Concert Review: Dear Hunter/mewithouYou at Grog Shop, 7/6

by

comment

ebb6/1246974253-mwy.jpg

"The first few times we played in Cleveland, it was Hecklesville, USA,” mewithoutYou’s leading man proclaimed halfway through their set last night. Six or seven years later, a lot has changed for Aaron Weiss and his bandmates. The Philadelphia-based band played to a sold-out Grog Shop last night. It was the kind of audience where fans barely speak and very rarely turn their heads away from the stage.

Prog-rockers the Dear Hunter opened the show with dark, moody atmospherics. Casey Crescenzo belted anthemic choruses over a wash of reverb-laden guitar and sparkling keyboards. When the five-piece outfit was at its best, Crescenzo’s songs sounded like Coldplay’s next big hit — melodic, grand and arena-sized. Yet the band proved that it doesn’t need to hide behind twinkling instruments to widen eyes. All five guys harmonized on “Sun,” a stripped-down tune with guitar noodling and a gentle folk vibe. The Dear Hunter’s songs flowed from one to the next, transitioning well into the night’s main event.

MewithoutYou has a distinct way of doing things. The band’s melodies center around Greg Jehanian’s bass guitar and drummer Richard Mazzotta’s distinctive percussion. Both guitar parts are loaded with tons of atmosphere, letting rhythm take over as the driving force of the music.

The fans know it: “Torches Together” incited wild clapping to Mazzotta’s wild time signatures, and heads bobbed in beat with “The Dryness and the Rain.” Weiss sings/yells/speaks/shouts (honestly, his vocals are a clusterfuck of about a dozen different styles) along with the throbbing beat. He lunged across the stage manically, throwing flowers a fan gave him and even breaking out an accordion for a few songs.

MewithoutYou is a great departure from the traditional band structure of guitar-driven rock. Cleveland’s gonna have to find someone else to heckle. —Danielle Sills

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.