SLCR #263: I Mother Earth (October 8, 2016)

I should just let Jeff write this one. This wasn’t a show for me.

Which is not to say it was a bad show! I liked it just fine. It’s just that my I Mother Earth fandom has not been properly nurtured. I didn’t think about it before the show, but I really don’t know their music that well. You know how I said Basia Bulat is one of those people I only ever listen to when I go see her in concert? IME is like that for me too. Except I’ve only seen them twice, and the last time was 16 years ago. So that’s a thing.

“We’ll find out how many I Mother Earth songs you know,” said Mika, right before the show began.

“One.” I answered with confidence, and nothing on this night suggested I was wrong.

It’s “One More Astronaut,” if you were wondering. Thank you, Big Shiny Tunes.

You may recall that we had tickets to see IME months ago. Then they got back together with Edwin, their original lead singer, much to Jeff’s chagrin, so the tour got postponed. I was fine with this development, because 1) the last time I saw them they were with their other singer (Brian Byrne), so this would be new for me, and 2) what the hell difference did it make for me anyway?

Though I feel bad for Byrne. Gotta suck for him, right? He had the tour all lined up and then bam, they bring back the old guy. According to Wikipedia, he’s trying out to become the new singer for Stone Temple Pilots, so I guess being “the other singer” is kind of his thing. Good on him.

Mika and I got to the casino and ran into Jeff and Jeremy on the way in. They made their way upstairs to the seats in the balcony, while we were standing on the floor. This means that we had to communicate via text, and part of me wants to just transcribe everything rather than think up words and put them in order. Maybe I should start with the most recent thing I texted Jeff; namely, that someone made a downloadable Harambe for WWE 2K17.

Our openers were the Standstills, who apparently get played on the local rock radio station, according to the DJ who opened up the show. This was an aggressively loud two-piece and, uh, I didn’t think they were very good at all. I mean, the first two songs were nothing special; mostly I thought “this is okay enough and I rarely go see bands like this, so it’s a nice change, but it sure sounds like these two are not playing the same song at the same time.” Then they covered part of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Vasoline” and it was out of tune and off time and he was screeching as if he was intentionally trying to sing horribly and this was just the absolute worst. My opinion of them never recovered. They played one of the shortest opening sets I’ve ever seen, so that was nice.

After an intermission, out came I Mother Earth. This should be the part where I say “I don’t know what they played” but I do! The entire main set was the Scenery & Fish album, start to finish. It includes One More Astronaut, so hooray for that. The encore, meanwhile, was three singles from the album Dig: Levitate, Not Quite Sonic, and Rain Will Fall (note: Mika says the songs weren’t played in that order) (and also she told me what they were). Nothing newer than that. No Byrne songs, poor guy.

So how was the show? I thought it was fine enough and I liked the encore the best. That is what I think and that is all I think, so here I will defer to the IME fans. Mika thought the show was really good, though she noted preferring Dig to Scenery & Fish. I’m going to assume that I do too. Jeff, meanwhile, said “holy fuck was this good.” Later, talking to Jeremy, he said he liked it even more than Jeff did.

I did find it funny that Jeff and I liked pretty much the opposite things about the show:

Jeff: It’s such a great album to perform live, because there’s all these opportunities for 10 minute mind-blowing solos & detours
James: See I think that’s what I don’t care for
James: But the encore was super good
Jeff: Heh, I thought the encore was the weakest part 🙂

So yeah. I think we’ve long established that I’m not a fan of noodling on the guitar for the sake of noodling. Enjoy it if it’s your thing, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. But I think we’ve also established that if you’re into IME, you should clearly try to see them because you’ll really enjoy the show. And if you’re not, it’s still good and all.

Also, digging through text messages reminds me that at one point, all the security guards in the place went sprinting towards the lobby. One of them ran into Mika real good. Never did find out what happened there. I love ending these things on complete anticlimaxes, so bye.

9 thoughts on “SLCR #263: I Mother Earth (October 8, 2016)

  1. latindrummer says:

    Thanks for this, I had no idea Edwin had come back for this serious of shows. Makes me wonder if this is one of those one-off, short term reunions or if he’s back for good. I always admired this band’s groove prog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. keepsmealive says:

    I, too, prefer Dig, so that encore would have been the whole reason to be there! Not that S&F is bad, mind you…

    I’m proud of you for going, James. This could easily have been another one you blew off, but you stuck it out for the sake of your 40 shows in your 40th year quest. Man, when you level up, you’re gonna be unbeatable!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. boppinsblog says:

    I actually like The Standstills. I’ve seen them live twice, and they were really good. I have some of their music, and they are real friendly. Johnny Fox is an amazing guitarist, and Rene Couture loves to use the cowbell.
    They may have had an off night.

    On the Ontario leg of the tour we get The Standstills, Our Lady Peace and IME. Perhaps you would have known more songs if OLP would have been at your show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. boppinsblog says:

      One thing that I will add is that I did prefer their show at a small bar type venue.
      Since they are a 2 piece with no bass or rhythm guitar, the sound may not carry as well at a larger venue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. boppinsblog says:

        I think I am going to their show in a few weeks.

        I have seen IME(but only with Brian Byrne) and Standstills, but never OLP, so I am looking forward to it.

        If The Standstills could be shortened to TS, the tour could be called The Acronym Tour with TS, OLP & IME.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. deKE says:

    Bring Back the old Guy to drum up business! Sounds like an IME show from 96 so in 20 years nothing has changed than and perhaps for these guys that’s good!
    Yeah they do like to jam and good on em! Great review and total score when you go thinking “wonder if I’ll know any of these tunes” and than they play front to back the one album you do know!
    Great review…was interested in how they were sounding…..

    Liked by 1 person

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