Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Modest Mouse, Live at MacEwan Hall

Anita and I caught the sold out Modest Mouse show last night at MacEwan Hall. We missed the boat when they played here 7 years ago, cause I had Campylobacter jejuni (food poisoning) and couldn't be away from a toilet for more than 5 minutes at a time, so this was that 'FINALLY' moment for us. Hardcore fans will pickup that I name dropped a song title into that previous statement. Yes, I'm that much of a super nerd fan.

The show openers, Mimicking Birds, were unfortunately, a huge let down. They played a series of mellow shoegazing tunes, while spending far too much time changing guitars, and tuning said guitars, in between songs. When the roadies doing sound check get louder cheers than you do as the opening act, you're doing it wrong.

Second act, Kevin Drew, showed far more experience currying favour with audiences, putting together a snappy and energetic set. I've always liked Broken Social Scene, and after seeing Mr. Drew live as a solo project, I will definitely give his records a spin.

Headlining the evening, Modest Mouse came out to HUGE roars from the crowd, and played a fan appeasing set list spanning albums dating back to 1997's Lonesome Crowded West, as well as a couple new songs that I hadn't heard before. Way to welcome both newer(-ish) fans while also showing love to longtime followers. As the face and voice of the band, Isaac Brock was engaging, funny, energetic, and expressive (his stage presence and exaggerated movements gave you the feeling that he LOVES playing these tracks as much as you love to hear them).

The whole set was "scream along out loud if you know the lyrics" fun and intense. But then, the unthinkable happened. They exited the stage after their encore performance of 'The Good Times Are Killing Me'... leaving fans to believe, surely, there MUST be a second encore. How could they possibly NOT play 'Float On' (and I was also secretly hoping they would play 'Spitting Venom'). Surely, this is one of those 'make the fans really work for it' to hear a second encore where they would just kill it with more crowd pleasers. But as the minutes wore on, and our collective voices wore out with strain, the house lights came on. And still we chanted, hoping this was just some 'Nah, we're just messing with ya' shenanigans. Only when the security crew shouted 'Go home' did the reality set in. They were actually done, and they DIDN'T play 'Float On'. Ballsy. But dammit, the set they did play was a feast for your ears.

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Mimicking Birds, looking much better in silent photos than they were in live performance.


Kevin Drew, Live at Mac Hall
Kevin Drew, with various members of other inter-related Canadian indie/alternative bands in tow.

Kevin Drew, Live at Mac Hall


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Modest Mouse. Nuff said.

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