Modest Mouse at The Palladium, 2/24/09
The latest iteration of Modest Mouse rocked the mid-sized (4,000 capacity) Hollywood Palladium last week leaving most fans -- young, old, industry, walk-ins -- satisfied. But for those waiting to hear the opening notes of the band's radio (and video game) hits "Float On," "Ocean Breathes Salty," and "Dashboard," it was an incomplete night.
But "fuck 'em," as frontman Isaac Brock, would say. For those of us who've watched the PNW indie rockers grow from a bunch of drunk ne'er-do-wells to Indie 103.1 and MTV darlings, the show was an encouraging glimpse into the future of an ever-evolving band rediscovering itself in the post-radio, post-MTV era.
Modest Mouse was one of those late 90's guitar-heavy indie rock bands that freaked out fans by jumping to a major label. But The Moon & Antarctica, released on Epic in 2000, was not the feared sellout -- it was, in fact the most mature and polished music and writing by the band and frontman Isaac Brock to date.
With the 2004 release of Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse leveraged heavy airplay on radio stations nationwide like Indie 103.1 and KROQ to expand its audience. It was fun to hear Johnny Marr (of Smiths fame) as second guitarist and vocalist on tour with the band over the past year and a half and on 2007's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.
But Marr left to play with The Cribs which may have been the best thing to happen to Modest Mouse. Jim Fairchild (of Grandaddy fame) replaced Marr on guitar and seems to have re-energized the band, who notably skipped its best-known songs among the younger generation in favor of fresh and extended versions of classics from the Up Records days -- such as "Ohio," "Dramamine," and "Trailer Trash" -- much to the delight of its long-time fans.
New songs "Satellite Skin" (which the band has been performing since last summer) and "Guilty Cocker Spaniel" (see vid below) were promising and we can only hope for a full-length or at least an EP from Modest Mouse in the coming months. Check out some tour photos on the band's website here.
Setlist via Interstate-8:
Paper Thin Walls
Doin' The Cockroach
Satin In A Coffin
Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset
Wild Packs Of Family Dogs
Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
Parting Of The Sensory
Baby Blue Sedan
Guilty Cocker Spaniel
--> Life Like Weeds (Lyric Tease)