MisterWives and Bishop Briggs co-headlined at Boston’s Roadrunner last Sunday night. The “Don’t Look Down” tour features an all-female bill, including opener Raffaella, and is very fitting for the feminist leads. The tour follows MisterWives’ release of their Nosebleeds album and Bishop Briggs’s release of her When Everything Went Dark EP. It was sure to be an exciting night with these two, known for their high-energy performances and vocal range.
MisterWives performed first, with singer Mandy Lee leading up the band. The stage was covered in LED platforms that lit up throughout the night with images and lyrics and was, without a doubt, one of the coolest stage sets I’ve seen at a small venue like Roadrunner. Lee appeared atop the largest platform clouded in smoke as she began the night with “Out of Your Mind.” She came down from the platform to do what she’s known best for (besides her vocal talent, of course), dance. The lead singer has more energy than one can fathom.
I first saw MisterWives at Boston Calling Music Festival years ago and fell in love with the performance. Absolutely no one is having more fun at a MisterWives show than Mandy Lee herself. It was a full-on jam session until mid-set when she performed “ULTRAVIOLET” back atop the platform with arrows coming out of her back. The slower tune highlighted Lee’s true vocal talent and range. The band then took it back to their original album to perform songs like “Our Own House” and “Reflections” before finishing the night off strong with “Nosebleeds” off their new album.
Bishop Briggs came out atop the same platform with small stage set changes. She began the set with “Art of Survival” before coming down from the platform to perform “Wild Horses,” illuminated in green light from all angles. If there’s anyone who can give Misterives’ Mandy Lee a run for her money in the energy department, it’s Bishop Briggs. She did not stop moving all night until mid-set when the sound cut out during “Baggage.” Even then, she still did not stop. She belted the song into a powerless microphone and ran up and down the stage dancing. Any other performer may have panicked or stopped the performance to fix the issue, but she kept the crowd alive without hesitation.
While the sound was still out, she performed “Dreams” with just her voice and an acoustic guitar. It was an incredibly special moment for the crowd, and demonstrated her immense vocal talent. After “Dreams,” her microphone came back on, but the instruments were still down. She had chosen to add “Never Tear Us Apart” to the set. She claimed it to be her loudest song and wanted the crowd to hear it while the power was out.
Overall, the power issue made for a fantastic and beautiful moment for the crowd. The performance was incredibly raw and powerful and showed that she didn’t need any backing vocals or instruments to show her true talent. When the power came back, she performed “TATTOOED ON MY HEART” mixed with “superhuman” which was dedicated to her one-year-old child. She eventually spoke about her time on The Masked Singer, which she won, before covering Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” as she did on the show. She ended the night with her massive hit “River,” and it was way better live than I could have imagined.
The “Don’t Look Down” tour was absolute magic from these two powerhouse vocalists. Boston was incredibly lucky to get some amazing acoustic extras from Bishop Briggs. This was one of the best shows I’ve attended this year. The tour continues through mid-October and is an absolute must-see if you’re in any of the remaining cities.