Mother Falcon, an indie band from Austin, was a big surprise at many levels. Big because they were so many on stage (11 or 12?) but also because of their sound, which was so buoyant and so layered… As soon as they took the stage, the place looked and sounded like a beehive, and I could hardly count how many instruments there were , sax, cello, trumpet, violin, keyboard, accordion, upright bass, guitars, drums… okay I thought, these guys are going for the big chamber orchestra deal and they are gonna sound like the philharmonic,… not exactly, this was done with way more cacophony and noise and a free indie spirit.
Some of them were sitting, most of them were standing, but there was a constant dynamic going on during the whole show, and their weird songs were often starting with quiet vocal harmonies as the spinal cord of the tune, but, little by little they were getting more and more of these violins, horns, drums, clarinet, cello,… until all parts were intertwined into a full chaos of a song. The combination of strings, horn and accordion was bringing a bit of that east-Europe gypsy flair, the horns were building tension until everything would explode in a free style noise or an indescribable semi-harmonious shambles. I would have a hard time to remember about their moody and bipolar melodies, going from melancholic female-male quiet vocals à la Bon Iver with delicate guitar picking and subtle drumming, sounding like a gentle morning sunrise, to full orchestral agitation à la Beirut or Broken Social Scene. However, it wasn’t a problem at all for people around me, they knew all the lyrics and were requesting songs; and it seems that, when the band announced ‘Sanctuary’, a song they don’t play really anymore, they were offering a treat to everyone there. As the set progressed, all the members of the band were totally triumphing with tempest-like songs, their polyphonic style and faux-classical music, played with a certain theatricality and a lot of conviction.
They list around 24 members on their Facebook page, telling me this can even be more buoyant if it is possible to imagine…. But their songs, often offering sentimental and almost plaintive vocals, could cheer up and become super festive dancer like ‘Dirty Summer’ for example. During one of their last songs (‘Pennies’), they invited a friend saxophonist on stage, stretching the track to 11 minute with a long jazzy sax number of film noir. They had to come back for an encore with ‘Marfa’, as people were definitively asking for more. ‘Now that’s a real concert’, said a guy behind me, while the band was giving us more of their chamber orchestra exuberant compositions.
These people are bold, they work as an unique entity which breathes the same passion with an astonishing synchronicity, despite being so many on stage, and I like the fact that they come up with their moniker after hearing Bruce Willis repeating too many times ‘motherf—cker’ in the ‘Die Hard’ movies… Humor is there without any doubt. They also have reimagined Radiohead’s ‘OK computer’ as ‘MF Computer’ and on Thursday night, they played with a rare passion, giving to the audience much more than some strange music coming from another indie band, trying to have a good note on Pitchfork.
More pictures of the show here.
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