Live Review: Modest Mouse // Oct 13 2018

Photos by Cody Kaczynski. Words by Kyle Mahaney.

The venerable Modest Mouse filled Bethlehem, PA’s Sands Event Center on Saturday night with fans enjoying everything you’d expect from the 90’s indie rock veterans.  While the band returned to studio work in 2015 after nearly a decade with “Strangers to Ourselves”, their setlist manages to cover the breadth of their discovery.  Their dramatic entrance to 2015’s “Stranger’s to Ourselves” quickly transitioned into an array of old favorites accompanied by a dazzling light show. The performance was top notch, veterans giving a great show with lots of their hits and minimal banter but somehow everything felt a bit hollow. The crowd seemed disengaged from the show, and that echoed through everything.  It’s a shame that such a fantastic performance had such lacking energy, but this was one best enjoyed from a comfy seat than front and center crammed into a general admission hall.  The opening band, Australian super-group Tropical Fuck Storm was equally unable to energize the crowd despite a strong performance and a long 20+ minute delay between performances made the bar a more electrifying place than the front of the stage.  Overall, Modest Mouse brought a solid performance built with exactly what you’d expect from such a legendary act, it just offers nothing particularly compelling for those who aren’t die hards.

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