Vancouver singer-songwriter sweetheart Hannah Georgas started off the night with some of her sugary-sweet tunes, mostly from her self-titled second album. The latest has Georgas singing about what she knows best, heartbreak and the like — though her sound is evolving into a new creature with some beautiful electronic moments, which were also shown off onstage.
Headliners Mother Mother came on and played a generous set of songs from across their varied and almost schizophrenic discography. Hailing originally from Quadra Island, the Vancouver-based quintet have carved out a sonic niche for themselves that's hard to pin down or describe.
Playing some rockier tunes such as "The Sticks" and "In Verbatim," Mother Mother displayed they have their finger on the pulse of what makes good indie rock. They were perky and driven by a solid bass and rhythm section, which occasionally left a real hip-hop aftertaste. Transitioning to slower ballad like "Ghosting," singer/guitarist Ryan Guldemond crooned and belted out lyrics in a pseudo defiant way, happy to be home, his faux hawk bobbing in the strobe.
Jeremy Page's bass lines propelled everything forward, like their rebelling against much of the dream pop that's infiltrated the indie soundscape over the past few years. Socially conscious and aware, the group played "Little Pistol" in dedication to Amanda Todd, the BC teen who took her life earlier this year due to bullying. Unafraid of sounding like either a brute or an emotional misfit, Mother Mother spanned a massive emotional gambit lyrically.
The Sticks is an elegant but diverse album — something that was further amplified in a live setting. The fact that Mother Mother don't really have a definitive or self-referential sound comes to a head in many ways. At one moment, it recalls '90s alternative staples like the Pixies, Violent Femmes or New Pornographers, but can seamlessly transition to into a soulful acoustic ballad of a different variety altogether, with no introduction needed. And therein rests so much of Mother Mother's charm.