Finally, Modest Mouse also now bears Seth Cohens (also known as Adam Brodys) infamous stamp of hipster approval. The O.C. tastemaker featured the band on a recent episode of the shows second season.
Nissan car commercials, Grammy nominations and hit music videos? Strange, to say the least, but inconsequential: Modest Mouse still put on one hell of a concert.
The first of two sold-out shows at the storied First Avenue this past Sunday reminded fans why Modest Mouses unexpected success is so deserved.
The night started off on a slightly offbeat note: in a strange repeat of last summers Modest Mouse concert, one of the two opening acts didnt show. Cass McCombs an indie-crooner from Baltimore, Md. was nowhere to be found. Instead, hometown favorite Mason Jennings played a slightly extended set.
Jennings is the consummate professional; he rarely disappoints, nor does he exceed expectations. Sunday night was no exception. Jennings played an entertaining set consisting of older, folkier fan favorites and some harder-edged new material that showed surprising grit. The anxious crowd was polite, reserving their loudest cheers for Jennings frequent references to the glory of Minneapolis.
At around 8:40 p.m. Modest Mouse took the stage. Opening with a fierce rendition of Black Cadillacs, the band played a set that drew heavily upon 2004s Good News For People Who Love Bad News.
Clearly, Modest Mouse knows their audience. High school kids engaging in full hero worship dominated the crowd, although thats not to suggest the audience was unreceptive to older material. Rather, the crowd simply acknowledged that Good News For People Who Love Bad News is a barrier-breaking album. The ubiquitous Float On introduced many listeners to the larger world of indie rock, and the effect has been tangible. Indie rock is the new pop, and Modest Mouse lead singer Isaac Brock, along with Zach Braff (creator of the most glorified mix-tape of all time, the Garden State soundtrack) and Conor Oberst (also known as Bright Eyes) are largely responsible.
For his part, Brock played the stoic anti-hero for most of the set, rarely bantering with the audience or lifting his eyelids away from his fretboard. It hardly mattered, however.
Every lisp, yelp and frantic strum of his guitar was met with rapturous approval by his throng of young devotees. Brock may be unwilling to accept his ascension to rock stardom, but he scarcely has a say in the matter at this point: Modest Mouse mean something to their fans, and rightly so. High-powered versions of The View, Satin in A Coffin and Bukowski shook, while poppier material like The Good Times Are Killing Me devolved into a raucous, campfire-esque sing-along. A triple encore satiated older fans, treating the crowd to stellar renditions of earlier classics Dramamine, Trailer Trash and Tiny Cities Made of Ashes.
Modest Mouse no longer needs to be so modest. Their success is well deserved, and a little arrogance could go a long way.