Live Review – Modest Mouse (10/3)

If you have ever seen Modest Mouse live, you know it’s either a big hit or a moderately-sized miss. Unfortunately October 3rd’s show leaned toward the more disappointing side of the spectrum. Expectations should never be sky-high going into the show due to the infamous performances of the band that’s been touring since the mid-90’s, but still many seem to have expected something better than what occurred.

Positives of The Show:

  1. The band. The band really was what I expected from Modest Mouse. They were great. The sound was great. Their performance was great.
  2. The venue. Now normally this wouldn’t be relevant to a list like this, but The Louisville Palace was super cool (and I couldn’t think of many positives about the show). Like a lot of the buildings in Louisville, the original facade of the building was kept in tact, but the inside has been redone to keep up with other modern venues to remain relevant. Basically, it feels like you’re getting a up-to-date, top of the line production inside of a 1920’s theater.
  3. The setlist. Now there were definitely people in the crowd who would put this in the negatives category, but I was a fan of it. Modest Mouse is known to change up their setlist for every show with extreme variation. Tuesday was no different. They didn’t play their hits from Good News for People Who Love Bad News, which means no “Float On” or “World at Large.” They played some deeper cuts and less mainstream hits such as “Autumn Beds” and “Fire It Up,” respectively. It made the show feel less phoned in and forced.

Negatives of The Show:

  1. The mumbling. As lead man, Isaac Brock, said, “I’m a mumbler. Mumbling is what I do.” He then continued to mumble about something that was incomprehensible to the human ear.” That basically sums up the show. I can’t really criticize anyone for mumbling, due to my inability to produce speech at times, but it felt like Brock was doing it to purposefully antagonize the audience. After the first guy called him out on it, it just got worse. Maybe he just hated the crowd, or maybe it’s just how he is.
  2. The double encore fake-out. This too could be due to a distaste for the crowd, and it could’ve been asking for too much, but it felt like a let-down. After the first encore the band got off stage and the lights didn’t go up. It stayed this way for about fifteen minutes, with most of the crowd remaining and chanting. Then the lights went up and it was time to go. I left thinking it was just a mistake, but after I compared the setlist of that night with the one’s before it, I became more disappointed. It turned out that with almost every show on this tour they played a double encore of some variation. No audible reason was given, so it definitely has tainted my view of the show.

Since Louisville is a great place to go see live music of any kind, due to the good food, good venues, and surprising convenience of location to Bloomington, the city alone makes it worth it. The price was alright for the show, just about the right level for the seats and caliber of the show. All in all this show was worth going to, barely.


Performance: C+

Location: A

Cost: B


Overall Grade: B-