Soccer Mommy played Brighton Music Hall – 12/7

Nashville’s Soccer Mommy played to a sold-out Friday night crowd in Allston last weekend, with support from Chicago’s Ratboys. 

Sophie Allison – the singer/songwriter behind both a goofy moniker and one of 2018’s standout records in its field – spent this year busy. March’s Clean was a certified breakthrough that kept her and the band on the road, opening for the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Liz Phair as well as selling out plenty of shows on their own. That January’s show with Bridgers took place at Great Scott not even 12 months ago feels insane, given that neither of them will be playing venues of that size again in the foreseeable future.

Last Friday’s gig took place just up the street at Brighton, where a capacity crowd turned out on a cold December night. Allison’s songs, which bear the accurate self-description of “chill but kinda sad bedroom-pop jams,” don’t transform dramatically from the record to the stage, but she and her now-four-piece band fleshed them out in all the right ways. Having caught the band less one member and as a solo set this year, this was the best they’ve sounded yet. Allison did dismiss the boys for a change of tempo midway through the set too, delivering a particularly stirring version of her Springsteen cover “I’m On Fire.” That one’s no deep cut, but Allison’s even-more-minimal rendition brings some haunting new life to it.

Ratboys – who I’ve yet to see headline but am never disappointed to see added to a bill – charmed the early crowd with their catchy, playfully scrappy indie rock. Bandleader Julia Steiner also sported a retrospectively ominous Steelers cap. Do with that information what you will and check out photos from both sets below.