OCTOBER 14th 2016

Review by Lana Muirhead
Photos by Peter Ruttan
Gallery: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/i-mother-earth/

I had my ass parked on one of my favourite stools at one of my favourite haunts, when I said to one of my people: “You know who I’d love to see get back together and go on tour?  I Mother Earth.”  Ask and you shall receive: a short time later I heard that IME, along with original frontman Edwin, would be slipping through Vancouver with a stop at the Commodore.  I was teenage-girl primed.

I guess I need to preface my excitement with the fact that I Mother Earth was a critical piece of my grade-school soundtrack and for that, I was on the musical fringes of my then-classmates.  But I didn’t care, and I rocked out to that shit after school like it was nobody’s business.

I missed openers The Standstills (sorry guys, there was a Blue Jays game on), but heard some great feedback from the crowd, so hopefully the group will be back through at some point when I can actually catch their set.

When the lights dimmed and original members Edwin, Jagori Tanna (guitar), Christian Tanna (drums), with touring members Daniel Mansilla (percussion), Chuck Dailey (bass) and Jesse Karwat (keyboard, percussion) took the stage, cheers from the 30-years-plus crowd erupted.

IME opened with “Like A Girl”, and powered through tracks from both “Dig” and “Scenery and Fish” like “One More Astronaut”, “Another Sunday”, “Used To Be Alright”, “Pisser”, “Raspberry”, “Levitate”, “Not Quite Sonic” and an epic closer in “Rain Will Fall”.  There was hardly a hole in the setlist, but dare I say it would have been great to hear Edwin blow “Summertime In The Void” as opposed to some of the softer numbers like “Shortcut to Moncton” and “Sense of Henry”.  It was the 20 year anniversary tour for “Scenery and Fish”, so keeping the list to 1996 and back (notably the Edwin years) was probably a no brainer. Shame on me for opening my mouth and inserting my foot ever so unceremoniously.

Either way the night was filled with groovy interludes from both Jagori and Dailey and almost island-ish prog from the percussion sections helmed by Mansilla and Karwat. The guys all fit together like glue after 20 years of not playing together and made it look easy. Being good Canadians they also championed for donations to clean water initiatives, and Edwin stripped down to his Toronto Blue Jays t in the last minutes of the set: nothing like supporting the home-country team.

All I can say is that, as is often the case with the Commodore, there were some sound issues.  I could have done with Edwin’s vocals being turned up (which is usually the opposite of what I say) but overall there was great sonic balance and the crowd had a blast. A usually conservative Vancouver got to jumping and air guitaring the likes of which I have not seen at a prog-metal-alternative show. It apparently only takes a solid, reunited, Canadian band to bring it out in this city.

Whatever the post-tour plans may be, all I can say is I’m on Team Edwin and hope that I Mother Earth coalesces in the near future to put out some hard new stuff that we all thought died a crushing death in the 90s.

Rain will continue to fall in Vancouver in the form of rekindled IME fans and a burning desire to see what comes next. Best of luck on the rest of the tour!