the arithmetic of Mute Math, live at the Fine Line, Minneapolis
Went out this evening with my friend Joe to see Mute Math in concert. I first heard about this band when they were the iTunes free download a few weeks ago. I loved the free song, and filed them away in my mind. When I saw they were coming to Minneapolis I checked out their webpage and found this amazing video...perhaps the coolest video I've seen in a looong time. It's one long continuous shot, performed backwards and then the film is run in reverse.
I was interested to learn that this band arose from the ashes of the Christian rock band Earthsuit, and initially spent time themselves affiliated with a CCM record label. Apparently after a small marketing/image war, they released their first full-length CD on a "normal" major label, and are currently coping with subtle CCM baggage.
It was kind of funny to see this show...it was one of the first modern rock bands I've seen in concert in many years. I'm usually out at little clubs with no crowds to hear obscure twangy or folky bands. Usually some scruffy dudes with guitars and little amps just standing around playing songs.
Mute Math was a very refreshing change from my normal concert-going routine. These guys don't just play songs...they create an experience for the audience. Jaw dropping musicianship (especially drums!), beautiful singing, electronic effects, retro keyboards, high tech stage production, funky grooves, atmospheric washes, and high-fashion delivery. It was an EXCELLENT show and I'm thrilled I got to see it.
What do they sound like? Hmmm...how 'bout early-90s era U2 with a twist of The Police, a dash of Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver," a hint of The Doors, with an electronica influence and a singer who resembles a hipper and less fratty Nick Lachey.
But what performers! And musicians! I could go into detail, but it's wiser to just find some cool footage on YouTube. Or go hear them in your town.
Mute Math is a band that is so plainly deserving of any success they achieve. To operate and organize and maintain a band/show of this magnitude would be a colossal task. Only a band where each member was insanely dedicated to the cause could pull this off. This is not "Well, here's the song...just play along and do something cool." This is highly orchestrated, calculated, passionate, and cranking art-rock. It seems designed to work best in an arena-rock format, and I'd be surprised if Mute Math is not headlining really big venues very soon.
As soon as FrugaLent is over, I'll be taking my cash to the record store and buying the Mute Math album.