Punknews.org

mewithoutYou / Piebald

mewithoutYou / Piebald: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Tooth & Nail Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Somehow, mewithoutYou is a band that consistently finds themselves in the middle of incredibly solid tour packages. They went out with Sparta and Aloha last winter, Say Anything, Piebald and Days Away last fall, and just prior to that supported Thursday along with Minus the Bear. Adding them to any .


Somehow, mewithoutYou is a band that consistently finds themselves in the middle of incredibly solid tour packages. They went out with Sparta and Aloha last winter, Say Anything, Piebald and Days Away last fall, and just prior to that supported Thursday along with Minus the Bear. Adding them to any lineup would immediately conjure images of words like "diverse" and "atmospheric," but this trek with Piebald, the Snake the Cross the Crown and Manchester Orchestra, it was even better and varied than expected.

From my standpoint it seemed every member of the Snake the Cross the Crown took the stage shoe- and sock-less. Despite a polite, modest reception from the crowd, that type of comfortable stage presence cast a pleasant light over the band's set of down-home, feel-good alt-country. The band played the less moodier of their material, tending to concentrate on songs of that type from their newest, Cotton Teeth. Frontman Kevin Jones stood stage right and, in a powder blue `70s suit and thick facial hair, resembled a barefoot Beegee. When a rare roar of audience approval erupted after completion of one particular song, Jones self-deprecatingly responded, "I hope that wasn't in fear." The band played a strong, assorted set that seemed to win over some hearts.

Set list (7:30-8:01):

  1. Cakewalk
  2. Gypsy Melodies
  3. -----
  4. Behold the River
  5. -----
  6. Electronic Dream Plant
  7. -----
  8. The Great American Smokeout
  9. -----
  10. On the Threshold of Eternity
Mark it: Manchester Orchestra could very well blow up. Lord knows (pun somewhat intended) their live performance absolutely floored me. Frontman Andy Hull has a terribly fragile, emotional voice that brought to mind admired songwriters like Colin Meloy, Kevin Devine, Jesse Lacey and Conor Oberst, and would often let his bandmates abandon him in sound while he sincerely pleaded lyrics with his eyes clenched over only his guitar. It would be weird to say The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me had a significant impact on the band since they recorded their own album around the same time, but there were definite similarities (and a seemingly unlikely rumor actually has the influence the other way around; but c'mon, to say the beginning of "Where Have You Been?" doesn't sound identical to the first few notes of "Sowing Season (Yeah)" would be ludicrous). In any event, I was wowed. I got a bit of a Christian vibe, and this was confirmed by a thanks to Jesus in the liner notes of their album I picked up, I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child; it was hardly anything preachy, though. The band displayed mighty dynamics between their hushed narratives and brawny, electric rockouts. Devine himself even came out to lend a hand on second guitar and backup vocals for the last two songs, replacing a fellow who himself was filling in for a seemingly hospitalized keyboardist. The stunning ending of the set left Hull alone again, practically screaming "my God, my God -- where have you been??" It was nearly ruined by their plethora of bro-ham fans drunkenly hollering and shouting "MANCHESTER!" over Hull's last few, somber lines, but I still got chills. I'm Like a Virgin itself seems pretty good after a cursory spin, but I'm convinced Manchester's power really lies in their live show -- and it's one that needs to be witnessed.

Set list (8:17-8:44):
  1. Wolves at Night
  2. -----
  3. Now That You're Home
  4. -----
  5. Golden Ticket
  6. -----
  7. I Can Barely Breathe
  8. -----
  9. Where Have You Been?
Piebald's We Are the Only Friends We Have, despite being my favorite album of their catalog, was released over five years ago, so I don't think I could ask much of the band; considering they kicked out four jams from it, I was pretty satisfied. While I was admittedly slightly bored by the playing of some of the newer songs, the band kicked it into high gear when "American Hearts" started -- Travis Shettel suddenly mounted his keyboard and hopped down into the crowd, wandering about it and fully encouraging sing-along participation. Outside of that, plenty touring partners and roadies frequently hopped on stage to assist in instrumentation or vocal duty -- it was sort of like a little party. In "Haven't Tried It" he even lassoed up one of his shredding guitarists with the mic cord. Obviously, Piebald was a shitton of fun.

