Concert Report: MisterWives, BØRNS and Handsome Ghost Make Paradise Rock Club Sound Like Heaven

co-written with Megan Flynn.

Ten minutes before doors opened, the line outside of Paradise Rock Club was long, but not enough to warrant complaints. Two people in their late 20s timidly squawked “Tickets! Tickets!,” scalping for a friend who was too afraid to do so. The single printed sheet of paper this lady had in her hand, although no one knew it at the time, was an unquantifiable experience—ironically an elusive treasure—and a memory to be extolled for all who attended.  Mystery Lady, praise you for having found the guts to speak up and sell that ticket so as to not waste admission to an unforgettable night.

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Aya Tsuruta / Gavel Media

At 7:50 p.m. on April 1, 2015, while many Eagles were en route to spring break round two, Boston native, Tim Noye, and his instrumentalist took the stage together as Handsome Ghost. Unaware that there would be a second opener, a man behind us asked out loud what we were all thinking, “who the hell is this guy?” We were soon pleasantly surprised by his synthetic beats and Bon-Iver/Owl-City-esque melodies.

Following Handsome Ghost, BØRNS,  who was recently endorsed by Taylor Swift and had a song featured in Hulu's "You Know You Wanna" commercial, amped up the audience for MisterWives. A mere five months after releasing his first EP, BØRNS has a respectable following with almost 40,000 Spotify followers and over 770,000 views on "Electric Love."

As we waited for the main act, MisterWives, to take the stage, we had no way of knowing that they would surpass virtually all expectations of what a live performance can be. The band, crowd and intimate setting made for the perfect storm.

On the third to last show of her tour, Mandy Lee had the energy of six seniors who just got a mod. Her talented band, which includes drummer Etienne Bowler, bass guitarist William Hehir, guitarist Marc Campbell and trumpet and accordion playing keyboard artist Dr. Blum, followed her lead, bringing the energy to the max. Starting with the title-track of the recently released Our Own House, Lee set the tone for the night as she danced and bounded from one side of the stage to the other. Her fire was contagious, and the sea of audience members couldn’t help but sing their hearts out and rock along with her.

Aya Tsuruta / Gavel Media

Aya Tsuruta / Gavel Media

Every part of the show blended seamlessly into the next as Lee went from joking with the crowd and her band members to step dancing, to, somehow, "Box Around the Sun." After a moving and powerful rendition of “Coffins,” an improvisational trumpet battle broke out, entertaining the sellout crowd and showcasing the chemistry and musical prowess of the group. Her intensity did not falter for a moment, even doing push-ups on stage while declaring, “Society’s standards for women and men are entirely bullshit.” Clearly having a blast on stage together, the band broke out into a Broadway line dance, towards the end of “Not Your Way.” As Lee ventured out into the hoards of people during the last song, jaws dropped and arms flailed out towards her.

The emphatic interaction between the band and the crowd made the night as special as it was. Though the band received ovations after every single song that lasted almost as long as the songs themselves, Lee's humility shone through via the genuine surprise and appreciation in her eyes as she looked out into the mass of fans.

Her band members continuously mouthed, “Oh my god” and “This is unreal” to one another, shaking their heads in humble amazement. Though this is only their first headlining tour, the energy and tightness of the performance made the band seem like seasoned professionals. It’s safe to say that we haven’t heard the last of MisterWives.

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