“Pinch me! Am I dreaming?!” asked MisterWives lead singer, Mandy Lee to bassist William Hehir as she held out her arm for him to pinch. With the shrill screams and whistles emanating from the sold out crowd at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio Saturday night, it was easy figure out that Mandy Lee was indeed not dreaming, but that her and the band’s dreams had most certainly come true.
With faux flower-bedecked mic stands and amps, NYC’s MisterWives took the stage with such gusto, that the walls of Newport Music Hall felt as though they might crumble. While Jesse Blum blared away on his trumpet, Mandy Lee jumped, cha-cha’d, and twirled her way around stage, the crowd ate it up and began their own dance party on the floor to the first song of the evening, Our Own House from their recently released debut album of the same name.
Taking a break after “No Need for Dreaming”, drummer Etienne Bowler took a moment to hop down from his drum kit and take over the mic. With wide eyes and an enormous smile, he exclaimed “Oh wow! WOW!” and expressed his gratitude to the at-capacity crowd. Band members including guitarist Marc Campbell, saxophonist Michael Murphy and Jesse Blum joined Mandy Lee and Hehir to the front of the stage to perform an handclap and foot-stomp routine that lead into the powerful “Best I Can Do”.
Constant thankfulness was a theme throughout the night as MisterWives tore through a number of songs including “Vagabond” and “Reflections”, oftentimes expressing disbelief at the amount of people who came out to see them perform on their first headlining tour. “Columbus, you have no idea what you mean to us”, Mandy Lee chirped as she lead the band into its final song ofthe night, “Queens”.
Of course that wasn’t the end. MisterWives let loose on stage for the 2-song encore which started out as a cover of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” and morphed into the highly energetic “Imagination Infatuation”. Free-spirited Hehir really took advantage of the vibe in the room, ripping his shirt off and climbed an amp to do a jump-split off it back to the stage. Mandy Lee joined Bowler at the drums, going percussion-crazy while the crowd writhed and screamed to the music until it came to a sudden halt leaving everyone hungry for more.
LA-based BØRNS introduced the crowd to their smooth surfer electro beats with hit “10,000 Emerald Pools”. Backed by singer and keyboardist Lauren Salamone Perez, guitarist Connor Doyle, bassist Jon Joseph and drummer Kristen Gleeson-Prata, lead singer Garrett Borns (aka Børns), donned in a bird patterned blazer and Chucks, crooned into the microphone letting his silky vocals envelope the attentive audience.
With songs like “Past Lives” and “Seeing Stars”, Børns took breaks between guitar riffs to sway his hips and feel the beat as Lauren Salamone Perez switched between keyboards and tambourine. Connor and Jon kept the energy going by ricocheting themselves across the stage while thrashing away on their guitar and bass.Cleveland born-and-raised drummer maven Kristen delivered hard-thumping beats temporarily pausing the show to give a shout out to her family up in the balcony who drove down to Columbus for the show.
Before playing the unreleased sultry soul-filled funk of “American Money”, Børns joked, “This one goes out to any strippers out there.” But with the loud rumble of cheers it evoked, he continued, “More than I expected. Fantastic!”
Closing up their set with the colorful “Electric Love” in which Børns took advantage of extending the song to exhibit his wide range of falsetto flair much to the audience’s delight. Undoubtedly, the next time you’ll be able to catch BØRNS will be on their own headlining tour.
Though a bit mismatched from the energetic pomp that Borns and MisterWives brought to the stable, the dynamic duo that makes up Handsome Ghost from Boston did well to warm up the audience with their mellow, ethereal tunes. Their 7 song set included a cover of The 1975’s “Sex” and their newest single “Steps” before closing out with “Blood Stutter”.