Modest Mouse And Brand New Balance Hits, Fan Favorites And Rarities in Austin (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

Modest Mouse is the type of band that generates both fair weather fans and obsessive fans. If you are one of the former than attending one of their shows can either be a great experience or an incredible disappointment. If you are one of the later, most shows are going to be the highlight of the year, but they could have played more deep cuts and b-sides. For this most current tour, Isaac Brock and Co. are promoting their most recent album Strangers to Ourselves and co-headlining with emo legends Brand New.

Since it was a co-headlined bill there was no opening act. Instead both bands played full sets. Due to the way Austin 360 Amphitheater is set up, Brand New opted to start forty-five minutes late waiting for the blazing Texas sun to dip low enough that it wouldn’t be blinding them. Once they started playing it was extremely easy to differentiate the Brand New fans in the audience. Thousands of twenty-somethings were on their feet, screaming along to every song that was played and when they finished their set, many made their way home, having no interest in catching the set by Modest Mouse.

By the time Modest Mouse took the stage, many of the seats that had been empty during the Brand New set had filled up and many wondered out loud as to what the nature of their set list might behold. The first half of the set seemed like it was going to be one for the obsessed fans like those in the fan-made documentary “Point A to Point B: A Modest Documentary”. The set started with Isaac playing “Styrofoam Boots” solo on an acoustic guitar before launching into a chunk of new songs from Strangers to Ourselves. “Sugar Boats” comes across as a sort of Om-Pah circus song while “Shit in Your Cut” is pretty subdued, but with three members playing percussion it sounded great. “King Rat” from the 2009 EP No One’s First, And Your Next made an appearance as did “Black Cadillacs” from their breakout album Good News for People Who Like Bad News.

When Isaac took up the banjo to play “Satin in a Coffin” from Good News, the concert took a noticeable upturn and stayed there. With a few exceptions, the rest of the show was made up of songs from Good News and The Moon & Antarctica. Fans sang and danced along to “This Devil’s Workday” and “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” and before closing the set with “The World at Large” the band played their largest hit “Float On”. Whether it was to troll the people that were only sticking around for “Float On” or because he’s sick of playing it at this point, Brock purposefully played his guitar out of key creating a very dissonant sound. The band kept fans hanging around by returning for the encore playing “Fire it Up” and “The Good Times are Killing Me”.

While you never know what kind of experience you are going to get a Modest Mouse concert, this particular show seemed to keep a nice balance for all types of fans. The addition of extra members on stage on and off throughout kept the songs sounding great and created more stage presence especially when at times there could be ten people on stage. Without knowing how their other shows have been, it seems that this may have been a highlight on their tour and one can only hope other cities will have as good of an experience.

All photos by Maggie Boyd. 

Modest Mouse Setlist Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX, USA 2016, Brand New and Modest Mouse U.S. Tour

Brand New Setlist Austin360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX, USA 2016, Brand New and Modest Mouse U.S. Tour

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