Iconic indie rock band mewithoutYou is in the middle of their farewell tour, closing the door on over twenty wild years as one of the most intriguing and strangely formative bands to emerge from Tooth and Nail’s roster of underground Christian acts. They cast a long shadow, which is partly why they were joined by fellow 2000s alt-scene icon Hayley Williams at the band’s show in Los Angeles.
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Williams has had a busy month, having just joined Billie Eilish for her headline set at Coachella. After propelling her band Paramore to indie rock glory, she’s leaning into her new role as a solo artist and an emo elder stateswoman, and that bodes well for both Williams’ peers and a new generation of artists like Eilish, Lorde and Olivia Rodrigo who are running now because Williams walked.
MewithoutYou’s ongoing tour will continue through the summer, and you can check for tickets here. As their fans know, they don’t fit easily in any box, but they are one of the most intriguing, engrossing and singular acts of their era. Though they began as a hardcore outfit in 2001, the band soon evolved into something weirder and woolier, with Weiss’ spoken word (well, “shouted word” maybe) poetry glancing over an incredible assortment of experimental sounds, pulling inspiration from everything from My Bloody Valentine-type shoegaze to Sunny Day Real Estate to the Pixies and Les Savy Fav.
And Weiss’ lyrics were just as intriguing, with some of the rawest, most honest thoughts about God you could ever hope to hear in music, mixing biblical theology with imagery from the Bhagavad Gita and Sufi mysticism. Weiss was open about things like suicidal ideation and prayers that seem to bounce off the ceiling but was also capable of moments of celebratory hope and even worship. It’s worth checking out if you’ve never seen them before (and definitely worth checking out again if you already have, but you knew that), just don’t count on another Williams guest appearance.