A week’s notice was all Mipso fans had to snag tickets to the impromptu concert at Pinhook in Durham, North Carolina.
The band was in the area filming videos for material they plan to release soon and decided to put on a quick concert to test out the new songs in front of a live audience. You had to be looking for them or just be super lucky because the tickets for Mipso’s first concert of the year sold out immediately.
It was a chilly night and the area was expecting snow flurries, the venue opened doors a little early to let fans inside so they didn’t have to suffer out in the colder weather. The Pinhook is a quaint little music venue, event space, and bar that prides itself on inclusiveness.
The crowd was very eclectic and mainly consisted of locals, with lots of couples in attendance. The overall atmosphere was very mellow and laid back. Aside from a few tables lining the wall, everyone stood and swayed along to the music. Once in a while you could hear a shout out to the band, but for the most part, the crowd was very quiet and reserved. The band themselves, are soft-spoken and down to earth.
There was no dramatic entrance or suspense rising up to the show. The members of Mipso – Jacob Sharp (mandolin), Libby Rodenbough (fiddle), Wood Robinson (bass), and Joseph Terrell (guitar) along with the “newest member of the family,” Sean Trischka (drums) – gracefully took their spots onstage and went right into their first song, “Marianne.”
They played two of their hits, “Coming Down the Mountain” and “Spin Me Around,” before they addressed the audience, then played “Louise” and “People Change.”
Just before the band played some of their new songs, Terrell took a moment to address the audience. He let the crowd know they were selling a lot of random merchandise that they had lying around. He also introduced the drummer, Trischka.
They played four new songs (“Carolina Rolling By,” “Broken Heart/Open Heart,” “East,” and “Radio Hell”) with “Never Knew You Were Gone” and “Big Star” breaking them up. Around this time, they broke out one of their hoodies and with no real plan, decided to give it to one of the audience members. Someone from the crowd piped up that there was a birthday in the audience, so the hooded sweatshirt went to them.
During the performance, the band had multiple instrument switches. Robinson changed from the bass guitar to a double bass for one of their new songs. Rodenbough played the fiddle, keyboard, and guitar throughout the set while Sharp changed between the mandolin and his guitar. Terrell played three guitars with two being his Gretsch and Healy.
Prior to playing the last song in the set, “Hurts So Good,” Rodenbough thanked the audience and went into a story about how anytime she says thank you, it reminds her of the YouTube celebrity Macey Hensley and the way she said thank you while on the show “Ellen” at the age of five. Rodenbough went on to say that no one has ever meant thank you as much as Hensley.
It was the encore of the night that was the most amazing part of the show. The venue was lit up, no more stage lighting. When Mipso came back to the stage, they grabbed their instruments and slowly stepped into crowd.
Everyone joined in a big circle while the band squeezed their way to the middle. They played “A Couple Acres Greener” and “Drink Up and Go Home” and it literally felt like a bunch of friends sitting around a campfire listening to songs, sharing stories, and being in the moment. The room was dead silent as their voices barely carried through the corners of Pinhook. The guitar, bass and fiddle weren’t connected to a speaker; it was raw and beautiful.
After this evening with Mipso, I can see why they have such a loyal following and I look forward to their forthcoming album with anticipation.