with Big Scary

Like it loud? Sweaty? Want your ear drums blown out by an alt-rock-blues-infused-sometimes-surfer-vibe-but-also-garage-pop-pyschadelic- indefinable-sound? Do you crave huge drum rolls, a thumping bass line, and enough energy from a frontman to fuel a small nation? Well, if you’re prepared to wait 75 minutes for it, then you should hit up a Mutemath gig.

Warming up for the critically acclaimed New-Orleans lads at The Hi-Fi in Sydney, were Big Scary. Playing tracks off their seasonal EP’s and last year’s stand-out album, Vacation, Big Scary fulfilled their opener duties down to a cruisey “T”. The Big Scary duo – Joanna Syme and Tom Lansek – love playing music and they love each other’s company. It’s apparent, and it’s damn infectious. As always, they were atmospheric with their aching love ballads and upbeat with their guitar driven rock, finishing their set all smiles and evidently humbled by the huge crowd response.

Then, it all went quiet. For a LONG time. 75 minutes passed by before a thumping drum beat was heard through the crowd, and Mutemath made their grand entrance from the rear of the Hi-Fi. In an attempt to part the mass of people like Moses and the Red Sea, it soon became clear that their stunt had been weakened by their delayed start. Instead of parting willingly, fans were too busy watching time tick by on their Casio watches (digital, of course).

Was Mutemath’s big entrance enough to make everyone forget about the 75min wait? I’m not sure. The delay reeked of disrespect for their fans, especially when an apology was never offered. BUT, for the sake of this review, letting bygones be bygones, let's look at what they dished up when they eventually graced the stage with their presence.

Without a doubt, the energy the Mutemath lads bring with them, is electric. When drummer Darren King gaffed his head phones to his head, it seemed to be yet another stunt, but within moments he was up out of his seat, thrusting his life into every hit with his sticks, and never missing a beat. He was even standing on the drums whilst playing them at one point. That’s how alive that guy is. He needed those headphones sticky taped to his head.

The rest of the band were their ever-cool selves with front man Paul Meany leading the charge in one uber suave get-up. His outfit had no choice but to be fashionable, if it had any hope of standing out amongst the plethora of instruments which surrounded him. Meany’s engagement with the crowd had the nose bleed section roaring and screaming.

Mutemath’s soul infused rock n roll sound had just the right touch of indie, and it carried well within the black box venue. They covered tracks spanning the length of their carer, as well as a few newbies, which were having their “legs tested” on this Australian tour. The new tracks played well, and leaning towards the indie side of things.

A stellar performance, indeed. The Mutemath boys stayed true to their soulful, professional selves, and it had all the diehards up in arms and screaming for more.
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