Set list (8:59-9:41):
  1. Fear and Loathing on Cape Cod
  2. Life on the Farm
  3. -----
  4. The Song That Launched 1000 Ships
  5. Dirty Harry and the Thunderbolts
  6. -----
  7. Haven't Tried It
  8. Strangers
  9. American Hearts
  10. -----
  11. If Marcus Garvey Dies, Then Marcus Garvey Lives
  12. The Stalker
  13. -----
  14. A Friend of Mine
  15. Long Nights
Although they omitted several hopefuls ("Bullet to Binary," "The Cure for Pain," "Torches Together," "Disaster Tourism," "Seven Sisters," "The Sun and the Moon," "Nice and Blue (Pt. Two") and played what could be regarded as a relatively short set for a headliner, mewithoutYou definitely fired on nearly every cylinder.

The stage setup was much more minimal than their co-headlining trek with Sparta; only a banner showing off the cover of Brother, Sister was hung in the background, with cardboard cutouts of neither the sun nor the moon hanging from the rafters this time. This was perfectly fine -- Highline Ballroom is a fairly intimate venue at 700 capacity, and has just a big enough stage and floor for the band to really be involved with a still large crowd, and it puts key focus on the band's performance.

For the most part, singer / occasional guitarist / occasional accordionist Aaron Weiss seemed much less nervous than usual. He could usually be found hopping and jumping on the stage from its one end to the other. Perhaps all this touring has given Weiss some new confidence -- he even managed an unsettling, cold stare into the audience at some of the set's more serious lyrical moments. Rare moments found him physically settled; one of them occurred in "Four Word Letter (Pt. Two)," when he simply sat down near his guitarist brother and clutched his accordion during the extended bridge. He continued to bravely convey his personal convictions, stressing one in particular when he slightly altered the lyrics in "C-Minor," shouting, "I'm still very much a virgin after 28 years...!"

As a whole, the band filled every space in the venue with their breathtaking atmospherics as well as their dynamic bursts of intensity. Interesting and impressive transitions alike were executed between songs. The chorus of "The Dryness and the Rain" was even delivered more slowly and dramatically than the studio version -- it really came off like a somber tribal hymn.

In the silent part of "O, Porcupine," the band had to patiently wait a long time for the crowd to finally fall completely aurally dead so Weiss could cleverly whisper, "Listen to it." Just that little part was worth the wait, though.

The drummer gave his usual all, having drenched himself in bodily fluids by just the third or fourth song. In that aforementioned bridge of "Four Word Letter (Pt. Two)," he stood up, deftly pulled his shirt over his face and continued to pound away.

By the supposed end (the epic, absolutely fantastic "In a Sweater Poorly Knit"), a number of unknowns had jumped onto the stage to join in on the closing, soaring "ahh"s. However, one easily recognized member of these additions was Jesse Lacey, who had ran onto stage several songs prior to tape bundles of flowers to each mic stand. It was a nice little cameo.

The band received plenty of calls to come out and play one more, and it was the set's most aggressive: "January 1979," featuring stage dives from members of Piebald and others. Bodies thrashed about wildly and the audience was more alive than ever -- not that they were ever really dull, though.

During the two final songs ("January 1979" and "Sweater"), Weiss was sure to pass some fruit (an orange, an apple, grapefruit and plantains) around to the crowd and encouraged sharing.

