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Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

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MusicLive CoverageMannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

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In music, there’s something incredibly powerful about the unexpected companionship between two contrasting elements. One does not have to remain separate from the other and, in fact, both can create a blend of something more enticing than each could have on their own. Think about the comforting charm of indie rock. It’s often a sweet and easy-on-the-ears genre, but don’t overlook its strength — in some cases, it serves to facilitate an opportunity for punk’s bubbling ferocity to burst even louder and shake listeners to the core even deeper. If anyone’s proven that both can exist powerfully and purposefully in the same place, it’s Mannequin Pussy.

Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

This past March, the beloved Philadelphia quartet released a brand new record. I Got Heaven sparked the interest of music listeners all across the country, the magnitude of its positive reception expressing itself in the form of a 100% sold out U.S. tour. This trek allowed the band to travel far and wide before returning to the east coast for three hometown shows at the one and only Union Transfer.

As Philadelphia patiently waited to welcome the band home and experience the new record live each member of the band, consisting of vocalist Marisa “Missy” Dabice, guitarist Maxine Steen, bassist Colins “Bear” Regisford, drummer Kaleen Reading, and touring keyboardist/tour manager Carolyn Haynes, emerged onto a deep royal purple saturated stage dressed in their Thursday best. Already dazzling the crowd with the flair of their mere presence, the band stepped into place and prepared to send out the very last night of their tour, a sentimental memory in the making we were all eager to be a part of.

Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

The anticipatory silence broke and through it tip-toed the beginning of “I Don’t Know You.” Missy’s alluring voice delicately floated around the room, pulling every single person into her vocal spell with each word. With gazes successfully captured, each strum and beat began to intensify, revealing the might eagerly awaiting to burst from the band’s already tearing seams. It was then that the intrigue of Mannequin Pussy’s masterful sonic duality was put on full display.

The newly iconic guitar riff of “Sometimes” sounded and introduced the opportunity to witness the simultaneous sweet and spunky nature of Mannequin Pussy in real time. The heavenly air of Missy’s soft voice delicately gleamed, physicalized through her elegant limb waving as she let the music flow through her body. Then, the punch of building instruments filled the room again, this time to a booming voice from Missy that catapulted itself into the crowd.

Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

Loud Bark” was another song that showcased the band’s ability to mix genres and moods, beginning in a muted tone before building to a feisty scream of the repeated “loud bark, deep bite” lyrics. This pulsating energy that effortlessly contracted only to explode ten times harder prepared us for the extra fiery moments that best define Mannequin Pussy’s rowdy side.

During songs like “Of Her” and “Aching,” Missy and Bear ping-ponged belted vocals back to one another in a game match of raw grit that produced a fit of erratic limb throwing, head thrashing, and hair flying. The performance of these songs, in true Mannequin Pussy fashion, let everyone know that the acceptance of a more vulnerable side does not make you any less of a force to be reckoned with. This eye-catching display of movement and feeling was the perfect way to celebrate the new album and all of what Mannequin Pussy is capable of.

With the buzz of I Got Heaven beating through the room and our yearn to experience its newness partially satiated, the band took the time to visit some fan favorites of the past that only brought everyone’s excitement to new heights. Lyrically and sonically iconic in the world of Mannequin Pussy, “Patience,” “Drunk II,” and “Perfect” saw attendees launching lyrics onto the stage, fueling the band to use the space to their full advantage as Missy danced around and Maxine, Bear, and Kaleen threw their entire bodies into their instruments.

As we neared the end of their set, the band took a moment to express their gratitude for being able to stand on stage in front of a packed room and reflect on what it took to get there. “We started playing basements and warehouses in this very town. It’s an honor to be on this stage, thank you for selling out three nights at Union Transfer,” Missy exclaimed. In this moment, the upward trajectory of their career solidified itself, but never without straying far from what Mannequin Pussy was and will always be about: speaking their mind no matter how controversial.

“This is an opportunity for something much greater than us,” she continued as she dropped her voice to a haunting whisper to discuss the vital nature of finding moments of catharsis in a world that makes it difficult to do so. “Our government reminds us everyday to ignore our anger. They try to infantilize anger and [tell us that we’ll] grow out of that anger. And to that…” she politely paused before letting out a roaring “…I say bullshit!” She returned to the same haunting whisper to heed a warning in twisted fairytale speak: “It will eat you alive like a poison, my sweet sweet darlings.” The true horror in these words was how deeply rooted in reality they actually were and how toxic societally turning a blind eye to hurt and rage can be.

She then pointed down to the visually symbolic pit that latches itself inside of us and spreads with every infuriating injustice and dismissed feeling. “All of you in this room are just like us. We think that we may be a reflection of what it is that you feel. You are not crazy for feeling so angry, what you feel is real.” She then invited the room to participate in a nightly Mannequin Pussy ritual, one that has carved a necessary space in each and every one of their sets — a group primal scream. On a count of three, the room broke free from the silence of masked pain and erupted into a roar of overdue emotional expression, a moment that riled everyone up just in time for the last song of their set.

For one last moment, we were enthralled by that wholly authentic, in your face Mannequin Pussy experience as “OK? OK! OK? OK!” blared from wall to wall before the band waved goodbye and strutted off the stage in confidence. It was the perfect way to cap our emotion-fueled, adrenaline rush-driven night…or so we thought.

Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

After a fervor of cheers, the band returned to the stage, this time with Bear taking center stage. There, he expressed the dream-come-true sentiment of the night, sharing words of gratitude for his bandmates and everyone who chose to spend their night with them. He let out an “I love you Philly,” a moment of togetherness we’d need before a recorded conversation sounded over the speakers and left us pondering a crucial question some are forced to face everyday: “I love America, but does America love me?” It was then that the rage-induced words of “Pigs Is Pigs” bellowed for all to hear. Bear’s dominating vocals created yet another moment of catharsis, the entire crowd being literally and figuratively moved to embrace the physicality of emotional release. In this moment, if during none others, it became clear that Mannequin Pussy exists as a critical force in today’s world of music and beyond.

Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour
Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

The night came to a close, but not before Missy poignantly reassured us with a reminder: “You’re not really alone because look at where you are.” As we all took in what it meant to be included in the third sold out crowd of the band’s hometown, it was impossible to deny the community of people Mannequin Pussy had garnered, a community of people who find solace in songs that recognize the harsh realities of the world and encourage listeners to do something about the feelings that they cause. It was this message that brought us to the very last song of the very last set of the very last night of the entire tour.

With the sound of the adored “Romantic” filling the room, their spirit swelled for one last time that evening; and so did ours, every single person in the venue that night reveling in the thought of having witnessed an incredibly special moment in Mannequin Pussy history. The magic of the moment suddenly conjured something unexpected as what felt like hundreds of balloons blissfully barreled down from the ceiling. The show ended with cheek to cheek smiles and roaring cheers that could be seen and heard from every point of the venue, the only way a show that has deeply impacted its attendees should.

Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour

If you’re looking for an album whose songs will both rock you into a daze of serenity and hit you in the face with blood-pumping intensity, be sure to give Mannequin Pussy’s I Got Heaven a listen. If you like what you hear, check them out in a city near you on the second U.S. leg of the I Got Heaven Tour this fall!

Show Date: 05.23.24 // Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer // Mannequin Pussy Sold Out I Got Heaven Tour
Photos & words by Suzanne Leszczynski

Suzanne Leszczynski
Suzanne Leszczynski
Hi! My name's Suzanne and I like to capture the world of live music in Philadelphia; immortalizing moments between music lovers is what motivates me. I'll catch you at a show soon!

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Suzanne Leszczynski
Suzanne Leszczynski
Hi! My name's Suzanne and I like to capture the world of live music in Philadelphia; immortalizing moments between music lovers is what motivates me. I'll catch you at a show soon!

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