Photo by Sophie Hur
I first got my ticket to see Momma way back in April. Since then, September has been absolutely packed with killer shows. I'm not sure if it's just bands returning to Boston along with the college kids or a leftover tradition from hitting New England when they played New York for CMJ, but that's just the way it always is in Boston in September. I was questioning my choice since a lot of these shows were bands I already had an longer established fandom for. After seeing Momma play live, I definitely don't regret my decision.
Earlier this week I saw Vanyaland compare Momma to Juliana Hatfield and The Smashing Pumpkins, and that might be the most fitting possible comparison. On the first night of their headlining tour, Momma displayed a stardom much bigger than they are currently. You just knew you were watching a band destined for great things. Songs like "Rockstar" and "Speeding 72" are already classics, especially with their fans. This is a band that wears their 90's influences on their sleeve, and for those of us that lived through that decade, hearing a new take on our teen years is quite welcome. They even busted out a cover of The Breeders' "Divine Hammer," which I'm not sure if the quite young crowd recognized.
My only complaint of their set is that I wish the microphones were turned up a bit more. Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten's vocals are the highlight of their music. While their barely above a whisper vocals are perfect on their album, live they got drowned out a but too much, especially on a song like "Rockstar."
waveform* opened, and this is a band with huge promise. Another band that obviously worships the 90's, they even did the Sebadoh trade off instruments thing throughout the set. They leaned into the slacker sound just a bit too much. They were good, but when they cranked up their sound even the teeniest notch, they were absolutely fantastic. At one point they played the opening riff of Momma's "Medicine," to which the crowd responded quite well. The members of Momma yelled at them to play the whole thing from the side of the stage, but they didn't know the whole song. Keep an eye on these guys.