Concert Review: Mother Mother

Mother Mother's Thurs., Dec. 13 show unfolded like a tragic play on the Royal Theatre stage.

Mother Mother's Thursday night show  unfolded like tragic plays across Royal Theatre's stage. Review by Grady Mitchell.

Mother Mother's Thursday night show unfolded like tragic plays across Royal Theatre's stage. Review by Grady Mitchell.

Mother Mother belongs in a theatre. On Thursday night their songs unfolded like tragic plays across Royal Theatre’s stage, each shadowy pop number matched pitch-perfectly by the venue’s gold-gilded walls and heavy stage curtains.

Ryan Guldemond is a devilish showman, delivering portents of doom (heartbreak, misfortune, death, etc.) while somehow remaining catchy. Flanking him are the twin beauties of his sister, Molly, and Jasmin Parker, both providing vocals and keys. While bassist Jeremy Page and drummer Ali Siadat are less visible, they make themselves known with powerful support in the lower ranges, especially Siadat, whose drums thundered through the venue.

Every component of their live show comes together to create a satin-smooth and cosmopolitan experience. The dynamic lightshow with exploding strobes and beaming spotlights, the sharply modern outfits, and, of course, the music, something like the sharp bite at the end of a well-mixed cocktail.

Few acts have forged as tight of a band-city relationship as Mother Mother has with Victoria–just look at their steady year-by-year climb up the Rifflandia roster–and it’s not lost on them. Ryan, who grew up on nearby Quadra Island, thoroughly, and unlike many bands, sincerely thanked Victoria and its fans for sticking with them, comparing their humble beginnings parking a van outside Lucky Bar to now, with a massive tour bus idling just outside the theatre.

While they covered most of the newer tracks their fans wanted to hear, they also dipped into their repertoire. One Mother Mother trademark is vocal experimentation, which they dusted off in older tracks like Hayloft, with its frantic, high-pitched staccato lyrics unreeling a neo-noir homicidal plot. Another is pure sonic muscle, which they flexed with The Stand and Simply Simple. It was a night of elegance unhinged, Mother Mother’s men darkly suave, their ladies shadowy in their beauty.

 

Review by Grady Mitchell

arts@mondaymag.com

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