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Culture Shock

Review: Adult Mom at the Bishop

Adult Mom performed last Thursday night on February 8th at The Bishop. Seeing Adult Mom live was a fuller experience than listening to their albums alone because the band was so generous with the audience. The show felt like you were over at someone’s house with close friends instead of doing the social sway with strangers. They sound warmer on stage and because they perform live, it makes Adult Mom’s songs of romance and life feel more fruitful and of the moment. The songs sounded like they could be describing that same night.


The first opener was The Bills, a local punk rock band with lots of energy and sound reminiscent of The Julie Ruin. In “uh oh”, they reiterated the band’s name by trying to get the attention of the mysterious Bill. After The Bills was Chris Farren from Naples, Florida, who toured with Adult Mom. Chris Farren’s ability to pull off his high-intensity show alone was impressive. There was no one else on stage, just Chris Farren, his laptop, and his visuals projected with his music. He is a performer who leaves it all on stage. He makes his songs which are often about failure and death, hopeful and funny. My favorite song was definitely “Human Being”, where a projection of his face attached to a bean spun around and around as he howled into the night, “I just wanna feel like a human being!”


Not to be sacrilegious, but seeing Adult Mom was like Christmas day. They came out with all smiles and cheer. (See? This is Christmas.) The night was about rejecting those who’ve hurt you in the past and leaning into self-love. Even to the enthusiastic heckler, the band laughed it off and asked if they had a song request since they were so vocal about their enthusiasm. The fist-pumping heckler responded that they were just there to support.

They played “Be Your Own 3am” last and gave an encore to “2012”.


The night was filled with gems, but here were my top 5 moments:

  1. Steph taught us how to do a Judy Garland impression. The key is to speak as if you have the longest cigarette in your mouth. They also added that the best performance that Judy Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, gave was as Lucille 2 on Arrested Development.

  2. “Told Ya So” is a song about the first time they came out to themselves.

  3. Adult Mom’s favorite show growing up was The Big Comfy Couch. (And Clifford the Big Red Dog is a scam!)

  4. A special addition to their setlist was a cover of “2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten” by Lucinda Williams, which ironically they kept forgetting the lyrics to.

  5. Steph works as a substitute teacher and recently played name association games with their class. One slightly nervous 8-year old child gave a very rushed introduction as “Hummus Hakim”, who Steph will now never forget.


Adult Mom will go back on tour with Lucy Dacus in March and solo dates are to be announced soon. You might even be lucky enough to catch the punchline to, “What sound does Bob Dylan’s dog make?”

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