Whenever you go to see an artist perform, you should be on your best behavior. Whenever bands skip Houston while on tour, and people here ask
Soccer Mommy walked out to what seemed like an enthusiastic crowd, and perhaps many of them were just that. However, for most of their set, the audience seemed to talk from start to finish. The Nashville group is a pretty loud indie rock band, so the fact that you could hear chatting throughout their set was pretty infuriating.
The worst part of the set was what seemed to be a group who felt that it was their duty to respond to everything singer Sophie Allison said. Stupid and ridiculous replies like "what's the name of the song," were annoying and flat out rude to say at any show, especially one in a space as small as the upstairs of White Oak Music Hall.
When Bridgers took the stage she seemed to be in a great mood, full of jokes and began with a sample from the drummer that played "you're not my fucking mother," before opening with a soulful rendition of "Smoke Signals." Things seemed to go smoothly, with the song feeling a bit more uptempo than on the record. When the lyric "speeding cause' fuck the cops," came in the crowd cheered out loud. She followed up with the sweet and endearing track "Funeral," where a quieter crowd would have made the experience a lovely one.
However, that wouldn't be the case, as there was more than twenty percent of the audience talking loudly enough to where it felt like Bridgers' tender voice was mere background music. Explaining afterward that the next song would be "kind of folk core," she launched into a nice version of "Georgia," and then followed that up with the song "Would You Rather." Both songs came off sounding pretty amazing with the full band in tow,
After that, she said, "this next song is about sexting, which you're supposed to tell people not to do. But I'm for sexting, you can put that on a shirt," then started up the song "Demi Moore." This was followed up by a tender version of the song "Killer," where the audience chatter seemed to start back up. In such a small room, during such a sweet and soft song, it was nearly ruined by the conversations happening throughout the space. Bridgers then played an older track, "Ask Me To" solo on her acoustic, before grabbing her electric baritone and playing a solo cover of the Daniel Johnston classic, "Peek A Boo."
While introducing the fan favorite "Motion Sickness" with the full band back on stage, Bridgers noted, "this song is about when I was twenty, I slept with someone on their fortieth birthday." The song had a new heft to it, with more of a rock vibe than the pop structure it has on Stranger in the Alps. She then introduced the band including "my talented ex-boyfriend drummer," and then asked everyone to "give it up for my favorite fucking band, Soccer Mommy," before closing with the song "Scott Street." As confetti went off and adorned the audience, it felt like Bridgers had finally won everyone over, before leaving and coming back to play an encore performance of "You Missed My Heart."
When I asked Rathbun what the biggest difference between the Los Angeles show and the Houston show was, he said that the lights were darker in
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While both performers were incredibly kind after the performance, after the room cleared and they'd met with fans and signed things, it really sucked to have to apologize for how people act at shows in this town. In a city this size, you'd think two hundred people could shut up for two hours of incredible music.
Both acts were gracious and generous to the audience throughout their performances, showing how they're top notch and classy enough to try and overlook those the chatter in the crowd. But if either never came back to Houston, at least now you'll know why. It's not because it's the South, or the venues don't pay enough, it's because we're too self-centered as audience members to let an artist entertain us.