It's been a triumphant 21-year run for mewithoutYou, who debuted in 2001 and consistently evolved over the course of seven full-length albums, a handful of EPs, and other miscellaneous releases that move between post-hardcore, art rock, indie folk, and more. After delaying it due to COVID, they began their farewell tour this past May, and the final leg of the tour begins tonight (7/22) in New Haven, with upcoming shows in Toronto, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, and more, as well as two-night stands in NYC, Millersville, and the band's hometown of Philly, where the tour will conclude in late August. WHY? are opening all remaining dates except the Philly shows, which have David Eugene Edwards (Wovenhand) and Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band on night one, and David Eugene Edwards and The Messthetics (ex-Fugazi) on night two.
Judging by Setlist.fm, mewithoutYou have been mixing up their setlists a good deal throughout this tour, with career-spanning sets each night, including some lesser-played songs, at least one song they'd never played live before, their cover of Say Anything's "Cemetery," and more. They've also been joined by some special guests at their shows. Paramore's Hayley Williams came out to sing her guest vocal on "Fox's Dream of the Log Flume" in LA, and Touche Amore's Jeremy Bolm sang with them on "Torches Together" at that same show. Josh Scogin showed up in Atlanta and Nashville to do a partial verison of "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste," the collaboration with mewithoutYou's Aaron Weiss from the classic Norma Jean album that Josh sings on, which was mixed in with mewithoutYou's own "Messes of Men" at the show. Watch videos of all of those guest appearances below. mewithoutYou also brought out harpist Timbre Cierpke, who performed on Brother, Sister, in Nashville.
Jeremy Bolm also wrote the following about mewithoutYou, alongside his post with video of his guest appearance:
I found (A→B) Life around the time of its release and I remember thinking this was the kind of sound I’d been searching for without knowing it. The first time I saw them they covered Far’s “Bury White” with Jonah from Far. Far especially at that time was my favorite band who were long broken up so it was a torch passing moment.
I could spin yarn for hours about the importance, influence, and inspiration this band has given all of us. I’ll try and sum it up.
I’ll start by saying TA recorded Is Survived By and Stage Four with Brad Wood specifically because of album credits which prominently included Catch For Us The Foxes and Brother,Sister. Two timeless albums.
Rickie Mazzotta is a drummer that demands your attention with the most in the pocket rhythms while giving the songs so much personality with his fills and charismatic performances, it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off of him. Greg Jehanian, Brandon Beaver, and Michael Weiss write the kind of music that you have to see to believe. The originality that pours out of the songwriting is jaw dropping. With every new album you’re bound to hear forty ideas you yourself wish you had come up with. The sonics swing and sway around the vocals and drums then unexpectedly start driving and taking the songs to new and exciting places.
Lastly there’s Aaron. Who’s lyrics and vocal delivery – myself and plenty of my peers have tried to emulate unconsciously and definitely consciously. His words take hold of your hand and lead you on storybook-style journeys to dark and beautiful places. His kindness and empathy radiates from him with every performance and leaves you knowing that you’re in the presence of something unique and special.
Okay so I spun yarn. I’ll wrap this by saying that these guys are some of the most special friends I’ve been honored to make through this life in music. Getting to tour with them in 2014 was thrilling night after night. I’ll miss seeing them come through town and the event-like-feeling you get when they start teasing new albums. I wish them so much happiness and love finishing out these shows and the next chapters of their lives. Thank you mewithoutYou for everything.
The NYC shows with WHY? happen August 4 at Warsaw and August 5 at Irving Plaza, and tickets for those shows are still available. Will they have any special guests in NYC? Let's hope!
mewithoutYou's previous NYC show was when they played Brother, Sister in full at Le Poisson Rouge in December (read our review).