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Mute Math Concert Review - 4/5/2007

Fine Line Music Cafe
Minneapolis, MN

I've heard many great things about the venue that is The Fine Line Music Cafe, and it seemed impressive, but I guess tonight was not the venue's time to shine. Did Mute Math play a poor show? No. The problem was that the audience wasn't feeling it. I saw Mute Math just over a year before at a smaller venue and there the crowd was jumping up and down and totally eating up the band's performance. In their first local performance of 2007, Paul Meany and Co. just gave a solid show because that's all the crowd asked for.

Openers The Cinematics and Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin, both delivered decent performances. I was a bit annoyed that both had a dose of that all-too-popular '80s retro sound a la Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. Both bands commented on the earliness of the show (the opening band started before 6pm) and one even asked if the audience was out there. The show wasn't sold out, but there were plenty of people there and they weren't feeling the more punkish openers that much.

Mute Math definitely got a set upgrade since I last saw them. There was one big, glowing light hanging above them that pulsated on and off throughout the show. The back was lined with white flourescents that blinked on and off to the music. With all these effects, the opening of "Collapse" leading into "Typical" was nothing short of overstimulating (in the good way that we post-MTV viewers like it). The band continued through their set with little interruption, including a new song that I can not remember the hook of. Many of their songs were not fast and furious, but the mood they created with songs like "Picture," "Stall Out," and "You Are Mine" is so amazing.

One of the highlights, of course, was the duo of "Stare At The Sun" and "Obselete." Bassist Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas brought out a full-isze string/upright bass for the songs and did an amazing job playing it. Of course, this also started to show Darren King's percussional-based genius which escalated through "Break The Same," which also finds guitarist Greg Hill putting his guitar down and picking his pedal board to deliver some electronic effects. Throughout, the audience gave Mute Math their attention, but only a dozen or so fans were jumping up and down in the front for "Chaos," "Control," or "Plan B."

The ultimate closing track is, of course, the album closer, "Reset." This experimental percussion and electronic track finds all the members running and jumping around stage while making beautiful, experimental music. However, most of the time I've seen them the band ends up breaking a couple things on the stage because the crowd is loving their antics so much. At this show, Mute Math just played the song and then left the stage. I loved the show, but all I heard as I was leaving was, "Hey, that was cool," from the audience.