Mew brings high-caliber performance to the 9:30 Club
Concertgoers wound around the block at the 9:30 Club, waiting in line for Mew’s headlining show on Oct. 9. The Danish pop-rock band, usually found playing to massive European audiences, packed their energy and charisma into a high-octane show that kept 9:30 visitors moving throughout the performance. Eclectic indie-rock duo The Dodos played a brief but stellar opening set showcasing songs from its newest releases, 2015’s “Individ,” and 2013’s “Carrier.”
The Dodos took the stage promptly at 10:30, kicking off the late-night show with pounding drums and percussive guitar in “Goodbyes and Endings,” then launched immediately into “Competition,” a stand-out track from “Individ.” Guitarist Meric Long’s thickly layered guitar parts were supported by drummer Logan Kroeber’s primal, polyrhythmic beats. The duo blazed through their 30-minute set, balancing catchy hooks against densely interwoven rhythm-driven jams. Long’s guitar work in an extended solo on “The Current” left concertgoers - even those solely in attendance for Mew - thoroughly impressed. The short set wrapped up with “Precipitation,” the driving first track on “Individ.”
After a brief intermission, Mew took the stage one member at a time amidst thunderous applause. The Danish prog-rock outfit, whose sound leans more pop than most profiles indicate, launched into its set with “Witness,” from latest album, “+ -.” Elaborate lighting and impeccable sound engineering emphasized that Mew operates on a level of professionalism not always found in smaller venues. Though better known in its native Europe, Mew’s DC fan base turned out in full, packing the 9:30 Club’s sizable floor to capacity.
The band’s festival-grade energy coursed through the venue and spilled over into the crowd as Mew continued its set with new songs including “Satellites” and “Water Slides.” Its well-balanced sound perfectly highlighted the members’ individual talents, though Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen (drums) and Mads Wegner (guitar) cut through the mix particularly well.
Mew charged through its headlining set, delivering rock-steady performances of songs from “+ -,” with a healthy infusion of old favorites. The band kept the energy flowing throughout the dreaded midway point—an often unavoidable trap for even seasoned performers—and hardly stopped to rest between electrifying performances of crowd favorites “Snow Brigade” and “She Spider.”
The Danish rockers wound down their main set with popular tracks “Am I Wry? No” and “156,” but a deafening call for more brought the group back out. To the audience’s roaring approval, Mew ripped through newer hit “My Complications” and concluded with a soaring rendition of “Comforting Sounds.” Crashing drums and built-up guitars underscored lead singer Jonas Bjerre’s impressively controlled falsetto, ending the night on a literal high note. Mew may not have its largest demographic of listeners here in the U.S., but the dedicated fans that flooded the 9:30 club on Oct. 9 were treated to an outstanding performance that surely won the Danish pop-rockers more than a few new listeners.