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Modest Mouse live in Chicago

| Tuesday, September 8, 2015

ModestMouse_WEBErin Rice | The Observer

Hipsters. Hipsters everywhere.

But boy, was it lovely. That’s the best way I can describe seeing Modest Mouse Thursday night in Chicago. I’ve been in love with them ever since I was 13, singing along to “The World At Large” in my bedroom. Modest Mouse is made up primarily of eight members, with Isaac Brock being both the founding member and lead singer. The other seven members are Jeremiah Green, Tom Peloso, Jim Fairchild, Russell Higbee, Lisa Molinaro, Davey Brozowski, and Ben Massarella. The band is multi-instrumental, with many members switching instruments between songs. For example, Lisa Molinaro played keyboards, violin and cello all in one show. The band’s name is derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story “The Mark on The Wall,” which reads, “I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises.”

In 2000, Modest Mouse released “The Moon & Antarctica,” its first album on Epic Records. The album, despite coming from a major label, was very well received by the public. Modest Mouse’s newest album, “Strangers to Ourselves,” was released on March 17, 2015.

The band opened at Concord Music Hall with “3rd Planet,” which was off of their very first album. The crowd loved it, and even if you weren’t a diehard Modest Mouse fan, it seemed like we were all singing along by the third verse. The band seamlessly transitioned from song to song, and though this prevented fan interaction, it didn’t seem to matter at all. Modest Mouse also balanced the new with the old, going from “Lampshades on Fire” to “Coyotes” to “Bukowski” and “Dramamine.” If the air wasn’t filled with song, the random sounds and white noise between made for a unique experience.

The concert seemed to end at 9:20, with Concord closing promptly at 10. However, in true Modest Mouse fashion, the band had something up its sleeve. The band played not one, but six encores. The crowd went crazy (as Chicago crowds always do) with the opener of “Satellite Skin,” and you could feel the energy throughout. I was constantly amazed how I would be waiting in anticipation for my favorite songs, then forget all about that because I was so immersed in the song that was playing currently.

The band ended with their all-time hit, “Float On.” I screamed my lungs out, but not just because it was one of the band’s most popular songs. “Float On,” in particular, has helped me through a lot of rough (and not so rough) times in my life, and finally seeing it live was incredible. I seemed to soak in the lyrics more than ever, and walked away not with a sense of finality, but a sense that I could experience that concert ten times over and not get sick of it. I definitely had a case of the post-concert blues, and immediately got on Spotify when I got home to do it all over again, belting out the songs that I know and love.

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