Saturday, July 10, 2010

"It Will All Fall, Fall Right Into Place"

I am the nerdy kind of music lover that actually writes down the songs in set list order during the show. Yes, I did. I quickly typed them into a note on my iPhone and I am happy to admit that. It took two seconds and now I get to relive the raucous, wild energy of the show in my own concert playlist anytime I want. And Modest Mouse was totally deserving of my obsessive note taking and song title verification on Tuesday night.

He had on tight indie jorts
Waiting in line with all the young hipsters.

Hipster bastards, oh, I mean us
Poseurs, or Joe and I in our Marshall's Chucks

Ready for my rum and coke
I'm ready for a rum and coke and some dancin'.

 I have never seen Modest Mouse live before. I have loved them for years. Their lyrics, the music, the dissonant angry melancholy quirky beauty was on full display at the Crossroads venue in downtown KC. After a rainy day, the weather cleared up, and was fairly mild for July.  A perfect night for an outdoor concert. The opening act, Avi Buffalo was fine. Not amazing, a little young and whiny and repetitive for me, but decent. And then after some equipment issues, out came our headliner.

The mighty crowd

They dove right in with Gravity Rides, one of my favorites. Followed by plenty of older classics, most of their popular radio tunes and about 98% of my personal requests. With as large a catalog as Modest Mouse has, you never really know what they might play. Of the seventeen songs they played, I was happy I knew at least fourteen. I fell in love with Modest Mouse when Good News For People Who Love Bad News came out. I admit it. It took a college radio hit for me to discover them. I was not an early adopter. But once they won me with their slightly pop tunes, I was hooked. I started listening to their earlier less radio friendly albums and they were amazing. Those songs, like Tiny Cities Made of Ashes and This Devil's Workday, were the best songs at the concert for me. These older songs seemed to have more room for the wild, jerky performance style and energy of the lead singer, Isaac Brock. The radio friendly songs like Dashboard were solid, but the jerky, percussive meandering older songs just lend themselves to the freedom of a live performance. The sign of a good concert performance, for me at least, is when the songs sound better live than they sound recorded on the original album. And Modest Mouse succeeded.

the whole scene

Gravity Rides

The View

We’ve Got Everything

King Rat

Here it Comes

Fire It Up

The Whale Song

Paper Thin Walls

Baby Blue Sedan


Satin in a Coffin

This Devil's Workday
Paper Thin Walls

Tiny Cities Made of Ashes


Blame it on the Tetons

3rd Planet

Parting of the Sensory

Black Cadillacs

Two solid hours of music, with a few pestery sound problems, a couple of bad mics and an out of tune guitar, but who cares? It didn’t bother the band and it didn’t trouble the crowd. We danced and sang and sweat and I savored every minute of the night. 

Again, I can’t find the words to describe how much I enjoy live music. When I wrote up my little life list a few months ago it reminded me how much I love live music. Joe and I have made a focused effort to go to more shows this year. And so far it’s been a fantastic experience. Mark Knopfler earlier in the spring, Modest Mouse this week and in the next couple of months possibly the Pixies, The National and the Avett Brothers.

Tiny Cities Made of Ashes

I feel lucky to live a town that has the art and music scene that Kansas City has, lots of great venues, large and small. Live music invigorates me. I love writing and reading, but those are solitary, quiet activities done alone facing a page or a screen. But concerts are breathing with life, energy and a mass sense of joy and pleasure. As I panned the crowd at Modest Mouse, I saw so many smiling, glowing faces totally immersed in the music. People perched on the roof tops surrounding the venue, listening intently to the sold out show. Eyes closed, bodies swaying, mouths wide open singing along with the music. We were alive together and sharing the moment. Now, I’m not saying that we didn’t see a few drunk assholes and some stupid aggressive boys stirring up trouble, but isn’t that just part of the whole experience? I can't wait for September and our next show.


The panoramic shots and the two actual concert shots are all the work of Joe Sands.


Katrina said...

Completely agree- LOVE concerts. They really do have a life of their own!! And jealous about the Pixies! I used to listen to them quite a bit.

Kristendom said...

You enjoy your concert crowds quite a bit more than I do - obviously :-). Glad you all enjoyed this show so much - really good, live music makes it all worth it.