TVD Live: MisterWives at House of Blues, 3/22

PHOTOS: AMANDA DEERING | The saying is true: everything is bigger in Texas. Everything. If MisterWives didn’t know that before Saturday night, they do now as Dallas gave them one of hell of a big surprise—more than 1,600 fans showed up to a show that was originally scheduled for 400, at most. 

Currently on their first headlining tour around the U.S., the New York City-based band was scheduled to perform in the House of Blues’ Cambridge Room, a small-cap space usually hosting younger, emerging acts. Instead, the group drew a loud and sweaty crowd so large it completely filled the venue’s main hall. “I heard, like, Taylor Swift tweeted about them and then people went crazy,” I overheard some lady claim. (Note: Despite any influence that Ms. Swift’s Twitter may or may not have had here, Saturday night’s performance proved that the big leagues are undeniably where MisterWives belong.)

If you haven’t heard of MisterWives, you’re not in the minority—yet. The indie pop band got its start only a few years ago around the talents of lead vocalist Mandy Lee, bassist William Hehir, and percussionist Etienne Bowler. The trio garnered some buzz across the indie wire with tracks like “Coffins” and “Kings and Queens”—two impossibly catchy yet thoughtfully written pop gems—eventually leading to the low-key release of their first EP in 2014.

By then, the trio had become a quintet featuring the additional talents of guitarist Marc Campbell and multi-instrumentalist Jesse “Dr.” Blum, and had succeeded in carving out a strikingly mature, niche sound marked by funky, infectious beats, well-crafted songwriting, and Lee’s crystalline vocals—pop with substance.


Now, with their dreamy debut LP Our Own House (2015) in tow, the group is turning heads. Packed with tunes that will have you singing along for days, it’s pretty great stuff. But where the band really shines is on stage. Currently on tour throughout the U.S., MisterWives is wowing audiences and quickly positioning itself as a force to reckon with in the live arena.

Take their Dallas performance this weekend. Accompanied by opening acts Handsome Ghost and BØRNS, they threw down in the Big D on Saturday. From opening with “Our Own House,” the up-tempo, horn-backed title track off their debut LP, to ending with a funky mix of Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” and the band’s groovy “Infatuation Imagination,” their powerhouse energy never subsided.

As the crew danced through the set, leading lady Lee commanded the stage like a pro. Channeling an intensity and effortless confidence far beyond her 22 years (and tiny frame) and displaying her piercing, glass-shattering vocal range, she cast a spell over Dallas’ adoring crowd.




Highlights of the night included a feisty performance of the feministic “Not Your Way”— a rallying cry to live beyond the low standards placed on women in our culture—and a gorgeous, more vulnerable performance of “Vagabond.” Not to be overlooked, as well, were stellar shows from Handsome Ghost, whose stripped down cover of The 1975’s “Sex” was pure magic, and BØRNS, who delighted with their eclectic, breezy variety of glam rock.

While it could be said that Texans do things in a big way, overall the night overwhelmingly proved that so do MisterWives. Amidst radio waves overly saturated with uber bubbly jams lacking actual matter, the band brings the dance energy of pop without forsaking true talent, quality lyricism, and kickass showmanship.

Oh hey, Taylor Swift, you like MisterWives? Well, watch your back. Cause they’re about to start tearing up the pop charts.



MisterWives are currently on tour throughout the U.S. For tour info, visit the band’s website.

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