Mutemath at the House of Blues, Boston

Photos and review by Eric Pennell

Show Photos HERE

I have been a fan of Mutemath for a handful of years now. I first saw them 2 years ago, almost to the day, at Great Scott, in Allston, MA. How things have changed since I stood in that cramped club. That tiny stage just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Not for what these guys had planned for this tour. Having just released the new album, Play Dead, only a few of days before arriving in Boston, I had to cram prior to the show. I listened to it in the car and at work and I have to say it really got me excited to see them again.

Paul playing “the Atari”

Everything on stage is white. There is a giant, floor-to-ceiling projection screen at the rear. When Mutemath enters, they are dressed all in white. For the first song, the lighting is stark; just white spotlights. But as the show continues, the projected visuals and lighting intensifies. The visuals prove to be a perfect companion to the Mutemath sound throughout the night. It was a great balance of new songs and fan favorites.

So let’s address the elephant in the room and get it out of the way. Two core members of the original lineup are gone. Bassist/multi-instrumentalist Roy Mitchell-Cardenas, who announced his departure in May, and most recently, drummer Darren King, who departed only weeks prior to starting the tour. Like I am sure many of you felt, that last one stung.. a lot. I mean who the #%^$ is going to be able to replace Darren King? Well, so far it seems to be David “Hutch” Hutchinson who melded with the band so seamlessly it didn’t seem possible. How did Hutch learn all this songs in such little time? Did he sleep? I mean we’re not talking about picking up some basic ‘four on the floor’ stuff. This is crazy-ass Darren King patterns and feel and nuance. Well done Hutch! On tour in place of Mitchell-Cardenas is Jonathan Allen who definitely stepped up to the plate on fairly short notice and rounded out the rhythm nicely. Props to the whole crew for pulling this tour together without sacrifice to the Mutemath sound or vibe.

Paul with “mini-Meany”, Amelia. Dig the pink ear protection!

OK. Back to the show. Like I said a great mix of songs which included the instrumental ‘Reset” and the appearance of “the Atari”, Paul Meany’s electronic, touch-sensitive, guitar-ish device that squawks an squeals like, well, old Atari video game sounds.

Paul’s daughter, Amelia, joined him on stage for a bit of fun. She danced and sang and was eventually carried off by ‘Dad’ as she still belted away into the microphone. Definitely a crowd favorite.

And then there was the large, inflatable, LED illuminated, crowd surfing…(bed?) that made its way from the pit to the crowd. Paul leapt from the stage and was carried out by the crowd to the middle of the concert hall. You know, I get it. Paul’s a dad with an energetic little girl at home (same age as me and I have 2 girls) so when it comes to crowd surfing….you’re just tired. I mean, you need a break. Kids are exhausting.

Paul on the “Sleep Number Surf 9000”

Band founder, lead singer and keyboard player Paul Meany was running on overdrive, jumping on top of instruments and crashing to the floor. All the while never missing a note on the keys and singing as gracefully as ever. Todd Gummerman was up to his usual guitar nastiness and pulling double-duty on the synth as well. It certainly appears that even with all the chaos in the last few months, Mutemath is showing no indications of slowing down or hanging it up. The rest of the tour should be amazing so get out there and see them. These guys excel at the live show.

Till next time. Get out and experience music!

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