One of my longtime favorite bands, The Mother Hips, played at The Urban Lounge last weekend. A man I dated in 2002 first introduced me to this alt-country band when he played me the song “Sarah Bellum.” I’ve been obsessed with them ever since.
I hadn’t seen them play in a couple of years, so when I noticed the band was coming to town I knew I had to go. I talked two friends into going, promising they would be attending the concert of a lifetime. Apparently, I’m a big fat liar. How was I to know my once beloved band had lost their mojo?
The highlight of my evening came before the concert even began. I was hurrying out of the bathroom when I ran smack into the back of the lead singer Tim Bluhm. I nearly fell over and he kindly helped me back on my feet. I was too tongue-tied and embarrassed at my klutz-like behavior to thank him, and before I knew it he was on his way to the stage to ruin my life.
I miss the old days—where my rock star idols were still rock stars and not middle-aged men with salt and pepper hair, rocking out to a twelve-minute guitar solo. I only slightly exaggerate. It’s entirely possible the solo was only ten minutes. Either way I felt like I was attending a Phish concert, not the high-energy concerts I remember The Mother Hips once playing. I’m finally OK with my own aging, but I shouldn’t be expected to watch my idols age as well. Isn’t music supposed to be timeless?
They did play some old favorites: “Red Tandy” and “Magazine,” but the songs sounded nothing like they did at previous concerts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a band discovering a new sound, but typically I like the new sound not to suck.
The crowd was full of loyal fans—a few that I recognized from the days where I attended every single concert the band played at the dearly departed Zephyr Club. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them were as dissatisfied with the performance as I was.
As we slipped out before an encore I ran into an old friend. When he asked why I was leaving, I mentioned something about the band being the biggest disappointment of my life; he assured me they were much better the night before. Leave it to me to pick the worst night to attend. I wanted to hear alt-country, not alt-crappy.
Determined to prove to friends, and myself the band really was good, I went home and made a Mother Hips play list to die for. I burned each friend a copy, hoping to show the band really was a talented one–just one having an off night.
I think with the demise of The Zephyr Club came the demise of The Mother Hips. Earlier that day my four-year-old niece, Hannah, told me that sometimes your heart just breaks. And you know what? She was right.