Soccer Mommy scores at Cornell

Soccer Mommy rocks the crowd at Cornell University

The indie band, led by singer/songwriter Sophie Allison, brought light to Cornell University students on Saturday
Published: February 13, 2022
The band Soccer Mommy performs at Cornell University
Sophie Allison of the band Soccer Mommy played at Cornell University on Saturday.

On a dreary Ithaca evening, the indie singer/songwriter Sophie Allison and her band Soccer Mommy gave Cornell University students a bright, 90-minute set in the midst of a cold winter. Organized by the Cornell Concert Commission, the show secured Bailey Hall, Cornell’s largest auditorium and performance space, for the occasion. The building is vaguely reminiscent of Goldstein Auditorium in SU’s Schine Student Center, with a large first-floor seating style and a couple of balcony levels above for additional onlookers.

The crowd of a couple hundred waited patiently in their seats until Soccer Mommy strutted out on stage only a few minutes after they were set to begin. A band coming on within 10 minutes of the start time? Groundbreaking.

As soon as the 24-year-old Soccer Mommy herself started to sing, joy and excitement washed over the crowd. The fans were on their feet, belting the lyrics and dancing in the aisles. The set then picked up speed during the second song as they played “Circle the Drain,” the band’s most popular song. The hand-held music video has 1.5 million views on YouTube. After that 90s infused banger and the guitar strumming song “Royal Screw Up,” Allison announced they were to play songs from their third album Clean, released in 2018.

Indie band Soccer Mommy performed in Cornell University's Bailey Hall on Saturday.

Allison began chatting with the crowd after the first couple of songs, saying the band had never been to Cornell or Ithaca before, but that it was a “cool little town.” The crowd of mostly Cornell and Ithaca College students responded with playful sarcasm. They yelled “not surprising” and “there’s not much here,” to which Allison laughed and responded that if she couldn’t joke with them it was going to be a boring show. The friendly banter continued throughout the performance. Allison, in a pale yellow The Who t-shirt, enjoyed the young, energetic vibe of the college crowd.

Soccer Mommy rocked the crowd with tracks like “Last Girl,” “Cool” and “Still Clean.” But the hour and a half show wasn’t enough for the exuberant audience. The band ended the performance with an encore of two songs: “Your Dog,” the most streamed song from their third album according to Spotify, and another classic, “Scorpio Rising.”

Sophie Allison of the band Soccer Mommy plays at Cornell University on Saturday.

The crowd held up their phone flashlights (instead of fire hazard causing lighters) and swayed to the music as the crooner finished her last ballad. Bailey Hall holds more than 500 attendees, although Soccer Mommy’s crowd didn’t hit that mark. As the band previously toured with artists Kacey Musgraves, Vampire Weekend and Paramore, this audience was small, but thunderous. The whole first floor was packed with students and some faculty members.

What began as a gloomy night in an Upstate New York college town transformed into a cathartic release of dopamine for the collegiate concertgoers. The Cornell show might just be the unofficial start of Soccer Mommy’s huge global tour which begins in March in Athens, Ga., and finishes in July all the way in Barcelona, Spain.