We Are The City and Mother Mother are currently on tour and it couldn’t be a more perfect pairing. Playing their second and third shows in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Vancouver-based bands took the stage at one of the city’s favorite venues – The Marquee Ballroom.
Both bands have an exciting sound – a mix of electronic and explosive pop. We Are The City took the stage first and provided the audience with a short but sweet set. Warming up the stage with songs like ‘Keep On Dancing’ and ‘That’s It, That’s All,’ you could see the audience getting more and more excited. About half-way through the opening act’s set the entire dance floor was filled with people bobbing their heads and clapping their hands along to the music.
We Are The City, like Mother Mother, are the kind of band that need to be seen live to really appreciate them. Their stage presence is their finest feature. When they broke into ‘Baptism’ the mood in the sold out venue changed. The crowd was totally entranced with the vocals of McKenzie and the soothing keyboard sounds. The whole audience swayed together as if they were one single person.
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We Are The City brought the energy back up toward the end of their set with ‘Dark/Warm Air’ and ‘Cheque Room.’ The light and airy percussion of these tunes was like a warm summer breeze grazing your cheeks. It left you refreshed and wanting more. It was obvious that the audience was super receptive to this change of pace.
Closing their set with one of their best tracks, the band broke into ‘Kiss Me, Honey’ with every ounce of energy they had left. The room exploded with unified excitement. It was almost impossible to even see the stage over all of the heads of the people jumping up and down to the music. Dragging out guitar solos and showing off percussion skills, it was as if they weren’t ready to hand the stage over to the headliner. The crowd sang along to the last few notes and erupted with appreciation when the song ended. The 3-piece band was clearly humbled.
Mother Mother only gave guests enough time to grab a drink before they hit the stage. The brother-sister duo and their backing band opened their set the same way they have several other times in Halifax, with crazy energy. The band has been hitting up Halifax stages since 2007 but it’s clear that the city isn’t tired of seeing them. Opening with ‘Reaper Man,’ a tune from the band’s earlier album, they provided a great mix of old and new tracks. The set list was purposeful, mixing their most energetic tracks like ‘Get Out The Way’ and ‘Hayloft’ with the more mellow sounds of ‘Monkey Tree’ and ‘Let’s Fall in Love.’
While every single tune was welcomed by the audience, it was ‘Hayloft’ that won the night. With Molly’s and Jasmine’s competing vocals cradling the chorus and Ryan shredding his guitar, it was so fun to watch. The band was working hard to perform that song with as much passion and energy as possible. Luckily, the crowd gave it all right back to them – dancing, singing and sweating just as much as Mother Mother.
Halifax has a history of selling out just about every show that comes this far east, but when Canadian bands come to town, the city goes nuts. Having two Vancouver-based bands with the type of stage presence that Mother Mother and We Are The City have, ensured two sold-out shows and a lot of excited fans. The insanely passionate and exciting performance by both bands left concert-goers both sweaty and satisfied.