Modest Mouse at The Louisville Palace in Louisville, KY 03-OCT-2017

Alt-Indie music leaders Modest Mouse give their energetic Louisville fans exactly what they are looking for during a stellar two-hour performance. 

Modest Mouse has been at the forefront of the Alt-Indie music scene since 1997’s breakthrough album The Lonesome Crowded West, hailed by many to be one of the defining records of the genre. After 20 years and numerous albums, Modest Mouse is on a marathon tour which began in May and continues until mid-October. Lead by founding member and singer Isaac Brock, the band takes this audience through an atmospheric and rewarding journey through a catalog of music spanning the length of their career. This is an all-ages crowd with some here for the nostalgia of music they grew up with, while others are here to see a band they discovered with their most recent release, 2015’s Strangers To Ourselves.

No one knows what songs they will hear tonight. Modest Mouse changes their setlist from show to show, keeping things fresh and different. The evening begins with the stage bathed in deep red lighting for their opening song “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” followed in succession by “3rd Planet”, and “Dark Center of the Universe”, all three from The Moon and Antarctica. Released in 2000, this was their first release on a major label and cemented Modest Mouse’s place in Indie music. Fans in this audience react within a few notes of each tune with instant recognition and sound their hearty approval. By the end of the first song, it seems as though the entire venue, including those in the balcony, are on their feet, dancing in the aisles and soaking in every note of every number.

The Modest Mouse stage is one that’s jam-packed with instruments and musicians. Singer/guitarist Isaac Brock, situated stage left is surrounded by a vast array of pedal boards and monitors along with Jeremiah Green on drums, bassist and Keyboardist Tom Peloso, guitarists Jim Fairchild and Russell Higbee, Lisa Molinaro handling vocals and the Viola and Percussionist Ben Massarella fill the Louisville Palace with a sound so deep and rich it’s almost mesmerizing.

There is inevitably some disappointment at the absence of some fan favorites such as “Gravity Rides Everything” and “The Ocean Breathes Salty” but in their nearly two hours on stage, Modest Mouse manages to play something for everyone including a selection of favorites from Strangers To Ourselves. “The Tortoise and the Tourist”, “Lampshades on Fire” and “Sugar Boats” from that album receives a tremendous ovation. After playing “Fly Trapped in a Jar” the band exit the stage, but no one moves toward the door. The four-song encore brings the night to a close on a high note with “Fire it Up”. It is difficult to imagine anyone leaving this show not feeling fully satisfied and perhaps dancing a bit on the way to the car.

Opening the night is Mass Gothic a four-piece band led by founder Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri. Their sound features a dark element and Jessica’s sharp vocals along with intense guitar work. Though eager for Modest Mouse to take the stage, the crowd at The Palace gives them a warm welcome and seems to enjoy themselves.

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