Vancouver's Mother Mother had a pretty triumphant return home, ending their current tour with a sold out show at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre. I wasn't as enamoured with their new album, The Sticks, as I was with last year's Eureka, but they've always put on one hell of a live show -- as evidenced with their recent win at the CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards for "Best Reason to Buy a Concert Ticket" (Best Live Act) -- and after I had somehow missed every other Vancouver show this year, there was no chance I was going to pass this up. Especially since another favourite, and another hometown hero, the gorgeous Hannah Georgas was their opening act.
Hannah Georgas -- also a recent Bucky Award winner, for "Hottest Pipes" (best vocals) -- was joined by a backing band of some familiar faces; Luke Renshaw (Jets Overhead), Rob Tornroos (Elias & In Medias Res), and Andrew Rasmussen (Hey Ocean). She focused mostly on her new, self-titled album, starting off the set with the lead track, "Elephant", the offering a little more electro-pop than her debut. Her fantastic voice still drove the songs, though, as witnessed on "Robotic" and her sharp (and sometimes acerbic) songwriting is still intact, with "Somebody", a unrequited love song.
My favourite of the set was also my favourite from the new album, "Millions" an upbeat and rocking song, and after the beautiful "Ode to Mom", she wrapped up her set with "Waiting Game"
It's always great seeing Hannah -- even for a short opening spot -- but it seems like forever since I've seen her do a proper show of her own, so hopefully she'll be back sometime soon for a full show.
Elephant, Enemies, Robotic, Chit Chat, Lovers Breakdown, Fantasize, Millions, Somebody, Ode to Mom, Waiting Game.
The stage filled with smoke as Mother Mother took the stage, back lit to show only silhouettes against the smoke. Most of the set, actually, was deep in the fog with lights blazing through from the back of the stage, making the band occasionally hard to see (from my seats, anyway), but that didn't slow them down any.
The five-piece is so incredibly tight and full of energy, with their off-beat indie-pop-rock full of quirky, occasionally tongue-in-cheek and usually dark songs, relying on the great harmonies between Jasmin Parkins and Ryan & Molly Guldemond, each with their own unique voice, somehow managing to blend together so well. Started off the set with the title track from the new album The Sticks, the band bounced from songs like the soft and haunting "Ghosting" to the almost hip-hop-sounding "Verbatim" from their debut album, to more bouncy songs like "My Baby Don't Dance", to their chaotic single "The Stand" that had everyone singing along, yelling "Everybody's fucked and they don't even know".
Other highlights included my favourite song of theirs, the frantic and infectious "Hayloft", and "Little Pistol", where Ryan got serious for a moment, dedicating the song to the Amanda Todds of the world; everyone whose flame had been snuffed out too soon, a genuinely touching moment.
After a little over an hour, they brought the set to an end with "Let's Fall In Love" before coming back for the encore with Hannah to help on vocals for "Love It Dissipates", and finally ending the night with Ryan strapping on the banjo for the destructive "Wrecking Ball".
As you would expect from a venue like the Orpheum, the sound was excellent the whole night, and the sold out crowd was more than excited for the show. It was quite the homecoming for the band, wrapping up their tour with a bang, and proved why they are worthy for being the "Best Reason to Buy a Concert Ticket".
The Sticks, Body of Years, The Stand, Business Man, Verbatim, The Cry Forum, Infinitesimal, Ghosting, Hayloft, Simply Simple, Bit by Bit, Little Pistol, Dread in My Heart, My Baby Don't Dance, O My Heart, Let's Fall in Love.
[encore] Love It Dissipates, Wrecking Ball.