When I walked into the crowded backstage dressing room of The Majestic Theatre, I was introduced to the band I’ve been anxiously waiting to speak to all week: MisterWives. They were not due to perform for their “Let the Light In” tour for at least two more hours and they looked beyond happy to see me. I took a seat in the corner of the room while all six of them gathered around in color blocked, striped, checkered and other vibrant patterned outfits.
Right away, I could sense the chemistry between all six members including Mandy, the lead singer, Will, a bass guitarist, Etienne, the drummer, Murph, the saxaphonist, Marc, another guitarist, and Jessie, who played the trumpet and keyboard. Immediately, the conversation centered around telling funny stories and fun facts about Will. Though he was the group’s lead jokester, they were all pretty funny. I don’t think I have ever laughed as much during an interview.
It was pretty surreal to meet such a down to earth, friendly and hysterical group of friends backstage — then to watch them have the time of their lives performing on stage just a few hours later. The bond between these six friends felt genuine. No wonder their music comes together so beautifully across all instrumental elements.
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“We just met very serendipitously, all living in New York at various jobs and friends, old bands…no longer friends…” Mandy explained, “You are in enough horrible [bands] to know when it’s right and this is the most right it’ll ever be.”
The band, based out of New York City, contains a type of undeniable chemistry. On stage, watching them feed off of each other’s energy appears to be perfectly natural. I’ve never seen every single member of a band get that hyped. They may not be Badgers, but they sure know how to jump around.
Mandy made a joke early in our interview about how she skipped out on the gym, but it looked like she got in a full workout on stage. Her signature move, or what I would consider to be a “kick-switch” definitely engaged her core. Marc on the guitar pulled off some impressive butt kicks.
The amount of plyos they’ve all engaged in had me worrying for their ankles, knees and hamstrings, but clearly they’re professionals. Their electricity did not waiver throughout the night. If they made their own workout videos, they would be an instant sensation.
“Will originally named us ‘The 24 Hour Party People.’ It didn’t have a good ring to it,” Mandy stated — although due to their dancing stamina, it does seem to be pretty accurate. They all joked about how they’ve partied together for hours on end, yet I was starting to sense they were not quite joking.
The name MisterWives came from a play on the Mormon term “sister wives” in which one man marries multiple women. But in their case, this band consists of one woman vocalist and multiple male musicians.
When it comes to making music, they agreed spending time in the studio as well as sharing ideas in an open and collaborative fashion is their favorite part. Including these days of hard work, their jobs and lives are still unpredictable which keeps it fun and exciting. According to Marc, they get free Bud Light at venues, which is always a plus.
Of course, they all love performing live shows for their fans as well. Murph feels it is one of the most fulfilling moments to connect with fans.
“I think it’s just the highest high you could possibly have,” Mandy describes.
MisterWives are no stranger to the music scene in Madison as they have performed at multiple venues including The High Noon Saloon — even performing at Freakfest a few years back. Yet, this time their performance was a bit more special and rewarding as they sold out the entire Majestic venue.
From one coastie to a few others, I tried my best to explain to them the difference between squeaky versus fried cheese curds, Wisconsin’s proudest delicacy.
“Do they make vegan cheese curds here? Is that a thing?” the lead vocalist asked. Will fired back with a teasing, “Come on man! Are you f***ing crazy?”
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That’s pretty close to what I was thinking while some of their dance moves consisted of aggressively whipping their hair back and forth. They definitely did Willow Smith some justice, but if that were me I’d definitely need a few Advil afterwards.
Despite their indie-pop label on Spotify and other social media platforms, their performance contained quite a large multitude of versatility. Between their hits “Reflections” that emits the fun care-free vibes of pop music and and track “Only Human” that combines pop, rock and even a touch of a Caribbean feel, with an isolated set of the keyboard and percussions in the middle.
No one could help but sit still in the audience as they performed “Out of Tune Piano” in which there seemed to be a dance battle between stage left and stage right. In which the main chorus consists of the phrase “Love yourself, my dear.”
Not only was it mentioned early on in their show that they wanted to provide a space for their audience to have fun, let loose, and destress, but their lyrics also contain some pretty positive messages. Not only did they tell stories of heartbreak, but they spoke on self care and finding love as well as cherishing others close to you.
Now that they have sold out The Majestic, they aspire to perform at arenas, planets and possibly the moon next. Apparently, the sky is not the limit for this spunky group. They are constantly working on becoming better versions of themselves and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones.
When I asked them who they would like to collaborate with in the future they all enthusiastically, yet not quite in unison, shouted out, “Chance the Rapper!” and “Pharrell!” I really hope that dream comes true for them someday in the near future.
They saved the best for last, MisterWives sang “Let the Light In” for their closing track, before the impending encore. The only word I can use to describe the performance of this song is exuberant. Throughout their show, they channeled some vibes from their musical inspiration, the band No Doubt.
If you have yet to see them perform live, you’re truly missing out on a treat. Not only did I have an amazing time as a concert goer, but I also really want to hangout with them more because they just seem really cool.
Fun fact: One member of this band has a webbed toe. Can you guess who?
10/10 recommend buying tickets to a MisterWives performance closest to you as soon as possible.