By: Chantal Dunn
On February 15th, 2019, Vancouver-based band, Mother Mother played a sold out show here in Edmonton along with their opening band Said The Whale.
The Jubilee Auditorium was an intimate change of setting in comparison to the band’s usual shows. However, even though the venue was seated, the music had the crowd on their feet for most of the night. The location definitely fit the new album; Dance and Cry because it gave the audience a chance to get up and move or sit down and really listen.
This indie rock band is usually known for their quirky, upbeat and unique rocky sound. Dance and Cry still falls into Mother Mother’s expected sound, but with an ominous, chill and meaningful vibe.
Ryan Guldemond, the lead singer of Mother Mother, wrote a lot of the album on a beach in Costa Rica to make it “more vulnerable.” In an older interview, when the album first came out, he said “For Dance and Cry, I really wanted to encapsulate that in order to dance, you have to be able to cry too. They’re symbiotic.
This message is passed through not just in the songs but at the show. The frontman spoke to the crowd at the Jubilee wanting “to be heartfelt”. Guldemond touched on the fact that Mother Mother’s fans “are family”, and dedicated a couple songs to any individuals going through difficult times. He would twist on his toes during an upbeat guitar solo, while moving to the edge of the stage, acknowledging and connecting with fans which created an encapsulating stage presence.
The dynamic of the music and stage presence drew emotion, for the goal of the album and tour was to make the listeners want to dance and cry.
The show began with the first song off the new album; “I Must Cry Out Loud”. This kicked off the concert with slow, eerie but smooth guitar, building up with falsettos and harmonies from Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin, both on keyboard and vocals. Accompanied with a dark stage and the singular spotlight on Guldemond, the beginning of the concert was suspenseful and mysterious.
This segued into the next song, the title track of the album “Dance and Cry”, which then quickly switched the mood to an upbeat, uplifting atmosphere with drums and flashing lights. The rest of the show had dynamic between chill vibes and high energy songs which again reflected the goal of making the audience want to dance then cry.
The delivery of the music was smooth with transitions between songs such as “Oh My Heart” to “Let’s Fall In Love”, both popular Mother Mother hits from previous albums. Molly Guldemond even performed a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” which shook the audience and filled the auditorium with whistling and screaming. The remainder of the show had balance between new songs and old favourites.
Photo courtesy of Chantal Dunn