Written and Photos by Michaela Althouse
It’s pretty safe to assume that any band who is cool enough to start its act off with swirling lights and Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination is going to put on a good show.
Misterwives’ Wednesday, Nov. 4 showing at the Fillmore in Fishtown proved not to disappoint. Energy was high, the venue was full and it seemed as if everyone was having a good time. While space was tight, chandeliers dangled from the ceiling and enough room was left to raise your arms in the proper concert position.
The New York-based band made their debut with an EP in 2013 entitled Reflections. Lead singer Mandy Lee, bassist William Hehir and drummer Etienne Bowler were set out with the intention to compose and perform their own independent music. Since then, they have moved further adding the saxophone, trombone, trumpet and strings into their sound.
Misterwives, a play on the concept of sister wives, as Lee is the only female to this day, released their album Our Own House in 2015. The band opened for bands like Half Moon Run before embarking on their own “Scrapbook” tour and making a stop in Philadelphia.
Satisfying the task of not one, but two enjoyable opening acts, Philadelphia-homegrown CRUISR and California’s WATERS were practically just as pleasing of a performance (minus a questionable song that’s lyrics involved ‘throwing shade’). It was just enough to get you pumped for the main act. Although not quite on par with Misterwives, no one was complaining about the choice. In fact, as the crowd shouted out familiar lyrics, it seemed these acts were well-received.
Not to disappoint, Misterwives’ familiar feminist lyric and indie-pop vibe outshined the previous performances. Songs varied from up-tempo tunes that practically forced one to dance, to sitting on the edge of the stage for a cool ballad. A few push-ups and cartwheels were even thrown in by the band to spice things up further. Though there were points in between numbers where the speeches verged on preachy (raising another philosophical debate about how much an artist should influence their fans,) it was a night full of dancing and heartfelt enjoyment not soon to be forgotten. As this band’s fame continues to grow, you can be sure that Philly will leave out the welcome mat for any future visits.