MISSIO, Mission Accomplished in St. Louis
By Jennifer Rolf-Weaver
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MISSIO continues to evolve as an emerging, noteworthy artist, and the fact that the duo played a place like St. Louis where they get little to no airplay was a gift. The duo’s songs run the gamut between poignant, deeply personal ballads and f-bomb laced, mic-dropping anthems. They didn’t disappoint last Wednesday at the Ready Room, providing fans with far more than $15-$17 is supposed to get a concert-goer in this day and age.
The show began with the band calmly taking the stage, but the calm dissipated quickly as they exploded into “Temple Priest,” a newer song that got the audience bouncing immediately. Matthew Brue (vocals, keyboards) danced around energetically in a hooded robe with a dangling cross chain, like a ginger-bearded monk with attitude.
Instrumentalist David Butler laid the beats on hard and thick and, along with their touring drummer, turned out a hip-hop/electronic/indie-rock mashup of a set. Brue led melodic sing-alongs to songs such as “Twisted” (“Everybody in the world knows I’m a little twisted…”), “KDV” (“Killing Darth Vader with my mother-f***ing kick drum”) and “DWI” (“I got that D-D-D-W-I, I got that f*** my life DWI).
“Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea,” surely one of the best alt-rock songs of 2017, calmed the room’s vibe—it’s an emotional track that comes from a place of heart-wrenching, deep contemplation (“The berth surrounding my body crushing every bit of bone/ The salt, it seeps in through the pores of my open skin/ I wait on you inside the bottom of the deep blue sea.”). It’s just as good live as it is on the studio recording—which was the case with the entire set.
Brue talked to the audience about what it feels like to be alone—alluding to Loner, the album’s title—and his struggles with addiction. He’s not one to cover up his feelings, his raw honesty coming through in MISSIO’s lyrics. “Can I Exist,” was another slower-tempo tune with contemplative lyrics but was followed by the more up-tempo “I Don’t Give a…” (“Hold on, wait a minute, I don’t give a f***”).
“Everybody Gets High,” with its trance-like melody, was a fan favorite, but everyone seemed to be waiting for “Middle Fingers,” the duo’s most popular track to date. Brue talked about putting away personal differences and giving the finger to any situation that deserved it, offering the audience the chance to collectively release some angst from their systems.
“Kamikazee” (“I want money, and power, and champagne, and fame”) rounded out the set before an encore of “Black Roses.” One of MISSIO’s earlier songs, the beautiful “Run to You,” has unfortunately been left out of the Loner tour performances.
MISSIO was not all songs and stage presence though. The set’s impressive backdrop and lights made the audience feel like they were in a far bigger space.
MISSIO can definitely bring it live. It was a show that those in attendance won’t soon forget.
Up-and-comer of note Morgan Saint opened the show with her brand of self-described “moody pop.” Her lush vocals resonated in sentimental songs such as “YOU,” “Glass House” and “Just Friends,” which echo her experiences of navigating through love and heartbreak. New York-based Saint is one of Epic Records’ fresh new faces, and she won’t be going away anytime soon.