It’s perfectly normal for a band to change over time. They work through different projects, experiment with different sounds, express different ideas, etc. In fact, it’s hard to find a band that has stayed true to a single “vibe” for a long time. It’s even harder to find one that has done it well.
mewithoutYou is one of those few. I remember hearing Brother, Sister in middle school and instantly becoming a fan. When It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s Alright! came out in 2009, I guess you could say I “got back into the band”. I developed a love for that unapologetically loud, pull-no-punches style with which they poured emotion and story into their songs. I grew up listening to my dad’s bluegrass and classic rock, genres with big name influences such as Earl Scruggs, Boston, and The Who, but otherwise plenty of rather formulaic music. mewithoutYou was one of my first big steps away from these styles, and thus it had an air of novelty to it for me before I knew hardly anything about music. Now in 2017, after years or curating and recording music across many genres, I still remember that feeling.
mewithoutYou recently came to The Blind Tiger in Greensboro on tour playing through A To B Life to celebrate its release 15 years ago. If you follow mewithoutYou, you will recognize this as their 1st full album and not one of their softer. Naturally I had to go. My roommate and I, both long time fans who had not followed mewithoutYou as closely since coming to college, drove to Greensboro to crack some PBRs and reminisce in the angst of our middle school days. I’ll be honest with you. I was surprised. I was surprised by how much I still loved this band. mewithoutYou has released 5 more albums and plenty of singles and collaborations since A To B Life, but still held true to form. They played songs from most all of their albums, a few acoustic pieces, and some improv edits. Aaron Weiss, sporting 2 mics covered in flowers (one distorted, one clean, as per usual), told stories about the album, the inspirations for the songs, and his own life throughout the show. The band has, in my opinion, had a very successful 15 years of growing immensely, yet changing little at all.
The moral of the story is go listen to those bands you used to love. Go find their new stuff. Go rediscover their old stuff. Maybe go see their show? Who knows, maybe a brush with nostalgia and a few beers is just what you need to get through finals next week…
image source: https://mewithoutyou.bandcamp.com/