Touche Amore – mewithoutYou, a set on Flickr.
Standing against the stage I look behind me to survey the crowd. It’s a very strange collection of people. There’s the guy with the eyebrow ring and neck tattoos, the hipster that smells like American Spirits with a button-down shirt and suede shoes, and the girl wearing a black skirt, Doc Martens, and red lipstick. That’s the beauty of a tour like this, it doesn’t matter who you are or whether you fit in because we are all here for the same reason, music.
The lights dim and there’s a soft buzzing of voices behind me. You can feel the crowd’s breath catch simultaneously as Touche Amore takes the stage. Jeremy Bolm’s mouth opens to yell the first words of the band’s intro and without hesitation, bodies clash behind me. The best kind of panic sets in and the show has begun. The crowd screams Bolm’s words right back to him as he sticks the mic in the faces of crowd surfers. Everyone has that hard look on their face, fists in the air, and feet off the ground. There is barely room to breathe at this sold out show at Nashville’s Exit/In, but that doesn’t stop anyone from climbing on top of each other and screaming the lyrics like it’s the only reason why they took a breath. There is hardly a break in their entire set list, which pleases the crowd even more. It isn’t until the very end of their set that there is a bit of lag time between the last two songs, then the band launches into “Condolences” and the crowd seems to have recharged and surges back into action for their final song.
MewithoutYou is the last band to go on and the band most favored by this Nashville crowd. Aaron Weiss creeps out onto the stage fit with his large glasses, heavy wool sweater, a backpack strapped to his shoulders, and a suitcase in hand. I can’t help but think to myself that the band and my grandpa must share the same closet. Their tastes are strikingly similar. It isn’t until Weiss opens his mouth and hollers, “I wrote a four word letter!” that his image is juxtaposed by the kind of music he and his bandmates create. The crowd reacts similarly as they did during Touche’s set, launching forward and screaming the lyrics right back at the band. Bodies move and feet stomp to Michael Weiss’ guitar riffs and Rickie Mazzotta spastic drumming like it’s second nature.
The crowd shouts, sounding a little hoarse now, the lyrics to “Messes of Men” not missing a word and fighting for attention by surfing over people toward the stage. One fan even crashes the stage, jumping up and down with his hands in the air like he had accomplished something that was unthinkable to others. He was celebrated by the band with smiles and even an embrace from Aaron himself. Kind words were exchanged and the fan was satisfied with his stunt and returned to his place in the sea of people.
The band finished up their set and walked off stage, only to have a chanting crowd coax them back out to play two more songs. The excitement got to everybody during the encore, even Aaron got a little too excited and broke the D string on his acoustic guitar. This posed as no problem for the band at all, he simply picked up his accordion that had been hiding in his suitcase and played “Allah, Allah, Allah” as a treat to the crowd. They finished the night off with the first single off their newest album, Ten Stories, “Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume.” It was a show that Nashville will remember for a very long time. No one left disappointed that night.
Photos and review by Sami Wideberg