Liveshot: Misterwives at Longhorn City Limits

Kaiya Little, Life and Arts desk editor

Soaked in blue stage lights and the setting sun, MisterWives frontwoman Mandy Lee captured the Saturday football game crowd with “find my way home” as an opener to the New York quintet’s show. 

Amidst the sweltering heat and the building buzz for the upcoming matchup against UTSA, 

MisterWives delivered a powerful 12-song set on the LBJ lawn as part of the pregame concert series, Longhorn City Limits. 

Joined by the beginning strains of a quirky, retro-bass arrangement, Lee and her bandmates charmed their way through “coming up for air,” displaying their command for musicality and presence while dancing together. Each member stood in a line — with the exception of drummer Etienne Bowler — and threw their heads back with matching smiles at each refrain of the chorus. 

Pulling back from the high of the previous songs, Lee extended her arms to the crowd, inviting everyone into the embrace of her growling, yet intimate, vocals on “rock bottom.” Accompanied by vulnerable lyrics about mental health and a saxophone solo from Michael Murphy, the group calls out to express their pride in the audience’s strength. 

With twinkling laughter and challenge-filled grins, Lee maintained a constant connection with the crowd as she frequently crouched in front of the barricade to make eye contact with fans. 

Moving past the halfway point of their setlist, the group built high tension with metronome beats and dissonant, pulling chords from guitarists William Hehir and Marc Campbell during the haunting “The Wizard of Oz”-inspired “over the rainbow.” At the song’s conclusion, the air remained tightly strung as Lee dove into the first track from their recent single album Wrongside with “Where Do We Go From Here?”

The show then took on a conversational feeling as the songs “Stepped On A Bee” and “decide to be happy” delivered big climaxes as Lee’s voice drifted across the stage and she fell to her knees, as if pleading to be understood through her words. 

Accompanied by a gentle mist that covered the front rows of the audience on the early evening breeze, Lee launched into an anecdote about hearing that the band is not rock ‘n’ roll enough to usher in the football game. To that, she stomped across the stage accompanied by the crush of thick, platformed black boots and performed a cover of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl.”  

As the band marched into the final songs of the night, the crowd joined Lee in singing along in the defiant “Our Own House” with a promise to return back to Austin.