Set list (10:00-10:47):
  1. Yellow Spider
  2. A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains
  3. Tie Me Up! Untie Me!
  4. Wolf Am I! (And Shadow) (?)
  5. -----
  6. Messes of Men
  7. The Dryness and the Rain
  8. Orange Spider
  9. Four Word Letter (Pt. Two)
  10. C-Minor
  11. Son of a Widow
  12. O, Porcupine
  13. Brownish Spider
  14. In a Sweater Poorly Knit
  15. Encore (10:48-10:53):
  16. January 1979
All in all, this was probably the best show I've attended this year. If you're a fan of any of these bands you can't go wrong catching one of these last few dates.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Saves the Day - Through Being CoolLess Than Jake - Borders and BoundariesJawbreaker - Dear YouAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandPinhead Gunpowder - Shoot The MoonThe Clash - London CallingSaves the Day - Can't Slow DownRx Bandits - ProgressBrand New - Your Favorite WeaponBandits of the Acoustic Revolution - A Call to Arms

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
antisocialunchbox (June 28, 2007)

i made those plantains! they were bangin', oh my! lol :) i'm glad people got to eat them after all. the highline security dudes wouldn't let me bring the box in so i left them on top of a public garbage can w/ a note. yay! they didn't go to waste! :)

Anonymous (June 25, 2007)

no wonder the guy is nervous...a virgin after 28 years? christ, he'd loosen right up if the next time they were in los angeles he'd purchase a hump or two.
-TOBB

feeeding5000 (June 24, 2007)

"So you're saying punk is a religion? I mean... people defend it like it is."

I think you misunderstand. Punk is not like a religion - it is, however, a subculture, and, as such, has its own rules and conventions, which must be maintained to preserve the subculture.

Allular (June 24, 2007)

"As for religion's place in punk rock, I feel that, as a subculture, punk does is fact have a set of unspoken "rules" that must be met for something to actually be "punk". I mean, you can't be a Nazi and be a punk, right? Well, I feel that being religious is the same sorta thing. I'd explain it more in-depth, with all kinds of psuedo-intellectual socio 101 bullshit, but I'd rather not."

So you're saying punk is a religion? I mean... people defend it like it is.

Anonymous (June 24, 2007)

saw this show in chicago and the kids all liked piebald and they played grace kelly with wings, no just a simple plan though. it was a great show altogether though

seagel_inc (June 23, 2007)

i agree with scott. i saw this tour in SL,UT and the kids were confused about piebald. it's a shame because not only have they been together forever (i saw them during their "sometimes friends fight" days) but because they seem to enjoy playing live so much. Piebald is one of the bandest that looks totally stoked to play live.

and hats of to snake, the cross. man we're they good.

feeeding5000 (June 23, 2007)

Why do I always get into these arguments? Uhhh. Personally, I dislike religion because all the people I know that have had any serious belief are the same people who are 100% certain in everything they do, which really ticks me off. I mean, you can't go through life not questioning anything because it's all part of some higher power. It also seems like the religious people I know feel that any jackassery that they take part in is absolved because they go to church/temple, and that they are somehow better than me for doing so. I also have the typical "punx argument", where you have to have individual thought, but I know that religious people are capable of that too. I guess I like to be in control of my own life (theoretically), rather than being at the mercy of some omnipotent being.
As for religion's place in punk rock, I feel that, as a subculture, punk does is fact have a set of unspoken "rules" that must be met for something to actually be "punk". I mean, you can't be a Nazi and be a punk, right? Well, I feel that being religious is the same sorta thing. I'd explain it more in-depth, with all kinds of psuedo-intellectual socio 101 bullshit, but I'd rather not.

Anonymous (June 23, 2007)

I have never attacked religion, I am attacking organized religion and its place in punk rock (which should be nowhere).

Mike

Anonymous (June 23, 2007)

Cool. So now punk is close-minded and deciding what bands can sing about. Awesome.

