This is the kind of show that was electric before it even began. Hell, before half the crowd were even in their seats, people were cheering. The crowd was comprised with a healthy mix of ex-emo kids and Kombucha Boys, a pretty standard crowd for a Vancouver gig. I will say, I was a little hesitant of the venue. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the Orpheum. It’s gorgeous and the acoustics are incredible but for a tour labeled ‘Dance & Cry’, it seemed like an odd choice.
The lights went down and opener’s Said The Whale walked on stage without much fanfare. That is until they started playing. They launched into one of their more notable tracks, Camilo. I will say, that song isn’t one of my favourites but it absolutely rocked. They played with high energy yet a low-key attitude. Pretty Vancouver-esque, I would say. It was a double whammy performance for Said The Whale. Not only was it a hometown show, it was also the night before their new album, Cascadia, was released into the world. They played a few tracks from the upcoming album as well as explaining the meaning. For example, Tyler from the band shared a sweet anecdote about his 2-year-old son before launching into Level Best, a track he wrote for him.
They were punchy, yet polished. What I imagine every garage band wish they sounded like. If Queen wanted to do a folksy album, I think it would kind of sound like something Said The Whale came out with. After 30 minutes flew by, Said The Whale were finished. They actually helped tear down their set-up which I appreciated.
Some beer, some cheering, a bit more wood puzzle, Mother Mother were on. It was a super climactic opening and it didn’t end there. Starting out with a slower track might seem like an odd choice for an opening track and yet it totally work. It just helped build up the suspense. The crowd was absolutely roaring, the energy was palpable.
I will say it right now, Mother Mother are a live band that puts out records. Some bands are more of a studio band that sometimes, they can’t deliver in their live performances. Not Mother Mother. Hearing some of the tracks live breathe new life into the songs. They’re very upfront with the rhythm section which I love in live performances. I’ll pioneer the Rhythm Section Fan Club if I have to. Just some of the stand-out tracks were Monkey Tree, Bottom is a Rock, The Drugs, Let’s Fall in Love. I got to say though, Get Out The Way was where it was at. My notes on that song are just a row of expletives. This seems like a dumb observation as they’re a band but they’re incredible musicians. Like, really incredible. I don’t know what I was expecting but watching them live for the first time was a totally pleasant surprise.
Like Said The Whale, this was a hometown show for Mother Mother. They took the time to thanks fans for their support and referenced where they got their start. Places where they performed open mics like Cafe Du Soleil on Commercial or The Five Points on Main. They even thanked local stations for supporting them over the years. They neglected to mention Evolution but it’s fine, whatever, we’re not that bitter. They later brought out Said The Whale to perform So Down together. It was the ultimate Vancouver crossover.
Overall, Mother Mother is a concert you should be at. I can’t wait to see them again. Come dance with me.