Friday, September 4, 2009

Modest Mouse rocks the Alberta Bair Theater

I love seeing Modest Mouse live. We saw them for the first time in Bozeman a few years ago. Up until that point, I enjoyed and had downloaded some of their songs--everyone's heard "Float On" as it was a top 40 hit for a long time--but I didn't really consider myself a "fan." After seeing them live though, I had to download every album they had put out and was excited to discover each and every song. So, when I heard they were going to be playing the Alberta Bair Theater here in Billings, I was thrilled to get to see them again.

(photos are taken by cell phone so no, they aren't the greatest)
Some concerts seem to be more about the "production" of the show than they are about the music. A Modest Mouse show, to me, is purely about the music. The band members are musicians not performers. The stage is covered with instruments and nearly every band member switches out instruments at least once during the show. Most impressive in this regard would be Tom Peloso who plays everything from the upright bass to the trumpet, keyboard, etc.

Modest Mouse has so many great songs. They started a bit late, around 10pm or so and I think the show got over (including the encore) around 11:30pm. The set list was great and they played so many songs but they left out just a few of my favorites--"Ocean Breathes Salty," "Paper Thin Walls," and "3rd Planet." They also did not play "Float On" which isn't one of my favorites but is the song that seemed to bring their career to a new level so when it isn't played, it is noticed.

The Alberta Bair Theater proved to be a great venue for the show and I think brought a whole new audience in its doors. It was a much more fitting venue than the dirt floor barn I saw them in at the Gallatin Valley Fairgrounds in Bozeman a few years ago. But it doesn't really matter what conditions they play in, if Modest Mouse is in the area, I'm there.
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