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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Ben Sollee and Mother Falcon created musical harmony at Congress

    Sally Lynx
    Mother Falcon and Ben Sollee share a stage at Club Congress on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.

    The moment a live band is able to somehow suck the air right out of the room, forcing you to hold your breath in anticipation of the brief second when a harmony lines up just right and sends goosebumps up the back of your neck, you know you’re in for some good music. Last night at Club Congress, Mother Falcon and Ben Sollee did all of these things.

    Throughout their collaborative performance, Mother Falcon and Ben Sollee defined no clear line between the two separate bands; their act was one. Members came on and offstage basically at random. This was refreshing; it seemed like there were more than just two different bands on the stage, as each combo melded their unique sounds to create a distinct live music experience.

    The specific tone of each song vacillated between Kentucky blues riffs to classical, orchestral progressions. Their music itself is considered alternative, and wonderfully so; it does not ever fall into one category. The overall sound was string-based with cellos, basses, violins and guitars, but had overlying brass and percussive accents. Several members of both bands provided vocals, and each added their own impressive, personal flair to each respective song.

    Songs varied throughout the set list. Slow and fast, loud and soft; the performance never remained stagnant and was always on the move. It was almost difficult to keep up with the musical whiplash they created by jumping between styles, but it actually improved the show and kept the audience very engaged and asking for more.

    Each band member was obviously well-trained and it was easy to tell they all had vast experience in performing. They moved together as a cohesive unit and created some of the most intense musical builds and releases I have heard from a band of that size. The room would get so loud that it literally knocked glasses off the table—in the next moment, the audience would have to lean in just to hear what they were playing.

    Not only was the musical connection with the audience very strong, but it was equally as powerful on a personal level. Sollee or band members from Mother Falcon would sometimes tell the audience the story behind the next song, even if it was emotional.

    Anecdotes included following girls across the country just to be heartbroken, or watching a child be kicked out of the top of the play tower. Some stories were even funny and showed how humble and, frankly, normal these people are. The audience could relate to the lyrics’ themes of travel, trial and error, and, of course, love.

    Mother Falcon and Ben Sollee put on an incredibly heartfelt show that moved the entire audience to feel nostalgic and simply happy. Their feel-good music created the perfect atmosphere for a Monday downtown. Their separate repertoires are amazing on their own, but together, Mother Falcon and Ben Sollee were able to create the most whimsical and genuine show I have seen thus far on the Club Congress stage.

    Follow Thea Van Gorp on Twitter.

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