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It’s an unfortunate truth about the logistics of touring (and the construction of the five-day work week) that shows won’t always land on Fridays or Saturdays.
Sometimes you’ll have to play the occasional Tuesday, or Thursday, or, in the case of Soccer Mommy’s latest visit to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom, the show will land right in the middle of the week.
And while the ethereal tunes and trippy backlighting of Sophia Allison et al.’s December 7 performance may have been better suited for a psychedelic Saturday night trip, there was no denying that the energy in Vancouver’s favourite bar-flanked venue was nothing but beatific.
The Nashville, TN native’s stop up north prefaces the last legs of her tour, wherein she’ll be seeing sunnier skies in California, Arizona, and Texas, finishing off the last shows before the holidays at Dallas’ House of Blues on December 17.
Opener TOPS started the show off with as much energy as their all-caps band name eternally promises, getting an already amped crowd out to the floor for a series of synth-soaked songs.
A quick shuffle of guitars and gear later saw Soccer Mommy take the stage, launching straight into their most recent single “Bones.” The song happened to have the perfect time signature for popular local dance: The Cool Vancouver Head Nod, which reverberated through the crowd during the dreamy-turned-raucous opening number.
Sophia took a beat to say a quick hello to Vancouver, noting that it had been a long time since the band had last been in the city—too long a time, likely, for guitarist Julian Powell, who must have had the Vancouver Grizzlies jersey he rocked onstage waiting a while in the wings for this particular night.
The band then lined up “Circle the Drain,” beginning a back and forth dance between songs from 2020’s Color Theory (“Crawling in My Skin,” “Lucy”) and 2022’s Sometimes, Forever (“Shotgun,” Unholy Affliction,” “Darkness Forever”), all accompanied by sickly yellow and pink lighting, an amoeba-like backdrop, and background graphics that amplified everything from Sophia’s haunting vocals to the hard-hitting outro of “Scorpio Rising.”
The accompanying band members fled the stage near the end of the show, leaving Sophia by herself with just the guitar, the stage, and the crowd for a few songs from a little further back in her catalog. She was eventually joined by the rest of the band for a rousing rendition of “Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes.”
But the real highlight of the night came after the entire band left the stage, only to be summoned back by the chants of a demanding crowd (because we’re all going to just keep pretending that encores are earned rather than expected, right?) to end things off with a performance of “Your Dog” that moved the crowd—physically, that is, as the generally passive head-nodders threw their hands up and bopped more than just their chins to the final song of the night.
It was only after the sobering reality of strolling out of the Commodore’s front doors on a Wednesday that the illusion of being at a carefree weekend night rock show was shattered.
But Thursdays and Fridays in December are basically write-offs anyway, right? Right.
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