ACL Review: Modest Mouse
Exceptional mainstage meltdown
By Neph Basedow,
10:40AM, Sun. Oct. 11, 2015
In a baby blue button-up adorned with pink flamingos, Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock walked onstage Saturday at ACL Fest comparably jovial to the band’s set at Fun Fun Fun Fest last November. Upper opener “Missed the Boat” matched that lax tone as the indie rock octet took the Honda stage.
Still steamy at dusk, the day held in its heat starting at the Montana-born singer‘s sweaty brow.
“Is it ever not summer here?” he wondered aloud before checking himself. “Here I am, complaining about warm weather. I sound like an asshole.”
The Washington State outfit highlighted songs from its sixth album, March’s Strangers to Ourselves, via the LP’s catchy lead-off single, “Lampshades on Fire.” They also revisited their ample back catalog frequently. 2004’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News got tapped in “Ocean Breathes Salty” and “Satin in a Coffin,” while delicate downer “Dramamine” revisited 1996’s This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About.
“Where does one get a giant inflatable Gumby?” the singer laughed, acknowledging a fan’s green balloon in the pit.
Members swapped instruments for new single “The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box.” Lisa Molinaro abdicated her violin/keyboard duties for a turn on bass. The group’s 2004 breakout hit “Float On” felt like an obvious closer, the crowd dancing and singing along to every word, but it was Strangers’ title track that finished the hourlong set.
No meteorites shot across the heavens, as was the case at FFF, but that didn’t make Modest Mouse’s performance any less exceptional.