Friday, February 23, 2007

Reviews:: Mother Mother CD Release Show @ the Plaza

Ok. There are two things I need to express. One - Mother Mother is about to explode. Two - The Plaza and Fox 99.3 sucks ass.

How's that for mature prose? Let's start with number two. I know I'm not "pro" radio. We drove around the city the other day and left the CDs at home, so we were forced to rock out to the crystal clear sounds of FM. It was painful - and the whole shock jock stuff bothers me. That being said, last night was a travesty, even for radio standards.

Mother Mother is a local band on the cusp of becoming indie huge and can deliver a kickass, energy filled set. Unfortunately, if you were there last night, you'd have left underwhelmed. Let me reiterate - this had nothing to do with the band. In fact, they shone through the experience. Maybe it's because you got free access if you attended the "THE OFFICIAL WEENIE ROAST MOTHER OF AN AFTER PARTY." That's right. Thanks 99.3!

The Plaza. Wow. Where do I start? Maybe the huge Cocktail-esque bar in the middle of the space. Throughout the whole set I expected them to cut the band's power and crank up hippie hippie shake while the bar staff tossed bottles around. The place was littered with drunkards who talked over the band (mostly about the Wolfmother set from earlier in the night), which was easy because the sound guy decided that turning up the mics for a band that relies on intricate three-part harmonies would be a waste of time. Seriously. Even when Ryan tried to engage the crowd, you could barely hear him - which led to more drunken chatter.

Anyway, enough of that. Let's get to the important part of the night: Mother Mother. I honestly don't know how these guys are NOT huge yet. I really got into the CD - Touch Up - but seeing this band live is that a special experience for so many reasons. The first is the fact the band smiled the whole set. They love the music they are playing and that energy flows freely to the audience.

Everything I thought about the band, well, when they put it together live.. wow. From the outset, you are drawn in by the set up. Molly and Debra Jean flank Ryan like backup singers from a Motown act. The sound is sexier, more soulful, more frantic, more everything. The set opened with the title track form the CD and I was super impressed by how well the three voices worked together.

With only harmonies, a guitar, a cranked up bass and a banging drum kit, Mother Mother ripped off an incredibly tight set. They ranged from hip-hop back beats to funk. From dirty blue grass to musical theatre. But they never once seemed to waiver. Even the extended "jams" flowed smoothly.

The venue didn't suit the band well, but picturing how they would deliver a set to a smaller crowd that actually gets me excited. From the stacatto strums and cowbell beat of Dirty Town to the funk driven Neighbour, Mother Mother consistently changed the pace and style of the show, but never drifted into self indulgence. Even on the theatrical numbers like Love and Truth, the band's musical ability is so obvious you are drawn in.

So for those who were there last night, try to look past the setting and focus on the next big act coming from the Canadian scene, because after some people hear them at SXSW they will be everywhere.

MP3:: Neighbour

Posted at 11:23 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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