Anonymous (June 23, 2007)

Feeding 5000, why are you rabidly against religion? Not that i'm trying to push you into anything, but I've always wondered what drives the folks who avidly deny anything. Contemporary theorists are saying that a capacity for spirituality shows evidence of a higher level of consciousness. And some say that someone "rabidly" attacking something proves the unsurity that that someone is hiding. Once again, I'm not trying to sway you, I'm just curious. Oh, and I love "brother sister". Incredible record.

feeeding5000 (June 23, 2007)

I think that Mike really fucked himself with his poorly thought out arguments and junior-high ideas. I am rabidly against religion, and feel that it has no place in punk rock, but I'm not gonna needlessly argue it and have my words twisted by some believer. Suffice it to say tha people are capable of both believeing in god and listening to/making punk-related music. And that is okay.

maverick (June 22, 2007)

I caught this tour in Cleveland last night -- the room was almost sold out, right around 400-450 people. When Piebald started, everyone just stood there with blank faces (because why would anyone know a band who have been doing it for TEN YEARS and have put out four records and toured with fucking everyone?). So a few of us moved our way to the front and started a dance party for the ages. And when "American Hearts" kicked in? Holy fucking shit. We went bonkers. My throat hurts so much today from singing along but it was completely worth it (even though there was no "Grace Kelly With Wings" or "Just A Simple Plan" -- denied!).

-Scott

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

I think you people are missing the fact that people like George Bush use God as this selling point. I would never want to associate myself with the same type of people who profit off religion, so how can you possibly associate yourself with religion? Punk is about non-associations. No gangs, clans, groups, whatever. INDIVIDUALITY. Asoociating with organized religion is far from individuality.

Mike in Portland

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

But Jesus isn't around anymore and he is a household name. The only reason why people bash christian bands is because there living life by these certain values that punk loves to hate. Its just not cool to go to church on sunday, as a teen, you much rather say fuck you to your church. Now these kid will gladly go to church? Its a counter- counter culture!
Remember:
Jesus was a communist
Jesus was a pacifist
Jesus was a communist
Jesus didn't like the rich

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

The guy below me is spot on.

If bands preaching about Jesus is bad, then wouldn't a band speaking about any other belief also be bad? So:

No NOFX speaking about punkvoter.
No Earth Crisis speaking about Veganism.
No Rise Against/any of the PETA bands talking about PETA.
No Deicide talking about their anti-Christianity.

This is getting too narrow minded.

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

I believe this Mike in Portland fellow is a bit mistaken.

Certainly, evangelical Christianity is the mainstream in America. But there are many types of Christianity that are not evangelical/fundamentalist - it's just that the crazy conservatives are that much louder.

Also, while the institutionalized religion of Christianity is mainstream, Jesus was definitely NOT mainstream. If you would actually read about him, you would see that he was incredibly counterculture. He fought against established rules that said to follow rules blindly and to shun others who are different.

I'll say it - I consider Jesus one of the first punks.

sickboi (June 22, 2007)

All in all, this was probably the best show I've attended this year.

Uhhhh...you were at the Inquisition/Draft show dude. Oh wait, don't tell me....sigh.....

-chris

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

i'm checking this show out in detroit tonight. hopefully it should be a deceont one (piebald certainly has never put on a bad show that i've seen)

the arguement below is incredibly dumb. i'm not a christan, nor have i ever believed in god but i think to exclude people who are and do would be to make punk an exclusive club, which is what it was a reaction against in the first place. its close enough to that anyway, for a scene with that shouldn't really have any rules, you kids seem to come up with quite a few dumb ones

jbright (June 22, 2007)

lol @ mike in portland. to you punk is about rebelling. well to me punk is about being who/what you want to be.

and thanks for telling me i cant believe in Jesus and punk rock at the same time.

but hey, I love God and punk, i must be an acception.

