MISSIO, electronic rock duo from Austin, Texas, graced the stage of 20th Century Theatre Wednesday night for their first show in Cincinnati and delivered an incredible set. I heard “Middle Fingers,” the band’s hit single, on the radio awhile back and was immediately hooked. I was excited to see how their sound translated live, and I can say I was fascinated the entire show.
Cleveland rock band, Welshly Arms, started out the night on a high note. With a classic rock and roll sound and revolutionary lyrics, their set left me feeling inspired. Front man Sam Getz wowed the audience with his powerful vocals and guitar solos and the entire crowd sang along to the band’s biggest hit, “Legends.” One of the most unique things about Welshly Arms is their background vocalists, Bri and Jon Bryant. The dynamic they bring to the band puts Welshly Arms in a league of their own. Luckily for us, the band will be returning to the Queen City this summer for Bunbury Music Festival.
MISSIO took the stage next and started out strong with a new song, “Temple Priest,” showing off a more rap-driven side of the band. Vocalist and producer, Matthew Brue, later said that it’s his “favorite song [he’s] ever written.” The band was clad in all white, establishing a powerful stage presence from the get go. Brue commanded the audience’s attention in a long white robe and his passion was evident. The dynamic between Brue and instrumentalist, David Butler, made it clear that even though the band only started in 2014, they’ve mastered the art of showmanship already. MISSIO played the entirety of their 2017 release, Loner, showing off crowd favorites like “I Don’t Give A...” and “KDV.” The band also paid tribute to Lana Del Rey with a dreamy cover of “West Coast,” a tribute the band stopped playing for a while but brought back due to requests from fans. The highlight of the night for me (and the guy in front of me who kept screaming “This is incredible!”) was a stripped version of “Kamikaze” that can be heard on the newest release by MISSIO, Skeletons: Part 2, that came out earlier this month. Part of a series of stripped versions of their usually highly-produced songs, this version highlights Brue’s incredible vocals. He opened up to the crowd about his past struggles with alcoholism, premiering a gorgeous ballad called “Can I Exist?” Another new one called “Black Roses” closed out the night with high energy.
I left the show amazed with their performance. The old songs were as fantastic live as I expected and the new ones leave me hopeful for MISSIO’s future releases, that I hope bring the band back through the city soon.