Review: Mannequin Pussy Solidifies Their Stardom at Thalia Hall

What better way to spend a Wednesday evening than being in the same room as Philadelphia indie punk band Mannequin Pussy, while both moshing and crying to their lyrics at the same time? Mannequin Pussy has the perfect blend of music to where one could honestly emotionally headbang to them and it somehow just works! Mannequin Pussy have just released their fourth studio album titled I Got Heaven and it is honestly just as sensational as their previous works. Although I am biased towards the band and their phenomenal yet unique mix of indie rock and punk sounds; part of me wants to believe that everyone feels the same about their latest record as I do which in turn made for a way-sold-out show at Thalia Hall. 

The eager fans flooded the room and with Soul Glo as the opener; the moshing was not reserved for just the headlining act. Soul Glo put on quite the powerhouse performance for an opener which instantly caught the room’s attention. With a similar punk vibe as Mannequin Pussy, Soul Glo had no trouble warming up the crowd to get them ready for the night ahead.

Mannequin Pussy came on rather swiftly after Soul Glo’s set with lead singer Missy Dabice wearing a gorgeous white dress adorned with roses along the neckline. The crowd roared in anticipation for an exhilarating set from the band which is known for bringing vigorous and passionate performances. The band started the night off quietly, opening with a few songs off their new album. “I Don’t Know You” is a hauntingly beautiful track that translated seamlessly on stage. The band also performed my favorite song off of their new album, “Nothing Like” a song that slowly builds up its energy after each chorus and eventually disperses into a burst of euphoric guitars. It seemed as though the band was restraining themselves a little; the first half of their set pretty much consisted of their “slower” songs I assume to leave the second half of the night to their more exhilarating and mosh-pit-worthy numbers.

About halfway through their set, lead singer Missy somehow silenced the entire room as she commenced an extensive yet very genuine monologue about the current state and affairs of the world. She referred to our collective helplessness and bystander culture in the US as a deep ‘pit’ in our stomachs. A deep pit of helpless despair by seeing so much terror and anguish in the world and there is only so much a normal person can do when the government holds so much arm power. In a way, being forced into our societal norms which funds the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. Mannequin Pussy presented the opportunity to use this space as an outlet for that built up ‘pit’ in us. To let out all of that repressed agony we all feel yet we have little control over. They encouraged everyone in the room to let out all the anger and energy in a collective scream without the fear of being judged by anyone. I had never heard a room scream louder and you could feel the tension release into the air as if everyone felt relieved to have let out those repressed feelings of impending doom.

The second half of the show continued and the energy in the room doubled after her heartfelt message to her fans. Missy sang the intro to “I Got Heaven” which turned the page for the evening for a highly zealous rest of the show! As they performed their next song, “Of Her,” pretty much the entire room transformed into a vortex of humans violently swinging from one end of the hall to the other. Mannequin Pussy played their new album in its entirety, just sprinkled throughout their set which was an absolute treat to have been able to hear the whole album live! Before the encore; the band concluded their set with some of their more noteworthy songs including “Cream” and “Clams” from their previous album Patience. Mannequin Pussy generously let the photographers back into the photo pit for the encore to capture the final moments of action. They spared their wildest songs for the very end which influenced a handful of fans to crowd surf to their electrifying song “OK? OK! OK? OK!” Bandmate Bear Regisford hopped in for his vocals on “Pigs Is Pigs” which drove the crowd absolutely insane! His moment on stage during this song was truly a highlight of the evening.

The hype leading up to this show was definitely not an understatement. Fans leaving comments left and right on the bands socials to release additional tickets was a clear indicator that the Philadelphia native indie punk band, Mannequin Pussy, is on the rise in popularity. Not only did this tour sell out rather quickly; but tickets were being resold at astronomical prices and although ticket scalping is a practice that I do not support; it was clear that this was a show that could not be missed. If you missed the opportunity to see Mannequin Pussy last week you still  have another shot at catching their breathtaking set at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival happening at Union Park this July 19-21!

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Andrew Lagunas

Andrew Lagunas is a freelance photographer from Naperville who specializes in portraiture and concert photography. He has an Associate in Arts degree from College of DuPage and is always looking for new creative outlets.