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Big Easy alt-rockers give hard-hitting show at The Southern

Mutemath hits the road in support of third album

If you happened to miss the memo that Mutemath would be performing at the Downtown Mall, I sincerely apologize; the intimate, small cafe setting of The Southern was the perfect place for old and new fans alike to enjoy the incredible melodies and lyrics of such down-to-earth musicians.

Standing with about 10 other devoted fans in the 55-degree weather was totally worth it when I got an unofficial interview with lead guitarist, Todd Gummerman. The New Orleans band was on tour introducing its third album, Odd Soul, which will be released Oct. 4. Gummerman said the tour will allow the band to get a feel for the audience's reaction to the new songs and help to gauge expected outcome for its next tour in 2012. Considering both of its earlier albums have incorporated new sounds into the alt-rock genre - playing with various instruments, beats and lyrical messages - I can understand wanting to see if the fans continue to support the evolving music.

Although Gummerman is the newest member of the group, he was familiar with its sound because of his long-term friendship with lead vocalist and keyboardist Paul Meany. Gummerman became involved with Mutemath when Meany asked him to step in after Greg Hill left the band in October 2010. Although the band had only two weeks of rehearsals to prepare for this tour, Gummerman clarified that this short amount of time was really not frightening for him at all, expressing his confidence in the talent each member of the band possessed.

Judging from the preview songs that Mutemath performed, including its single and title track "Odd Soul" and my new favorite song, "In No Time," there is nothing but pure beauty to be expected. I always take it as a sign of a great band when it sounds the same live as it does on its albums. Nothing was adjusted, no falsettos were axed, and all the unique instruments one would hear on the album tracks were involved in the show - despite the fact that lead singer Meany had laryngitis. He apologized for having lost his voice earlier on the tour at Liberty University, being forced to play a strictly instrumental set - but many LU students traveled to Charlottesville to see the group perform again.

It is fortunate that as University students, we have access to great bands at reasonable prices. If you have an opportunity to see Mutemath