Modest Mouse at Grove of Anaheim | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse at Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA, August 30th, 2009

Sep 17, 2009 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
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“We’re super guys,” said Modest Mouse lead singer Isaac Brock. “All I’m saying is, while you were here wasting your time, we lowered gas prices to five cents a gallon for 20 minutes…but you were here.” After a Close Encounters of the Third Kind introduction—complete with flashing lights—and riotous opener “Invisible,” I was ready to believe just about anything. Anything.

Modest Mouse=Super Guys? Yes—even if the jury is still out on their affect on gas prices, sports scores, and phases of the moon. A seemingly sloppy jam band on record, live they come across as a tight six piece—playing and (yes) jamming with surprising erudition. The kind of guys that probably know the word erudition (on album Good News for People Who Love Bad News they name-check author Charles Bukowski), Brock’s gang of misfits has attracted collaborators such as percussionist Joe Plummer of Black Heart Procession, Jim Fairchild of All Smiles, and Johnny Marr from some obscure little band called The Smiths. It’s easy to see why. Heck, I’m ready to grab a beer and tambourine and join their next tour.

Modest Mouse’s output is incredibly varied—making for the occasional mid-concert musical whiplash. Granted cohesion by the sheer power of Brock’s distinct staccato vocals, the band seamlessly switched between almost country-tinged “Fly Trapped in a Jar,” to the near thrash-rock opening of “Here It Comes.” Harcore fans cheered. I shook my head, attempting to reset my paradigm. Who are these guys? With two drummers, a bassist playing both upright and electric, and a pendent for what—to the average viewer—feels like startlingly well-controlled free-for-alls, they know how to illicit an audience response—mostly the “throwing your hands in the air like you just don’t care” variety.

Surprisingly, the band managed to play an 18 song set without dipping into the majority of their recent notable singles. No “Dashboard.” No “Ocean Breathes Salty.” And certainly no “Float On.” For most bands, this slight would be the cause for audience discontent—or even outright hostility. (Imagine if Animal Collective refused to play “My Girls” in concert.) However, after such an electrifying show, it was difficult to find any fault in their set list. Spilling out into the hot Saturday night, there were nothing but smiles and good cheer from the notably inebriated audience. “That was my ninth show!” I heard someone say with marked glee. “That was super rad!” said another exuberant fan. Sidestepping the crowds and darting for our car, I couldn’t help but agree. Super rad indeed.

Set list:

1. Invisible
2. Interstate 8
3. Gravity Rides Everything
4. The View
5. Autumn Beds
6. Black Cadillacs
7. The Whale Song
8. Fire It Up
9. Baby Blue Sedan
10. Shit Luck
11. Fly Trapped in a Jar
12. Here It Comes
13. Satellite Skin
14. Tiny Cities Made of Ashes


15. Talking Shit
16. 3rd Planet
17. Breakthrough
18. Good Times Are Killing Me



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ergonomic mouse
October 31st 2009

i like modest mouse, muse, mew, the national, keane, jet, and cold war kids.

Average Whiplash compensation
December 19th 2009

I heard someone say with marked glee. That was super rad!” said another exuberant fan. Sidestepping the crowds and darting for our car, I couldn’t help but agree. Super rad indeed.