Live Review: Mourn at The Pilot Light (9/10)

Young Barcelona post-punk band Mourn made their Tennessee debut on Sunday night, Sept. 10 at the Old City’s beloved The Pilot Light. The band are currently on tour in the eastern United States, in celebration of their new covers EP titled Over The Wall, released last Friday on Captured Tracks.

In the afternoon, we were lucky to have the band stop by WUTK’s studio for a stripped-down performance and interview. I’m still kicking myself for forgetting to record the encounter, but they were a wonderful bunch of people with many insightful comments about touring in the United States, the bands they covered on their new EP and, of course, their penchant for Waffle House, which they had visited twice that day.


Mourn, photo taken from the band’s Instagram account (@ohmourn)

Knoxville’s The Holifields opened the show. Their set was comprised of half originals and half covers, including King Crimson, Tame Impala, and multiple songs by King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. Their covers were carbon-copies of the original versions and offered little more than filler. Their original songs, however, were refreshing neo-psych tunes that got the crowd riled up for the next band.

Mourn began around 11:00 p.m. They only played one track from their new EP, their cover of The Replacements’ “Color Me Impressed,” and instead leaned towards material from their own catalogue. They plowed through nearly a dozen tracks from their self-titled and Ha, Ha, He records and hardly came up for breath in between.


Mourn at The Pilot Light, photo by Ellen Butler

Guitarist-vocalists and primary songwriters Jazz Rodríguez and Carla Pérez Vas played brittle, dissonant post-punk riffs. Their shouted-in-unison lyrics were raucous and reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney, whom they are often compared to for the right reasons (because Sleater-Kinney rule, duh). Bassist Leia Rodríguez can fingerpick fast, something you don’t see often in a fast punk band. At only 17 years old, she made it look effortless as she kept up with her bandmates. Drummer Antonio Postius neither showed off nor held back. He kept time and hit hard.

One of the most impressive parts of Mourn’s show was the size of the crowd they drew in. I’ve been to many Pilot Light shows where, despite a stacked bill, I’m one of a dozen or fewer audience members.

Upwards of 75 people packed into the room, on Sunday. The band didn’t seem to expect such a warm reception, as they responded to the crowd’s whooping and cheering wide-eyed, laughing nervously and looking at each other before mustering, “Uhh…thanks guys!”

Old City was abnormally quiet, even for a Sunday, but around midnight it was brought back to life as several dozen music lovers poured out of The Pilot Light, buzzing from the absolute treat that was Mourn.


Mourn at The Pilot Light, photo by Ellen Butler