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

KurtTGS: did you seriously say that Jesus is not mainstream. You have to be joking. I was bored as hell the other day and watched 'The View' on ABC and Michael Moore was on
talking about his new movie, he made a reference to Jesus and the whole audience cheered louder than they did for anything else he said. Something like 80% of America
believes in God, if 80% is not mainstream then, wow. And Jesus and God go hand and hand with most Americans.
Another problem with religion is that people profit off of it! Televangelists anyone. I am fuckin happy that Jerry Falwell is dead, if there is such thing as a hell and more than 100 people are in it and that man is not in it, then fuck a higher being altogether. I have read a few books on religion, (Siddhartha, Life After Life, The God We Never Knew,
and some other book about quantum physics, god, and how they are related) and I have also seen what religion can do to a person. I am all for believing in god but I just can't stand people who preach it. That is the opposite of what punk is about.
Punkengineer: I am not trying to write the guidelines of punk, but if there are no guidelines what the fuck is it? It couldn't even be called punk? Punk has to have guidelines or the scene will go to hell. Punk is about standing up to what is wrong, believing is Jesus is not wrong, but preaching about Jesus is wrong in my opinion.

Mike in Portland

Scruffy (June 22, 2007)

I'll bite.

Mike, just because rejecting the religion you were raised in requires some level of "thinking for yourself" (though I fail to see how blind reactionary thought is also independent thought), it does not mean that the opposite, NOT rejecting something you were raised in, means you haven't made an independent choice. Let me ask you: Just how many books, how much philosphy, how much theology, did you immerse yourself in before you decided what you believe? Or did you just embrace nihilism because it allowed you to shock your parents and do whatever you want without guilt?
I have friends of all different faiths, and I respect each of their philosophies, but not yours. No one who could say something as stupid as you did actually knows why they believe what they believe, or they wouldn't belittle other people's search for truth.
The biggest thing most people hate about Christians is their lack of empathy, tolerance and relativism. You share this same deficiency. So what makes you better than anyone else?

punkengineer (June 22, 2007)

Yeah I agree a pretty stupid comment by Mike. I don't believe in organized religion or do I like mewithoutYou, but technically they can do whatever they want. The only thing I got against religious bands is keeping their religion to themselves. If you believe in God, great, but people in the crowd most likely don't want to be preached to. Keep your beliefs to yourself. Oh and thanks Mike for writing the guidelines on what is punk. You should hang out with fuckyouoioioi more often.

KurtTGS (June 22, 2007)

Wow, thanks Mike. That was the most ridiculous thing I've ever read.

No, Jesus is not mainstream.

"Believing what you believe is fine, but no person who believes in organized religion has came to their decisions on their own, and punk is about learning and making informed decisions"

I'm glad you wrote the book.

"I can almost guarantee that nobody in this band has recieved a message from Jesus that said, "I want you to start a band and preach about me."

Almost guarantee? Wow. But you are right in a way, because He doesn't he didn't and doesn't "tell people" to do things.

"This band has absolutely nothing to do with punk, anyone who preaches about Jesus should not be accepted in punk rock, some may say, "well not accepting someone is pretty unpunk." While I agree punk rock should be all about acceptance you
can't accept Jesus preachers into punk."

Man, zero contradiction in that comment. That just voided your whole post.

"If you allow god into punk it will become just as brainwashed as religion itself."

I'm not sure why you are posting this here, considering none of the bands in this review are punk.

Better luck next time, Mike.

GlassPipeMurder (June 22, 2007)

"marcus garvey.." is an amazing song. love piebald.

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

Bring out the Jesus lovers, lets debate.
Any band that believes in Jesus and talks about it in their songs should never be reviewed on a site entitled, "punknews.org." Punk rock is about rebelling against the mainstream and Jesus is as mainstream as it gets. Some argue, "well they believe what they believe, that is pretty punk." Believing what you believe is fine, but no person who believes in organized religion has came to their decisions on their own, and punk is about learning and making informed decisions. I can almost guarantee that nobody in this band has recieved a message from Jesus that said, "I want you to start a band and preach about me." This band has absolutely nothing to do with punk, anyone who preaches about Jesus should not be accepted in punk rock, some may say, "well not accepting someone is pretty unpunk." While I agree punk rock should be all about acceptance you
can't accept Jesus preachers into punk. If you allow god into punk it will become just as brainwashed as religion itself.

Mike in Portland

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

manchester orchestra is amazing, one of the best new bands, fan for a couple of years now

mwy, just woow,

the snake, the cross, the crown are really good, im digging them

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go