This weekend in Saint Louis kicked off with The Don’t Look Down Tour, a stellar co-headline effort from Bishop Briggs & Misterwives. Fans gathered at The Pageant on Friday night for an electrifying night of dancing and empowerment and a slice of what Mandy Lee, singer of Misterwives, excitedly described as the “first all-female fronted tour [they’ve] ever been on.”
Misterwives was the first to take the stage, and their energy started at 10 and didn’t waver for a second. This is a band that, from the minute they take their places, you can see that they simply just love to be in a band with each other. Lee kicked off the set at the top of a massive projection screen, but once she descended she proved that she owned that stage. While undeniably a pop band (and a good one at that), opener “Out Of Your Mind” from their recent record Nosebleeds has an energy that almost leans pop punk, a heavier and grittier sound that I think suits the band incredibly well. The title track from the new record and final song of the set was another highlight of the night, a bouncing and distorted musing on freeing yourself from limitations and expectations placed on you. Lee bridged the gap between band and crowd, stepping down onto the barricade to jump with and embrace the fans:
“I’m up in the nosebleeds / and down in the seats / I see a thousand faces that look just like me.”
By the time Bishop Briggs took to the stage the crowd was absolutely buzzing with excitement, and her commanding presence immediately grabbed the attention of everyone in the room. The emotion in Briggs’ voice is raw and palpable and her energy onstage is captivating; it’s hard not to be hypnotized by her. Her set opened with “The Art of Survival,” a powerful song about staying resilient through grief. Like her co-headliner, she started at the top of the projection screen, but against the black and white video of Briggs accompanying the song the artist herself looked much smaller, making the words feel all the more vulnerable.
Both of these performances had very similar central themes of bouncing back after life has thrown a punch at you, something so universal and so equally personal. It was a very impactful and liberating evening, and I left with a new appreciation for and understanding of both artists and their music after seeing them perform with such intense passion.