Review and photos – Mother Mother at the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver May 4 2011
– review by Ria Nevada/photos by Ashley Tanasiychuk
B.C. treasure Mother Mother played the first of two sold-out shows in Vancouver this Wednesday at the Vogue Theatre (the show tonight, May 5, is at the Commodore Ballroom). Not a bad turnout for a city that has been rapt with NHL playoffs and national electoral coverage. But fans of the small-town wonders admirably pried themselves away from their favourite sports bars and TV sets to catch the pop-rock quintet live in action.
The Vogue was already bustling as Brasstronaut took to the stage. True to the indie-jazz group’s name, trumpeter Bryan Davies carried their melodies with intricate and sultry solos, partnered with the fluid clarinet lines of Sam Davidson. Standout tracks from their set included the solemn “Requiem for Scene” from their first EP Old World Lies, and it’s stark opposite “Heart’s Trumpet”, a bright and sprightly blues number. Edo Van Breemen‘s soft and airy vocals added to the dreamy aura of their sound. These guys proved that being band geeks in high school eventually pays off. The hundreds of blushing girls in the crowd were hootin’, hollering’, and practically drooling over the lanky league of musical savants.
Giving credit where it is due, Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond boldly proclaimed that Brasstronaut were the reason the night flourished and were a source of inspiration for himself and his bandmates. Brasstronaut will be touring Europe for the next few months, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that they’ll be an international sensation in no time.
The house lights brightened as the stage was prepared for the main act, and I finally noticed how young the majority of the crowd was. Before I started feeling too much like a chaperone at a middle school dance, the Mother Mother banner was released from the ceiling and the band emerged to the cheery “Ball Cap”, demonstrating the crisp and gorgeous vocal harmonies between Guldemond, his sister Molly Guldemond, and Jasmin Parkin.
They dove directly into “O My Heart”, perhaps their most popular track to date. Drummer ‘s forceful yet clean beat truly came to the fore, getting the entire room bouncing about. Playing their biggest hit at the beginning of the set did not weed out any attendees. The giddy group stuck around till the very end, singing along to uplifting songs like the Nashville-bluesy “Problems”, and the sweet and poignant “Simply simple”. “Ghosting” encouraged the room to sing along like the chorus line of Glee.
The audience also had the chance to hear brand spanking new tracks from the band’s third full-length release, Eureka. Be sure to look out for “Getaway”, a tender ballad complemented by Molly Guldemond’s girlish and feathery voice. I did find her tone quality interesting and unique, but it is an acquired taste and can cause some cringing at first listen. Nonetheless, the track is killer; soothing at first, then bursting into a hip-hop charged finale. It’s a fine example of the great things that can be heard on the new record.
It was great seeing Vancouver fans show as much pride in their local artists as in their hockey team; everyone was all-smiles and extremely supportive of the bands. God love the Canucks, but it must be said, at least Brasstronaut and Mother Mother are always a sure bet.