The Rise of MisterWives

Vortex Music Magazine

From opening for The Royal Concept and American Authors at the Hawthorne in 2013, indie pop outfit MisterWives showcased their growth as performers post-album release at Portland’s MusicfestNW. Photos by Sam Gehrke

MisterWives all catted up for day one of MusicfestNW on August 21, 2015—click to see a whole gallery of photos by Sam GehkreMisterWives all catted up for day one of MusicfestNW on August 21, 2015—click to see a whole gallery of photos by Sam Gehkre

In December 2013, the Hawthorne Theatre hosted the Three of Clubs Tour, a double headlining bill featuring The Royal Concept and American Authors, with MisterWives opening the night. At the time, these three incredible bands struggled to sell out the venue, and MisterWives’ only music could be found in the form of a few SoundCloud files on their site.

Fast forward two years: The Royal Concept have just released their new EP, Smile; American Authors have seen massive success after their song “Best Day of My Life” exploded across the charts; and MisterWives have become one of the most buzzed about bands in pop.

With the release of their EP, Reflections, back in 2014, MisterWives slowly began to rise into the scene. By the time their freshman album, Our Own House, made its debut, MisterWives were pushing well into the top 10s of the U.S. alternative charts (and the album reached number seven).

By the time August 21, 2015 rolled around, Mandy Lee and her merry band of men had gone from opening a small alt-pop tour to being the second name on the bill of the opening night of Portland’s MusicfestNW.

MisterWives' Mandy Lee and her octopus hair—click to see an entire gallery of photos by Sam Gehrke from day one of MusicfestNW on August 21, 2015MisterWives' Mandy Lee and her octopus hair—click to see an entire gallery of photos by Sam Gehrke from day one of MusicfestNW on August 21, 2015

The crowd at the Hawthorne Stage minutes before MisterWives’ set began was a testament to how much their fanbase has grown. When they took the stage, the band came on strong with the album’s title track, and with fans dancing, hands in the air, and a massive crowd singing along, MisterWives fed off the energy and gave it all right back.

Between their original work and a cover or two, MisterWives filled the hour in a manner that made you want two or three more. The crowd’s response to every song was incredible, especially to tracks like “Vagabond” (featured as the opening theme music for MTV’s Finding Carter) and their massive hit “Reflections” (watch the video below). By far the highlight of the set, though, was a switch up in their “Uptown Funk” cover, which saw Lee taking reign of the drums for the beginning of the song.

Every member brought something to the stage, and what came out was a message: No matter where you may stand, if you work hard, have the right attitude and the pure talent to match, the music always wins. MisterWives have proven just that. It’s only up from here.

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