Here's something for you to read in the form of review/general thoughts on Modest Mouse :)
I’d never been to the RAH before but was expecting something pretty grand, and figured that this would just make my first live Modest Mouse experience all the more special. Our seats were in the stalls right opposite the stage so I had a good view, for some reason the hall didn’t feel nearly as big as I’d expected.
Billy Childish were the fairly entertaining support. Probably the most conversation from a lead singer I’ve heard at a gig in ages. I think he managed to lighten up the heavy mood a bit and get everyone a bit happier. It felt like no-one was quite sure what to expect from Modest Mouse in this un-rock venue. Their music isn’t really my thing, but it was alright.
Now for some personal background first which you may skip: I got into MM after hearing Float On. Yes, I am one of the ‘new fans’. But considering that I was only 14 at the time of Good News For People Who Love Bad News I couldn’t really have got into them any other way. I’ve been waiting ever since for them to release something new so they’d come back!
Obviously, in the meantime I kept myself busy with The Moon & Antarctica and Lonesome Crowded West both of which had me hooked after a few listens. Personally, I was just really relieved that I like their new album because I knew that when they came on tour, that was mainly what they would play. Through last.fm it seems like loads of early fans don’t like Good News or We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank half as much as the older albums. I can’t really see why though. For me, listening from more recent to less recent, I can see how their style has changed but also how they still sound very much like they always did. If you see what I mean (!). That continuity will always be there because of Isaac Brock, and I can’t really tell what difference Johnny Marr has made to their sound. I admit that I don’t have anything prior to LCW apart from the songs Dramamine and Never Ending Math Equation. Any specific recommendations?
OK back to the concert… Yes, it was mostly Good News and We Were Dead and that suited me fine! It would’ve been amazing to see the LCW tour or the M&A tour, but they’ve made loads more music since then and have moved on. Everyone seems to be wishing they would play more from those albums, but how can you expect that when they’ve released two successful albums since?
One of my favourites from the new album is the 8minute long Spitting Venom and it really made the gig for me that they played this as their last song. I thought they might not do another long one after the space out of Tiny Cities and then the extended Trailer Trash, so couldn’t help but smile stupidly until the end.
The sound quality was a bit rubbish, but that’s not their fault. The RAH let them down. Modest Mouse were amazing tonight and the two drummers were incredible; often playing different rhythms simultaneously and never hitting a beat out of time. It just highlighted how strong the rhythm section is in their music. Despite the bad sound quality, I think the audience for the most part tried to enjoy the music and people were dancing in the mosh pit and even in the stalls.
One of the many reasons why I love MM is that their songs aren’t formulaic or boring compared to a lot of the alt/indie/rock/whatever music of the moment. Thanks to Issac Brock we can have whispering, shouting, singing, laughing and barking all within one song. And still have a catchy melody. And still have a beat that gets your leg twitching involuntarily.
A truly unique band with a fantastic back catalogue. I don’t get why the UK general public doesn’t understand their genius. But I guess I’m secretly glad they don’t and selfishly hope that they never will! Two radio singles is enough. And they’ve thankfully already missed the boat with anything prior to Float On. So, regardless of their US No.1 album status, they’ll never be the mighty mice here, but who’s complaining?