A smile comes over my face when I see Soccer Mommy’s name on the front of the El Rey Theatre being highlighted by fluorescent red, green, and yellow lights. Even though the majority of her music is sad, there is such a casual sincerity in every guitar strum and in every lyric that it puts my mind at ease to hear someone sing what I’m thinking. When Soccer Mommy stepped out on stage, I realized I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. However, before Soccer Mommy, Las Robertas, opened up the show. As they revealed, the band had their first Los Angeles show that night, so they were excited to perform. Since the drums and guitar were a little too loud, they drowned out the vocals, making it difficult to hear the lyrics. Nevertheless, their fierce, garage rock sound and lively stage energy was still enough to keep everyone’s head bopping and foot tapping. Finally, Soccer Mommy took over with Sophie Allison rocking her pigtails that, having been a fan of her for some time, we have come to know her so well in. Soccer Mommy started her set with “Henry” and “Try”, some of her classics. She then brought in songs from her debut album, Clean, that was released in March of 2018. Her fans came together and sang along with her, chanting the lyrics “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog”, swaying to that catchy guitar riff in the anthem, “Your Dog”. We all sang the series of ooh’s in “Cool”, a song that talks about the cool image one wants to adopt. Allison’s delivery of her songs sounds just like the recorded versions, her voice just as lovely and powerful. The amber spotlights also set the mood, reflecting that warmth that exudes from her music. It was also those moments in between songs when she would talk or joke with the crowd that made it so alive and personal. The friendliness and confidence she radiated made it seem like she was a friend. Then, her band left the stage, for a “potty break” she joked, leaving her alone with her electric guitar to sing some solo songs. She first played her stripped-down, ethereal rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”. The original song is already sad in itself, but the echoes from her slowed-down guitar strums and her poignant vocals accentuated that sense of longing in the lyrics. After playing a new song called “Night Swimming”, she performed “Still Clean” for her last solo song. Her fans didn’t sing along with her during these solo songs. Not because they didn’t know the lyrics, but we all knew it was her time to talk. With the few white spotlights shining down on her, it was all very vulnerable, relatable. The rest of the band came back for the last song, “Scorpio Rising”. Agreeing with Allison, it was a great song to end her set with, a song about the realization of oneself. As the song built up, those amber spotlights returned, having her end with that warm hazy atmosphere she started with. Soccer Mommy got the crowd ready for Hop Along, who decorated the stage with a white backdrop with their name and another with the design from their album cover. Unlike Soccer Mommy’s indie rock sound, Hop Along has one of folkish punk, which didn’t make the two complement each other that well. Nonetheless, Hop Along still had great stage energy. Their live performance seemed to be a lot more powerful than their recorded versions, but it made the crowd even more excited to hear more. On the car ride home from El Rey, I felt that peace of mind I knew I would feel before I arrived to the show. Soccer Mommy’s comforting sound filled me with a warmth that made me forget the cold on that night in LA.
— Sienna Estrada, DJ