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Concert review: Mutemath makes it happen at Mohawk Place

Mutemath: neither heat, illness nor stink slowed these guys down.

blog by BuffaloDotCom  • 

The Band:
Grammy-nominated alt-rockers Mutemath made their Buffalo debut in support of their third studio release, Odd Soul, at Mohawk Place on Thursday. While some may recognize the group from the 2008 Twilight soundtrack, the four-piece band from New Orleans has received buzz since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2006.

In 2007 Mutemath was nominated for a Grammy for their music video “Typical,” which features the band performing the song backwards. Odd Soul will be released on October 4 and the video for the first single off the album, “Blood Pressure,” premiered on Thursday, Sept. 22. 

Mutemath consists of Paul Meany (vocals, keyboard), Darren King (drums), Tom Gummerman (guitar) and Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas (bass).

The Venue:
In case you’ve never been, Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St., Buffalo) is a Buffalo favorite for up-and-coming local and national acts.  It’s a dive bar with charm. And by charm, I mean they book some great acts and have cheap drinks. Don’t go in the bathrooms. The performance space is snug and heats up pretty quickly, but everyone always seems to leave happy.

The Crowd:
Approximately 150 to 200 people filled the venue, the floor was packed and latecomers were stuck straining to see from the bar area. Meany,  dripping with sweat, joked about the tight quarters, calling it “a very special, intimate evening.”  He also mentioned that it was “...hot as hell and smelled like ass.”  That’s a pretty accurate assessment.

The audience, obviously overjoyed to have Mutemath in town, ignored the heat (and stink), sang along and jumped around at all the right cues.

The Performance:
Mutemath paraded in – literally.  The band, armed with tambourines and drums, marched to the stage from the front door of the Mohawk Place and started their 90-minute set with a bang. Opening with two new songs, “Prytania” and “Blood Pressure,” they didn’t waste any time warming up.

Meany belted out both tracks while dancing around the small stage with fervor and was visibly perspiring at an uncomfortable level by the time they made it to the third song, “Spotlight,” (Twihards’ favorite). He comically apologized to the front row for being such a “spastic, sweaty man” and revealed later in the show that he was sweating out a fever. Besides the perspiration and raspy vocals at times, Meany hid his illness well and his energy level was high the entire performance.  What a champ.

The overall set was solid. New songs from Odd Soul such as “Allies,” “Tell Your Heart Heads Up,” and “Walking Paranoia” were received very well, while older favorites like “Typical,” “Reset,” and “Control” caused a bit of a frenzy, the band included. Meany and King, making the most of the small stage, both rocked out on top of the piano at various points in the show.


The Verdict:
Fantastic show! Mutemath’s new wave, electric and—at times—psychedelic sound is great to experience live. The performance itself was similar to an OK Go show, but with less theatrics. It was exciting to see them in such a small venue, but hopefully the next time they make it back to Buffalo they’ll perform someplace with a bit more room. Regardless, I’ll be there.

Deandra Modica has contributed to Buffalo.com since 2008.  She is a graduate of Niagara University and Syracuse University.  She has written for numerous blogs and publications throughout the United States.

TAGGED: concerts, deandra modica, indie rock buffalo, mohawk place, mutemath

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