Mutemath draws big crowds

Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Mutemath will be playing to a sold-out audience at Common Grounds this Friday. At 7:00 p.m. the doors will open to the 800 people who purchased tickets to the show. The opening band, Nothing but Thieves, will start playing at 8:00, and the music won’t stop until midnight.

Influenced by bands like U2 and The Police, Mutemath is a mixture of alternative rock, indie rock, electronic, psychedelic soul and post rock. According to Common Grounds’s live events coordinator Taylor Torregrossa, they have played at Common Grounds twice before and always leave quite an impression.

“Obviously they put on a crazy show, which everybody loves,” Torregrossa said. “Piano handstands and hanging from the rafters and crazy drum things. Oh, and light-up mattress surfing.”

The New Orleans band, started in 2003 by members Paul Meany and Darren King, has undergone several big changes in recent years, one of the biggest being the departure of guitarist and vocalist Greg Hill in 2010. Hill was replaced by guitarist, vocalist, programmer and keyboardist Todd Gummerman in 2011.

Like Gummerman, each of the members is a multi-instrumentalist. None of them is limited to a single instrument, and they often perform with different instruments throughout their shows.

“They have more instruments and inputs than any other artist that plays at Common Grounds, so there will be no walking room on that stage,” Torregrossa said. “It’ll be a lot. it’ll be cool.”

This will also be Mutemath’s first show in Waco since they released their most recent album, “Vitals,” in November. While their setlist for Friday is unknown, Torregrossa said many of their songs are likely to be from the new album.

“Vitals” is Mutemath’s fourth full-length album, but the first that they have released apart from their former label, Teleprompt Records, which had a distribution deal with Warner Music Group. The band left Teleprompt and Warner in 2006 after being inaccurately marketed as a Christian act by the label. The band actually created its own label, Wojtek Records, so that they could produce the album themselves.

“The new album encompasses everything that Mutemath is,” said Austin sophomore Leigh Parks. “They are very smart and creative and fun.”

Parks plans to attend the concert on Friday and says it will be her fifth time to see the band live.

“I’m kind of a fangirl. They are so fun, they get the crowd up on their feet every time and jump around,” Parks said. “Every time i see them they get better. They know how to interact with each crowd they are performing for.”

Following suit from their older albums, Mutemath includes some instrumental tracks on its new album. The title song, “Vitals,” is itself an instrumental track that is reminiscent of their first EP “Reset,” which also featured an instrumental title song that became one of their most famous.

“They play ‘Reset’ at almost every concert,” Parks said. “Even when there are no words to sing along with, you can dance to it. It’s still really cool and intricate.”

Waco is Mutemath’s last stop in Texas before leaving to tour the rest of the United States. The band plans to remain stateside until April, when they leave for Australia.

“They’re incredible,” Parks said. “They have everything I look for in a band. No matter what kind of music you are into, you can appreciate their music.”