The Mother Hips play acoustic hits at Chico Women’s Club


Michaela Harris

The Mother Hips duo begin their acoustic set

Bay Area band The Mother Hips played a stripped down acoustic show for day two of their Chico visit.

Founding members Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono performed as The Mother Hips duo, the acoustic alternative to the full band. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they performed on the outside patio rather than inside the venue. All guests were required to show proof of vaccination status prior to entering.

The band’s previous show on Oct. 2 at The Commons featured the full, five-piece electric band. However, the duo prefers to feature both electric and acoustic styles over the course of two days.

“[An acoustic show] is a little more focused on the music,” Loiacono said. “It’s just a different appreciation.” 

The pair performed a diverse mix of songs from original Mother Hips discography as well as songs from their respective solo careers and side project, Ball-Point Birds. The set opened with a Ball-Point Birds song “I Will Fear No Evil” with Bluhm on lead vocals. 

The close patio setting brought a sense of intimacy between the band and the audience. The duo performed on a slightly elevated, makeshift stage 10 feet away from the front row. Before the intermission, the band called out the audience to suggest a song to play next. 

Several fans shouted their favorite deep cuts from the band’s discography as Bluhm quipped his approval. He ultimately decided on a fan’s suggestion, “Esmerelda” from The Mother Hips album “Later Days.”

The crowd’s energy matched the laid-back tone of the performance. Many fans sang along while small groups danced in the back rows. 

The audience became more vocal by the finale, “Third Floor Story.” Nearly all attendees stood from their seats to clap and sing the backing vocals along with the band. The band received a standing ovation and demanded an encore. 

Mother Hips fans give a standing ovation. Photo Credit: Michaela Harris

Bluhm and Loiacono call Chico the “homeland to The Mother Hips” because of the formative role the town has played in their lives. 

“It’s nostalgic,” Bluhm said. “It’s important to us, the town of Chico. It’s where we learned how to be in a band.”

Being former Chico State students, they play homecoming shows to cater to the local fanbase. 

Erik Jones, a Mother Hips fan since the band’s formation in 1991, explained that the band’s acoustic performances draw in their most loyal followers.

“You always get a lot of ’90s Mother Hips fans that have seen them since the backyard Chico party days,” Jones said. “Sunday was memorable because I got to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while.” 

The Mother Hips’ eighth studio album “Glowing Lantern” will be released on Dec. 3 on vinyl and digital platforms. Written during the onset of the pandemic, the album deals with personal anxiety and living through uncertain times. 

The Mother Hips will play their next show in Auburn on Oct. 16 at Auburn Lodge #7, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

Michaela Harris can be reached at [email protected] and @MichaelaRH21 on Twitter.