If you saw Modest Mouse at Red Rocks last summer you will remember a very quick and essentially boring set. Tuesday night at the Fillmore they compensated with a stellar revival! Fans rapidly flooded in when the doors opened at 7. Many of them waited in line for several hours beforehand to ensure a spot, front and center. Since Modest Mouse has been recording music for nearly 25 years, it's no wonder we spotted a wide age range of attendees. Teens, and what appeared to be original fans were in attendance. It seemed each and every one of them was as pumped as us to see the classic alt-rock band. The venue appeared to be nearly full as the opening band walked out.
Imagine a slightly more indie-rock version of Phish, and you'll have MM opener, Morning Teleportation. An interesting opening act for Modest Mouse, but enjoyable (if you happen like jam bands). There were plenty of high pitched guitar riffs and organ solos, combined with repetitive instrumental jam before a long, slow down, where eventually, they dynamically brought the energy back up. The crowd started to loosen up preparing for the main event. We savored the jams of Morning Teleportation, but we were ready for Modest Mouse.
With lights out and loud sound of bees buzzing, lead singer Issac Brock and crew emerged. Reverb and feedback led into the begging of “World at Large." The crowd bellowed along and cheered as Issac began the set. The first quarter of the set included tracks from the previous two popular albums. Issac seemed to have a bit more energy as "Paper Thin Walls," started. Intensity and passion continued to build with each song.
Fans of early Modest Mouse erupted as “Doin’ the Cockroach” began. The crowd seemed to separate into two groups of fans: The newer, poppy Modest Mouse fans, and the grungy, grisly, groaning Modest Mouse of the 90’s. After "Float On," there seemed to be a few technical difficulties with Issac’s pedal board and one of his guitars, leading into an awkward pause. The show went on and fans continued to sing and enjoy themselves. Modest Mouse has always had a dedicated fan base in which they sing and dance like no-one is watching. More appropriately, Modest Mouse fans do not give a single fuck who is watching or listening when they are experiencing musical takeover. Above all, everyone had a fantastic night as Isaac finished out the with “Cowboy Dan”.
Words and photos: Matthew Smith