mewithoutYou commemorates their 15 year career at Durty Nellie’s


Ethan Wong, A&E Editor

Veteran rockers mewithoutYou stormed through Durty Nellie’s as part of their Fall tour celebrating their 15th anniversary as a band.  The Philadelphia-based four piece band played an energetic set that ran the gamut of their lengthy discography.  Showgoers of all ages packed into the backroom of the downtown Palatine tavern for a night of vibrant performances from the band along with a cast of strong supporting acts.  Even with the third game of the World Series playing on the television screens scattered across the room, they completely captivated the audience for the entire set, with no one looking away from the stage for even a moment.

The opening act was Needle Points, who is touring in support of their new album “Feel Young.”  The young psychedelic rock outfit hailing from Philadelphia came out covered in neon clothing and glitter that immediately grabbed the attention of audience members who showed up early.  Despite a strong start with the first few songs of their set, that focus soon began to wane as each of their songs seemingly began to blend into each other, creating a sloppy mess of distorted guitars and bass-heavy percussion.  Nevertheless, their animated stage antics and commanding delivery surely entertained and warmed up the audience.

The following band, Chicago based-indie punk band Into it. Over it., played an impassioned set that included songs from their new album “Standards” as well as other assorted fan favorites.  Led by singer-guitarist Evan Weiss, who has been involved in over a dozen different projects within the Chicago music scene, the band delicately combined melodic, howling vocals and punchy, fast guitar riffs reminiscent of early 2000s bands such as Say Anything as well as contemporary bands like Joyce Manor.  After jokingly asking the crowd if any Palatine natives truly refer to Palatine when asked about their hometown or if they lie and just say Chicago, Weiss thanked the crowd for showing up to his first show in Palatine and lamented the fact that he had to miss the ongoing World Series game.  After playing a number of songs from their new album, the band capped off their set with a memorable performance of three tracks from their beloved 2011 album “Proper.”  The band ripped through spirited renditions of “Where Your Nights Often End” and the title track, which allowed for drummer Josh Sparks to display his impressive skills before closing the set with the band’s sparse, haunting ode to the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, “Midnight: Carroll Street.”

Shortly afterwards, mewithoutYou began loading their instruments and stage props, including large construction-grade worklights and an intricately designed backdrop.  Drummer Ricky Mazzotta additionally lit a few sticks of incense behind his set that filled the venue with a calming, woodsy aroma.  This was ironically followed by their set beginning with one of their most aggressive tracks, “Bullet to Binary,” which was also the first track on their 2002 debut album “A to B Life.”  As soon as the first guitar notes rang out, the audience swarmed the stage and shouted every word along with singer Aaron Weiss who sprinted and bounced across the stage without stopping.  The band then proceeded to play a number of energetic tracks, including more recent tracks from their 2015 album “Pale Horses.” Weiss also took a moment to joke around whilst tuning his acoustic guitar.  “We’re usually used to selling out baseball stadiums because we’re all super-famous rockstars.  However, there’s apparently something very important going on at Wrigley Field right now, so that’s why we’re here,” Weiss said sarcastically to the crowd.  Slower, folkier tracks such as “Aubergine” and “King Beetle” occupied the middle of the setlist, but the audience still remained entranced by Weiss’ introspective, imagery-filled lyrics.  The band then ended their set with a number of early tracks from “A to B Life” as well as with an encore containing their flagship song “In a Sweater Poorly Knit.”  mewithoutYou put on a great show that proved that they could still be interesting and refreshing, even 15 years after first bursting upon the scene.  By playing songs from every chapter of their lengthy career, they surely played a set that any fan of the band won’t be forgetting anytime soon.