The year 2017 almost marked the end of popular Psych-Rock band Mutemath. After wrapping up recording on their latest album, they were faced with the news that their drummer Darren King would be leaving the band. On top of that, their bassist removed himself from the touring lineup, leaving the band in an interesting position. Instead of letting it tear them apart, they got to work on preparing their already announced tour. It was no doubt that Tuesday’s show at the Pageant here in St. Louis was proof that they made the right choice keeping the band together.
Opening up for Mutemath on the Midwest portion of the tour were bands ROMES and Colony House. Colony House had a memorable set up with a large light up version of their logo, and light stands silhouetting the performers. Their drummer, Will Chapman, was even repping the blues with a sticker on his bass drum. Both bands perfectly got the crowd moving and ready for the main event.
While Mutemath has been making great music since 2004, ironically Play Dead stands out as a release where the band has really found a good groove. The album is heavy on the psychedelic/funk aspect with hits like Break the Fever, a song that definitely got the crowd dancing and singing along when they played it live. To match the extra dose of psychedelic, the band came out clad in all white, with a range of projections flooding the stage as they played.
Mutemath’s touring lineup contains only two of the members from the album recording, but they have obviously been hard at work perfecting the group. The original members include enigmatic frontman Paul Meany and guitarist Todd Gummerman. To fill in for the missing members they called upon bassist Jonathan Allen who has recorded with them in the past, as well as David Hutchison on drums.
Meany comes out in full force to work as the frontman for the group. Over the course of the show he played everything from a synth set up to a keytar, the whole time pulling it all together with his slick dance moves. Meany is a little bit Thom Yorke, a little bit Nathan Willet of Cold War Kids, with his rich vocals and cool exterior. He consistently captivated the audience, seeming just as excited to be there as all the fans.
One of the highlights of the night was their cover of Beck’s classic hit, Devil’s Haircut. It was a fun deviation from their original content and fit perfectly with their laid back alternative sound. Meany’s vocal performance paired flawlessly with the song, and it was a good chance for them to let loose and have silly fun on stage.
When Mutemath first debuted they were wrongly billed as a Christian Rock group, but there is a certain edge and essence of rock n roll with their current set that pushes them far away from their unwanted legacy. Play Dead Live is a perfect culmination for the bands recent journey with their identity. What ended up being a full two hour set was a well put together production of light and sound, and we cannot wait to see what comes next from this stage of Mutemath’s lineup.
You can check out their latest album Play Dead on Spotify or purchase a physical copy on Amazon:
More photos from the show: