Mothers brings waves of music to Graham Chapel stage

While usually reserved for speakers and comics, indie rock band Mothers came to Graham Chapel this past Tuesday to kick off KWUR Week 2018. The seven days of music are hosted by KWUR 90.3 FM, Washington University’s student radio station, to promote student and local music around St. Louis, as well as the station itself. Mothers is one of the two headliners that KWUR is bringing to Washington University over the course of the week.

Student’s desk lamps set the stage for the Mothers’ performance in Graham Chapel Tuesday night. KWUR members collected lamps from Wash. U. students, put colored bulbs in them and arranged them on the Graham Chapel stage. It created a low-key and chill ambience in perfect tune with Mothers’ music.

While Graham Chapel itself is a large venue, most of the audience members came up to the area in front of the stage to stand and dance which created a more intimate-feeling show. The crowd’s vibes, when paired with the low lighting, made the whole show seem smaller and more intimate, almost like a basement show.

Wash. U. student band American Poetry Club performs on the Graham Chapel stage. The band opened for Mothers on the first night of KWUR Week, a set of events put on by the radio station.Josh Zucker | Student Life

Wash. U. student band American Poetry Club performs on the Graham Chapel stage. The band
opened for Mothers on the first night of KWUR Week, a set of events put on by the radio station.

Wash. U. student band American Poetry Club, primarily composed of KWUR members, played a simultaneously slow and lively set as the opener. Their music, while consistent in style, ranged greatly in cadence, volume and tone. American Poetry Club’s performance epitomized the sound of a college indie rock band.

Then, it was Mothers’ turn to perform. Their music—a hypnotizing blend of experimental, folk rock and indie rock—swept over the crowd in waves. It was the kind of experience where you couldn’t help but sway to the rhythm—Mothers was enchanting. Lead singer Kristine Leschper’s voice blended with the loud guitar and bass of their songs which were punctuated by a strong drum beat.

Waves of rhythm came out of the speakers, carrying the audience along. While the mixing of the show could have been better, as with any live show, the effect created was one in which Leschper’s voice was heard more for its sound than its words.

Mothers’ performance was one that suited the ambience of the venue. While normally Graham Chapel would not seem like the place for a band like Mothers to perform, being in the crowd in the front, I forgot I was even in Graham Chapel and just ended up finding myself in the music. The golden-dark light of the venue seemed to enhance the performance of Mothers more than anything else, and the visuals projected onto a screen between the band members created a nice piece of background stimulation. At times, the images would shake with an especially strong drum beat, emphasizing the force of the hit, both sonically and physically, creating the feeling of the beat resonating in your chest.

Wash. U. student band American Poetry Club performs on the Graham Chapel stage. The band opened for Mothers on the first night of KWUR Week, a set of events put on by the radio station.Josh Zucker | Student Life

Kristine Leschper of Mothers, the first of several headliners for KWUR week, plays in Graham Chapel for KWUR Week.

The set was stimulating above all else. It was more than just a musical experience—it was visual and physical; the music took you with it.

On Wednesday, KWUR hosted a set of local bands at the South 40 Clocktower. Friday April 6 at 9 p.m., Gabriel Garzon Montano and Chester Watson will come to the Gargoyle. Saturday April 7 KWUR will showcase their DJ’s at the Co-Op starting at 9:30 p.m. KWUR week will come to a close on Sunday April 8 when composer Martin Bresnick will perform a classical set at the 560 Music Center at 7 p.m. American Poetry Club will next perform April 7 as a part of WUStock, held on the South 40.

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