Photographs by Angelo Marchini.
A cold evening brought “The No Culture Tour” to the Massey Hall. With fans filling 2,500+ seats, the sold out show was ready to rock the heck out. Supporting the Vancouver natives was LA’s very own, K. Flay. As I prepared to get inside the venue, one of Toronto’s most beautiful venues — of course — I was seated on the third balcony. Surprisingly, I was not disappointed because the venue, known for it’s amazing acoustics, provided me with the same experience if I had gotten a seat in the pit.
Stanford alumni, K.Flay began the show with edgy and gritty songs. Although the venue was a seated concert, the young artist did not fail to get people on their feet. Performing songs off her successful debut Life As A Dog (2014) like “ Can’t Sleep” which ended up becoming a favorite of mine, she easily converted everyone in the room into a fan. Blending genres like hip hop and alt rock, it was apparent in songs like “Make Me Fade” a song filled with heavy bass lines and ambient guitars paired with angst-y lyrics. Opening her song “Bad Things” with a speech about the conflicts going on south of the border, she provided the audience with words of hope and resistance. The Illinois native closed her set with “FML” a fan favorite and a new favorite of mine.
“And it’s okay to have bad times because the bad times give us context for good times.” This was just a small sentiment sent out to fans around the room by lead singer, Ryan Guldemond. Mother Mother opened the set with “Free” the first track off their latest record No Culture (2017). Decking the stage with red and green hues and smoothly transitioning into a favorite of mine, “Body Of Years”, the band surprised the audience with a mini cover of ‘Ace of Spades’ by Motorhead. This was not going to be the only time the band covered another song during their set. While performing “Hayloft” a song with baby-like vocals and grim lyrics, the quintet cover a snippet of “Dazed and Confused” by legendary band, Led Zeppelin. An amazing vocal performance delivered by vocalist, Jasmin Parkin that was a passionate and soulful rendition. Performing at the Massey Hall was a thought on singer, Ryan’s mind. The indie rocker informed the audience on his first experience with the venue through an old cassette tape of Yo-Yo Ma’s performance at the Hall. “I would kick my old Mazda before getting in and listening to the tape. The Hall is known to be very prestigious which messes with your psyche so before I leave tonight, I’m going to kick the side of the hall!” (paraphrased). Closing their set with an encore performance of “Ghosting” and “Simply Simple” the band thanked the audience for their love and support before exiting the stage.
An impeccable night that left me thinking about what authentic artistry is. Mother Mother delivers and gives their fans the most respect by providing a show with so many breath-taking moments. Maybe because they’re one of my favorite bands, I highly suggest you see them live and catch them on tour right now!