The Mother Hips rock Austin (Concert Review / Photos / Setlist)
On a recent Saturday night California band The Mother Hips finished off a two-night stand at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas with a sold out show. Review and photos by Neil Ferguson.
For nearly twenty-five years The Mother Hips have been one of California’s best-kept secrets. Like other groups that may fall within the realm of “jam bands,” The Mother Hips have managed to stay under the radar of the mainstream while building a loyal and loving fanbase, all of whom are hip to the fact that the band is best experienced in the live setting. On Saturday night a sold out crowd of these dedicated Mother Hips fans packed the Continental Club to catch the band close out their two-night stand in Austin.
Kicking off the set with the laid back groove of “Honeydew,” the Hips immediately had the crowd dancing along to Scott Thunes’ bass groove. The band balanced out bluesy jams with thoughtful, catchy songs like the country rocker “Gold Plated” and the rambling “Two Young Queens.” At one point the band jokingly declared that they would play “every song in the key of G” before jumping into a delightfully scattered “Magazine” that saw them spacing out thoroughly without veering off the path of the song.
The beauty of The Mother Hips is the way they incorporate elements of blues, country, Americana, and straight up psychedelic jamming, yet they never stay in one style long enough to be classified. While the band has the capabilities to stretch out musically, often indulging in jams that resemble early Grateful Dead, this is not a defining trait by any means. That being said, each time the band decided to take a song in a strange and wonderful direction they were embraced by the audience, who only danced harder.
For over two hours The Mother Hips warmed their fans with their signature brand of sun-washed California rock and roll. Their setlist spanned an accomplished career that has earned them the respect and dedication they receive from their fans. If the turnout for the band’s brief Texas run is any indication, one can only hope The Mother Hips make it back to Austin real soon. -Neil Ferguson
One Way Out
Freed From a Prison
Two Young Queens
Young Charles Ives
Been Lost Once
Gone, Gone, Gone (no John Hofer)
Stories We Could Tell (no John Hofer)
Life in the City
Third Floor Story
Stoned Up the Road
Best Friend in Town
This review was originally published on The Horn, an online publication based out of Austin, Texas.