Staff Pick: Though toned down, mewithoutYou still promises an electric show

From the July 4, 2013 edition

The first time I saw mewithoutYou I was unprepared. It was circa 2002, in a storefront church in West Virginia, and the band, dressed in three-piece ’70s suits, ranted and thrashed around on stage with an unexpected, brightly chaotic ruckus. I was mesmerized, even after the pastor halted the show when one member accidentally spit on the wall. I’ve since seen shows with fans hanging from ceiling rafters, flooding the stage for encore shout-alongs and joining mewithoutYou on songs with instruments of their own. Simply put, it’s almost always a must-see event.

Singer Aaron Weiss might not scream/talk his screeds as much anymore, and the band might not play with the same prog-punk/post-hardcore intensity as regularly, but it continues to be wholly unique. Horn instruments, accordions and harps appear semi-frequently, and lyrical themes have moved beyond Christianity to include Sufism, the HYPERLINK "" \o "Bhagavad Gita" Bhagavad Gita and quotes from metaphysical poets. It would be pretentious if the band wasn’t so sincere and didn’t have such a strong bond with fans.

After having quickly sold out Rumba in early 2012, mewithoutYou returns to Columbus to play Skully’s with opener Rocky Votolato.