So the meeting between two wannabe pharaohs, General al-Sisi and Donald J. Trump, was not the most important Egypt-centric moment of the past two weeks in New York. That honor belongs, deservedly so, to Here Come the Mummies and Mother Feather bringing not so ancient funkified sexual sound gritty, glam-filled, gusto to the Gramercy Theatre last Saturday. This wasn’t just any old concert; it was an archeological experience in groove and glitz. One that would’ve made Indiana Jones throw his fedora on stage and bust out that whip for more shall we say, nefarious purposes.
Mother Feather used to be one of New York City’s best-kept secrets. But that is no more as Ann Courtney, Elizabeth Carena, and company busted out on to the national stage on the Vans Warped Tour this summer. Mother Feather isn’t just a one and done show. It’s an infection that seeps into you from the first hook and howl. So much so that you’ll wakeup covered in eyeliner and glitter the day after. It’s an experience, an addiction, and to hear the buzz surrounding them now – a way of life.
They kicked off the night with the ever appropriate single Egyptology and proceeded to roar through their debut album Mother Feather, throwing in a new track I.C.U., for good measure. Mother Feather is a whirlwind of energy, choreography, and stage presence. Lead singer Ann Courtney was looking like Ace Freely’s long lost sister with her winged black eyeliner and shiny silver winged dress. Courtney never seems to stop moving. She jumps, kicks, and writhes and never misses a beat singing, even when her microphone is no longer in her hands. And in those moments, keyboardist Elizabeth Carena is there to hang a mic over her mouth.
The two synch so well, blending glam and Goth into the aptly named pop-cock-rock. You might think that their music would be dark and broody but first and foremost, Courtney and Carena want to make you dance. Just be careful if you try to emulate Courtney’s dance moves, you might wind up needing a chiropractor after. And while bassist Matt Basile, guitarist Chris Foley, and drummer Gunnar Olsen might not draw your eyes you’ll never lose track of the filling pulsating sound they put forth.
Mother Feather have been building a tight knit cult following in New York for the last 6 years so it’s no surprise they have a solid rapport with their fans. Whether its Courtney climbing into the crowd to serenade the littlest Mother Feather that night, 7-year-old Malia (who matched Courtney’s make up that night), or posing for countless pictures with them after their gigs, they know the love their fan base has for them and they embrace it fully. I for one, cannot wait to see what they have in store next.
And once Mother Feather was done, an ancient Egyptian curse was about to be cast upon the crowd. The 9-piece funk band, Here Come The Mummies, came marching out from the back of the theatre, each member wrapped up in white cloth like they just came straight out of the Met’s ancient Egypt exhibit. And then it was on.
This band, out of Nashville, brings an unrelenting boogie with them, as well as literal freak flags. Horns and keys blend in with guitars and drums to make you want to shake, rattle, and roll right out of your sarcophagus. There’s plenty of hip thrusting, crotch grabbing, and suggestive winks to the crowd. That is, if you can squint hard enough to see their eyes through their wraps.
Here Come the Mummies, has a dedicated fan base. On both sides of me were fans seeing their 60th and 90th (approximately) shows that night. One even made her own custom shirt of their bespectacled saxophonist. And he knew it as well, pointing to her frequently when on her side of the stage. I think I even saw one fan’s forearms covered in a mummy wrap tattoo.
This is a big and bombastic party band. They take pains to keep their identities under wraps (I know. I know. But I just couldn’t resist that one) but they nakedly share booming beats and bass lines all night long. There maybe some people who say its just cheese and shtick to be dressed up as mummies, but this is a funk band that knows the music and ways to get you into the groove. When a band is this proficient in their genre, they can where whatever they want. And the audience winds up wearing giant sweaty grins by the end of the night.
Article: Omar Kasrawi