I hope you were able to make it out to ODU’s Ted Constant Convocation Center Saturday night for the Modest Mouse show. It was quite a performance.
This was not my first experience seeing a concert at The Ted. I think the acoustics are just fine. No complaints there. I haven’t been backstage, but it must be heavily ‘sports’ themed because both bands joked about sports during their sets.
The Philadelphia-based opening band, Hop Along, was very catchy high energy ‘freak folk.’ If you got there late… or at ‘Punk O’Clock’ as singer/guitarist Frances Quinlan calls it, be sure to catch them next time we are lucky to have them in Hampton Roads. Frances joked about being excellent in sports, but said that was actually not true. Instead she knows cat videos and poetry. She knows some “sick poetry jokes.”
It’s been eight years since Modest Mouse’s last release, though that has not stopped them from touring, even attaining a main stage slot at the Coachella Festival in 2013. The new songs from this year’s release, “Strangers To Ourselves,” meshed nicely with the old favorites. Modest Mouse took the stage with a BANG by opening with one of their best songs in my opinion – “I Came As A Rat.” Their energy and musicianship never slowed down from there for the rest of the night. Singer/guitarist Isaac Brock said he was ready for sports by wearing his colorful track suit jacket. When the jacket comes off… watch out! He’s ready to rumble…
Modest Mouse usually had 8 band members on stage at once, including two drummers and a percussionist. At some points there were 9 performers when an additional guitarist or horn player would join them. They would also regularly swap instruments for songs. Violin was played regularly and a double bass was used. Brock also played some excellent banjo for a few numbers, such as “Bukowski”(which I loved). Isaac was in fine form and really impressed with his skill and showmanship. I especially felt the groove during “Dramamine,” which I heard was one of the songs that persuaded ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr to join the band from 2003 to 2009.
Another thing I really liked about Modest Mouse was their merchandise table. All their releases were available on re-issued vinyl (which sold-out as the evening ended). Even the rare out-of-print EP called “Interstate 8” from 1996 (which was recorded in Isaac’s garage) was again available in both vinyl and CD format. I was also really admiring the skateboard deck even though I’m not a skater.
This was my fourth time seeing Modest Mouse and I plan to see them every time they are in the Tidewater area. They never disappoint.
Here’s the set list:
I Came As A Rat
Missed The Boat
Lampshades On Fire
Pups To Dust
Tortoise And The Tourist
The Ground Walks
Grey Ice Water
Fire It Up
Fly Trapped In A Jar