Soccer Mommy Returns to Boston
Written by Aileen Tran
November 9, 2021
Soccer Mommy performed a sold-out show on September 22 at Paradise Rock Club, after postponing tour dates last year due to the pandemic. The long-awaited performance came after her most recent album color theory, released in February 2020. There to support and open for her show was indie-rocker Squirrel Flower, the stage name of Ella Williams.
Sophia Allison, AKA Soccer Mommy, is a 24-year-old singer-songwriter based out of Nashville. She began playing guitar and making music when she was 6, and went on to study music business at NYU. After garnering attention from her college shows, she secured a record deal with Fat Possum and subsequently dropped out to further pursue music.
At 8pm sharp, Boston-native Squirrel Flower walked out onto the stage and started getting settled to perform. After introducing herself to the crowd, she said something along the lines of, “my drummer was taking a sh*t in the women’s bathroom and someone walked in on him. Who was it?” I was in shock because that person was me.
Right before the show, I ran to the upstairs bathroom and the door swung open to a wide-eyed guy with glasses. After looking at the women’s sign next to the door and then back to him, I said, “Is this the men’s room..?” His flustered reply was something about how the one in the “green room” was taken and he ran to the nearest bathroom without looking. I had no idea what a green room was and honestly didn’t even care that he was in there so I laughed, and he went on his merry way.
After the initial shock of Squirrel Flower talking about me (I’ve been a huge fan of hers for a while now), I yelled that “it was me!” to the stage. The drummer and I exchanged another laugh and wave and the show finally started.
Squirrel Flower’s unassuming stage presence was a slow kickoff to the night for the rest of the crowd, and she opened with “I’ll Go Now” from her 2015 album Early Winter Songs From Middle America. Many of her ballads had a similar haunting quality, interjected with powerful guitar solos.
Listening to her perform felt like driving through the barren midwest in a beat-up car from the 60s, although at times it seemed like Squirrel Flower’s characteristically angelic voice couldn’t keep the interest of the crowd. I could hear people having conversations in the back of the venue, and her knack for song-writing was overlooked by the seemingly monotonous nature of her set.
After the first few songs though, things started to pick up when she performed her version of Caroline Polachek’s “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings.” Squirrel Flower’s toned-down cover boosted her popularity when it was released in 2020, and this was proven through the crowd’s rise in energy when everyone finally started to sing along.
Squirrel Flower finished her set with “Flames and Flat Tires” and the powerful crowd favorite “Hurt a Fly,” both from her most recent album Planet (i).
Soon after, Soccer Mommy came out and introduced herself to the crowd. With Paradise Rock Club being right on the edge of BU’s West Campus, she shared a personal anecdote about how her sister went to BU and the crowd, made up of mostly college students, seemed to eat that right up. She then went on to talk about her love for Pavement Coffeehouse’s bagels with lemon dill cream cheese and I made a mental note to try it the next day (it was SO good by the way.)
Soccer Mommy started her set with “bloodstream” and “circle the drain,” both from her latest album color theory. She then went on to perform “Last Girl” and “Cool” from her 2018 album Clean, which transitioned the set into a moodier feel from the up-beat openers. Soccer Mommy’s backup musicians were all incredibly talented but one of them named Rodrigo stood out. Not only was he killing it with the electric guitar, his keyboard skills were a force to be reckoned with.
After a few more songs, her backup players left the stage so she could play alone. Her solo performance started with a Slowdive cover of the song “Dagger.” The sedated cover fit her pensive musical style so well I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t her own song if she hadn’t said so beforehand. Soccer Mommy continued the melancholy-feel into her next song, “Still Clean.” With lyrical imagery comparing an all-consuming relationship to an animal that bled her dry and abandoned her for its next prey, Soccer Mommy left me wondering how a song so sad can be so catchy.
Once her backup players rejoined her onstage, Soccer Mommy performed “yellow is the color of her eyes” and it seemed like everyone in the crowd knew the lyrics. With her continuous eye contact and stage presence that emanated badass girl rocker, Soccer Mommy knew how to captivate the audience. She finished the song off with an impressive guitar solo and, although it wasn’t really a song most people would headbang to, she found a way.
The band then thanked the crowd and left the stage in what seemed to be the end of the concert. After everyone begged for an encore, the band made a reappearance and played the unmistakable intro to one of Soccer Mommy’s most commercially successful songs to date -- “Your Dog.” The guitar riffs accompanied by her drummer’s insane energy was absolutely necessary for the encore, and the crowd agreed through their yell-singing along. Soccer Mommy concluded the night with the mellow “Scorpio Rising,” an homage to her own birth chart, and the astrology girls in the crowd (including myself) didn’t seem to mind.
You can now check out Soccer Mommy’s latest single “rom com 2021” and Squirrel Flower’s most recent album Planet (i) on all major streaming platforms.