[Article by David J. Miller]
[Photos by D. Jacob Miller Photography]
Misterwives will be playing a slew of U.S. shows this year but they popped their 2020 concert cherry on Friday, February 9, 2020, in front of a large crowd at XL Live in Harrisburg, PA. The show, a ‘Harrisburg University Presents’ production, kicked off at 8 pm with a support set from Philly alt-rockers, The Great Enough.
Harrisburg University Presents has really put Harrisburg on our radar recently with a string of strong shows and upcoming show announcements, and Misterwives was no exception. The fans started packing into the venue the moment the doors opened, to get those precious spots on the rail at the front of the stage, in the general admission venue (there is also a VIP second deck which overlooks the main concert floor).
By the time The Great Enough hit the stage in their signature face paint, there was already a large crowd on hand. It didn’t take long for TGE to win them over with their genre-bending sound that encompasses everything from alternative to blues, power pop to “massive rock” (as Jesse Blum of Misterwives dubbed it).
Opening with their viral Spotify hit, ‘Can You Relate?’, TGE’s 45-minute set was full of energy. Before long fans were jumping up and down with their hands in the air at the instruction of frontman, Bright Kelly. In addition to the aforementioned opening tune, ‘Voice on The Radio’, ‘Die Young’, and ‘Say No’ really stood out as crowd favorites. If you haven’t checked this band out yet, this is your last chance to say you listened to them before your friends. 2020 is going to be a breakout year for The Great Enough and their fans in Harrisburg will have another chance to see them this month when they return to XL Live for a very special Leap-Day performance at 10 pm on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
After a brief set-break and an introduction from Harrisburg University Presents’ Frank Schofield, Misterwives hit the stage around 9:15 pm to a roar of cheers from the eager crowd. The five male members of the band appeared first, dressed in varying shades of white, quickly followed by Frontwoman Mandy Lee who bounced onto the stage in a frilly pink dress with a flurry of energy. Opening with semi-new single, ‘The End’, Misterwives commanded the stage from the jump.
The crowd, a mix of ages that skewed to the younger side, showered Lee with stuffed unicorns and sang along, clapped, and danced around to every tune that Misterwives played. Lee, who had been suffering from a horse throat earlier in the day, showed no signs of it during the performance, belting out lyrics in her airy yet powerful voice.
At one point, Lee suffered a bit of a wardrobe malfunction and left the stage, albeit briefly, as the crowd was treated to a horn solo of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ by Jesse Blum. Lee soon returned to the stage in a pair of sparkly, grey sweats, thanked the crowd for their patience, and told them in a joking tone that, “If my top fell down, it’d be a completely different kind of show”.
The rest of the show included Lee promising the audience that a brand new “way too long” album is being released in 2020, quirky choreographed dance moves on ‘Coming Up For Air’, and a ska-infused rendition of ‘Truth Hurts’ by Lizzo (which had everyone in the venue singing along at the top of their lungs). They wrapped their set on ‘Reflections’, which prompted another massive sing-a-long, and ‘WhyWhyWhy’.
No show is complete without an encore and Misterwives returned to the stage and hit the crowd with two more songs, officially ending the night on ‘Our Own House’.
Overall it was a fantastic night of live music and the perfect introduction for Independent Philly to XL Live. We will be back on the 29th to catch The Great Enough again. Harrisburg University Presents has some really exciting upcoming shows including The Revivalists, Young The Giant, Barns Courtney, Cage The Elephant, Of Monsters and Men, and Steve Aoki.
The full gallery from Misterwives and The Great Enough can be viewed below: