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To describe the experience of witnessing any band’s live performance is challenging. It’s easy to slip into clichéd language that glosses over the heart of the energy a particular band brings to the stage. The Austin, TX duo of Matthew Brue and David Butler, known as MISSIO (Latin for “mission”) are anything but the expected. Self-described as “musical misfits with an affinity for D.I.Y. electro-trap production,” with lyrics that, on a cursory glance, could be misread as a new generation of anti-establishment party songs. MISSIO’s complex sound requires a deeper listen to realize hidden personal lyrics that cover an entire emotional spectrum (sometimes in one song). Opening their set to a sold out U Street Music Hall in Washington, D.C., MISSIO wasted no time setting the tone for the evening with their yet unreleased track, “Temple Priest,” a percussion/bass heavy genre-bending mix of electro-rock/trap/punk which had Brue bouncing around the stage shrouded in a white robe fueling the crowd into a frenzy. Playing to the power of the unexpected, high points of the night included some quiet moments as well like the interesting take on Lana Del Ray’s “West Coast,” Brue’s ode to his fight with addiction on “Can I Exist,” and the popular single “Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea.” After Brue revealed he was fighting a cold and would need the crowd’s help, they willingly joined as one to sing along with every song given half a chance. The true unifying power of MISSIO’s music came to bear later in the night with the crowd favorites, “I Don’t Give A…,” and the anthem like “Middle Fingers.”

“I don’t like the music other people tend to share
Hate your loser lyrics, middle fingers in the air
I’m a starving artist nowhere close to millionaire
I prefer my Kia, middle fingers in the air
I’ll just keep on throwing middle fingers in the air”

– “Middle Fingers”

Moments when a band is able to completely capture the energy of the crowd and harness it are rarer than one would expect, but with their performance of “Middle Fingers” MISSIO was able to do just that. As all 500 concert goers triumphantly waved both middle fingers high, the restless energy of current political and social events was given a momentary catharsis. Expect to see big things from this band and if you can, check them out live on their currently sold-out nationwide tour.

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