September 5, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 5  

Front Page >> Arts & Entertainment > I Mother Earth take on the Hill


> News
> Editorial & Opinions
> Arts & Entertainment
> Campus Life
> Sports


> Archives
> Search Archive:
> Browse By Date:

More Stuff

> Photo Gallery
> Comics
> Contests
> Links

Talk to Us

> About Us
> Submit Letter
> Volunteers
> Advertising
> Gazette Alumni Society


I Mother Earth take on the Hill
Making the earth quake on Frosh Week

I Mother Earth
Frosh Week, UC Hill

By Brian Wong
Gazette Staff

Dave Picard/Gazette
TEARIN' UP FROSH WEEK. Homegrown Canadian rock heroes I Mother Earth anf The Salads took to UC Hill for the traditional O-Week concert Tuesday night.

After a cancelled O-Week appearance in 2000 (after which disappointed frosh had to settle for Limblifter) and a scheduling mix-up for Homecoming the same year, I Mother Earth finally hit the Western stage for this year's Frosh Week on Tuesday night. But you have to wonder; with dwindling popularity after parting ways with former lead singer Edwin and a lukewarm reception to their latest disc, do people still care about I Mother Earth?

Well, the frosh that congregated at UC Hill certainly did. Maybe it was due in part to all that cheering they had been doing all day or the dynamic on-stage lighting, but it wasn't difficult to get into the band's energetic live show, which had fans' arms up in the air for nearly the entire time and a continuing line-up of crowd surfers.

Eager to shed their mid-'90s, pretty rocker boys image, the members of IME got rock'n' roll makeovers this time around. Vocalist Brian Byrne, sporting a new beard to go with his black suit and tie before shedding it for his usual t-shirt and shorts, took on the doubled-over Henry Rollins-esque singing stance at times, while guitarist Jag Tanna (in a short mohawk) and shaggy-haired Bruce Gordon provided the riffs. At one point in the show, the three enthusiastically jumped up and down in unison while playing, which encouraged their following to do the same.

What makes IME is the massive wall of guitars: aided by some huge outdoor speakers, the guitars kept a hard-driving propulsive sound that remained crunchy and crisp throughout the chilly night. This was especially important for the heavier songs on their Quicksilver Meat Dream album, which are given extra kick with some colder electronic and synth sounds.

IME are also known for their incorporation of Latin rhythms, which were solidly performed by drummer Christian Tanna's percussive attack on songs like "Earth, Sky & C" and the extended jam on "One More Astronaut," both from the band's 1996 Scenery & Fish album. However, some of the band's improv jams were, at times, too drawn out and weren't interesting enough to be captivating.

But winning back the crowd's attention was the extended "Another Sunday." The song was surprisingly broken up by a section of Dale Hawkins' "Suzie Q."

By the end of the night, the mid-sized group that stayed for the encore were treated to one of the group's earliest hits, "Levitate," which displayed the band's rawest sound as Byrne headed out to the front of the audience and did the big-rock-star-god-meets-crowd pose to the distraction of flailing arms.

Despite some recent sluggish ticket sales (a recent show at The Drink ended up with tickets being given away at no cost), those eighty minutes put on by the band were a reminder of how tight and talented IME really are and though their music has rarely been extraordinary, they make it up with some hard and heavy head-banging rock.



Arts & Entertainment Links

© 2003 The Gazette  
BluThng Productions