mewithoutYou Live in Indianapolis – Farewell Reflections

Sometimes in life you encounter a band and their story becomes part of your very own in some shape or form. For me, mewithouYou was a band that got my attention early on, but for some reason never really clicked with me until after they had put out their third album Brother, Sister. However, I still remember the first time I heard “Bullet To Binary” and wondering why I was being yelled at in French. I was more enamored by the video concept as it played on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.

Over time I began to appreciate mewithoutYou for the band they were as each album seemed to redefine their unique style in various ways. During their tenure though I never took the time to see them perform live. I just kept saying I’d catch them eventually some day or maybe on their next tour. Therefore, never really appreciating them in their full element. When the farewell tour was announced pre-pandemic I made a conscious effort that I was finally go to see them live even if it was going to be the only time I did so.

Due to some scheduling conflicts I missed the 2 opportunities to see them “close to home” in ether St. Louis, MO or Nashville, TN. This left only Indianapolis, IN as a feasible option for me to make the trek. In the days leading up to the show I had mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension thinking that maybe I was putting too much pressure on the show itself. I had high expectations, but perhaps I had set them too high. I had a friend tag along for the inevitable long drive home late that night (this is important later in).

We arrived to the venue a bit early and walked around downtown Indy for a bit since neither of us had really been there before and grabbed something to eat before getting in line to enter. There was only a small handful of people ahead of us so when the doors opened we were able to get a good comfortable spot for the evening. Why? opened with a rather minimal set, but it was easy to see that they fit well with the aesthetic that mewithoutYou have created in both their recordings and live performances.

When it was time for mewithoutYou to take the stage the room was quite and you could feel the anticipation. There was no introduction or fanfare. They just took their places and and did what they do. Since this was my first time seeing them live I didn’t worry much about the setlist or taking very many pictures as I just wanted to be in the presence of what the band was doing. They played a very diverse set spanning across all 7 albums in the entirety of their career (Spotify playlist below of their set). While it was a bit of a bummer to not see them play a couple of my favorite tracks (“Nice And Blue (Pt.2)” and “Paper-Hanger”) their overall set was nothing short of spectacular. The part that was most impressive was that they managed to play through a total of 24 tracks in a little less than 90 minutes (see the playlist below). It was all business with minimal banter between songs, but the passion and energy coming from all band members was purely electric.

Overall, it was truly a night to remember and a concert I will not soon forget. But perhaps the most enjoyable part of the evening was watching the friend who went with me experience mewithoutYou in a truly pure form. He had not listened to them prior to that night (aside from a couple of tracks I had shared) and he walked away saying that it was far more enjoyable than seeing Dead & Company (which he had been looking forward to for several years) just a few short weeks prior.

mewihtoutYou have created a truly unique space in music that will be sorely missed here in a couple of short weeks when it is all said and done. If you’ve not had the chance to catch them on their final run their final 2 shows in Philadelphia still has tickets available and will be available to view via livestream (I’ll be purchasing both).

Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins

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