What: Modest Mouse When: Sunday, April 15 Where: The Paramount
Ah, Modest Marr. I know it's in reference to Johnny Marr, whose guitar antics and cooler-than-thou attitude added a breath of fresh air to last night's Modest Mouse show. But one look at the sentence, and I think: argh! Why did bad sound unfortunately sum up much of the Modest Mouse show last night at the Paramount? After opening with a few of his rage-smiling tunes, "Bury Me With It," followed with "Black Cadillacs," Brock seemed a bit tired of all the fucking around before they even started. The set got under mild swing with "Dashboard," their third song and current 'hit,' before moving into older tunes like "Trailer Trash." That, of course, from their 1997 release, Lonesome Crowded West, meaning that a good number of people in the audience were still teething when that song was released. That 30-somethings or teens demographic made for a funny dynamic to the night, but seriously: who the hell was doing the sound? The mic was all but turned off for Tom Peloso's horn parts, integral to songs with--you know, horns--and backing vocals. "Float On," which could have been a resonant theme song for the nautical night, was nearly indistinguishable from random feedback at the end of the night. But kudos to Brock for not losing his cool despite frequent looks back and obvious frustration. If anything, it made me more appreciative of his mild sense of onstage grandiosity, especially during the occasional freak-outs and guitar-clenching moments that just couldn't hide the depth and variety of his songwriting.