Bell, minus the band, opened the night with herself and a guitar. The simplistic setup highlighted her delicate vocals and gave the crowd a unique, intimate experience. Her folksy sounds captivated the audience through relatable, raw lyrics, spilling “love will make you crazy, make you worried, make you blind,” from “Love Before Me,” the first song on their EP. Bell the Band released their debut self-titled EP on January 25th- find it here.
Frontwoman Mandy Lee, backed by guitarist Marc Campbell, bassist Will Hehir, drummer Etienne Bowler, saxophonist Michael Murphy, and the multi-faceted trumpet, keys, and accordion player Jesse Blum brought their funky pop tunes back to First Avenue in promotion of their sophomore album, Connect the Dots. Donned in extravagant, colorful ensembles, the sextet walked out to the dreamy “Pure Imagination,” from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
The new LP provides a candid look in to Lee’s beautiful soul. They opened their set with the upbeat track, “Chasing This,” and despite having a dancey feel, the lyrics showcase the bittersweet reality of being a touring musician. Songs like “Drummer Boy” and “Coloring Outside The Lines” are transparently about Lee’s fiancé and bandmate, Etienne Bowler, and were delightfully heartwarming when performed live. “Machine” and “Revolution” seem to be written more out of frustration against the music industry and state of the world respectively, and those emotions were delivered passionately throughout the night.
The New York natives made sure to include a few older tunes from their first album, Our Own House, and their debut Reflections EP. One highlight of the show was the mash up of their song “Vagabond” with a cover of Chance the Rapper’s “Same Drugs,” both of which flaunt Lee’s powerhouse vocals.
Misterwives have concluded their Band Camp tour, but will hit the road again with Vinyl Theatre and Smallpools on September 23rd. Find tickets here, and make sure to check out their latest music video for Machine here.
Minneapolis photographer and music lover.
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