys, multiple percussionists and a violin work together, and Buried Beds lacked the cohesion to pull it off. That said, all the band needs is help tightening their sound; a little guidance and more concise song structuring would go a long way. I suspect the band will figure themselves out sooner than later.
Armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, Kevin Devine impressed with his unbelievable vocal range. It didn’t matter that he was nowhere near a microphone – the immense power and emotion in his voice traveled effortlessly throughout the venue. I was stunned by the highs he was able to reach, and judging by the audience’s quiet, I wasn’t the only one. My one qualm was that the acoustic set lacked dynamics, staying a little too even for a show with member-heavy bands. Bringing along the Goddamn band would have likely solved the issue, but Devine delivered an enjoyable set on his own.
Then came mewithoutYou in all their glory. Drawing from their entire ten year career, the band played an exciting and balanced set to an awed crowd. Most audiences sing along to their favorite acts, but these fans were more interested in watching Aaron Weiss deliver a flawless performance. With every song, the band displayed their veteran status despite dealing with some technical issues. Halfway through the night, Weiss challenged the crowd to pick up the pace, a request that immediately was met following “January 1979” and “Fox’s Dream Of The Log Flume.” Though all the classic mwY songs were present, the Ten Stories tracks generated the most energy, getting the Glasshouse dancing and screaming along. All in all, it was exactly what I expected – an impressive set from an impressive band.
PS. Love when bands sell vinyl at their merch table - most of the mwY discography was available, including a tour-exclusive 7".