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Concert review: Mutemath brings vital energy to Newport

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With its variety of eclectic sounds, maniacal drumming and impeccable showmanship, Mutemath impressed many Wednesday night as its Vitals tour stopped in Columbus at Newport Music Hall.

Paper Route, an indie rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, opened for Mutemath and brought a veteran presence to the opening act gig. Formed in 2009, Paper Route has since toured with bands such as Paramore, Passion Pit and Switchfoot. The experience really showed in a chronological, nonstop set that was uninterrupted except for a technical glitch near the end. In what could have been a headlining set, Paper Route shined with songs that matched the style Mutemath brought to the stage: drum-heavy pop songs that could easily be played on alternative rock stations. JT Daly, the tambourine-playing frontman, had the audience engaged with his tenor voice.

But when Mutemath came on stage, the energy definitely changed. The staging and lighting was incredible. Different colored lights on parallel lines of the backdrop was a nice representation of the variety of music Paul Meany and his band had in store. The setlist included songs from the band’s newest record, “Vitals,” which has a major electronic influence that can be heard on songs such as “Monument” and “Joy Rides.”  The band also went back to its roots with arena rock anthems such as “Typical,” which landed the group tours with 30 Seconds to Mars.

However, with the amount of variety in its music, the focal point was the drumming by Darren King. With headphones taped around his head like Keith Moon of The Who, his drumming brought the songs to life with energy and enthusiasm. No matter if he was playing a solo or just drumming to one of the band’s hits, King looked as though he was giving it his all.. Through that, the band’s performance as a whole benefitted.

The energy didn’t stop with the lights and the drums. The showmanship from Meany brought the crowd into the show. For example, he threw a sound-maker into the crowd for fans to play the solo. On the last song, he hovered over the crowd on a lit up raft that went around the Newport as he sang the final song, “Typical.”

Mutemath put on a show that fans will remember long after the final chord was played. Also, its members accomplished the goal that any band has for a tour: they made people want to continue to listen to their music. Mutemath is certainly not typical.

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