LIVE REVIEW: Modest Mouse at Prospect Park for Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

By Maria Jean Sullivan on Jul 25, 2015 12:53 PM EDT
Modest Mouse Issac Brock and longest running band mate Jeremiah Green rattle through 'Strangers to Ourselves' single "Lampshades on Fire". (Photo : Maria Jean Sullivan )
Modest Mouse Newcomer Lisa Molinario of Talkdemonic and Tom Peloso's reserved presence complement Brock's erratic persona on stage. (Photo : Maria Jean Sullivan )
Modest Mouse Brock's shifty eyes and cunning, metaphor laced lyrics swamped Prospect Park in support of 'Strangers to Ourselves'. (Photo : Maria Jean Sullivan )
Modest Mouse Oft seen scrolling into his guitar, Brock delivered at Celebrate Brooklyn. (Photo : Maria Jean Sullivan )

For such a depressive sounding band, Modest Mouse attracts quite the aggressive crowd. Antics at their live performances live on both sides of the stage: Brock's brooding wide-eyed stare, moshing, crowd surfing and the occasional 'ol chick on dude's shoulder bit. In support of Strangers To Ourselves, their first album in eight years, Modest Mouse's sold out Celebrate Brooklyn! performance last night in Prospect Park was met with dutiful reprise. Overzealous pineapple-toting new fans trampled their way to the front, only to stand wavering without a clue when underrated cuts from No One's First and You're Next and, unbelievably so, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About attacked Park Slope. You can hand pick the long-time fans: those who have come to expect and alter their movements around this type of behavior opening the levy for first-timers, stammering their feet and shouting every lyric with perfect cognitive dissonance. A few words may have been off here and there, but the melody remains all the same.

The hour and a half setlist opened on a calm note with We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank's "Fire It Up", a slow to build introduction to the well-oiled performance machine. Newcomer Lisa Molinario of Talkdemonic is a welcome air of striking beauty and multi-faceted talent to the post-Eric Judy lineup. Her stage presence is quiet and demure, yet domineering technics on the violin, keys, bass, vocals and Issac's heart. His love interest of the past five years, their relationship barely makes a peep in the live performance, rather instead the two are heavily entrenched in pitch, timing and the overall professionalism of Modest Mouse's sonic legacy.

Ripe standbys "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes", "Dashboard" and newbie "Lampshades on Fire" were all on for the night. In between a "Dramamine"-turn- "Life Like Weeds" tease and claim to fame "Float On" was perfectly placed riot surprise "Grey Ice Water", a nearly 15 year-old track off the lush Building Nothing Out of Something compilation album. Perpetual shouts from a fistful of 20-something bros demanding "Pistol (A. Cunanan, Miami, FL. 1996)" were not honored, almost as a silence to their meddling annoyance.

Between his lisp, the delinquent, overexcited crowd and the radiating amps, Brock's scrambled mumbles between songs was inaudible, almost incoherent and at points irrelevant. The crowd wanted to dance, cry and turn up. And for that, Brock and gang set off a five song encore book-ended with "3rd Planet" and "The Good Times Are Killing Me", live versions of which you can only hear perfectly again in your dreams and imperfectly on a shoddy iPhone rendering.

Brock dug out Brooklyn again for first time since 2002, placing literal "Time In a Box" keepsakes throughout Prospect Park for fans on the hunt. And that's the thing with Modest Mouse: a healthy mix of old and new and a steadfast devotion to their fans who still find Brock their hero, some 20 years later.

Check out their "Life Like Weeds" teaser below.

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TagsModest Mouse, Prospect Park, Celebrate Brooklyn, Talkdemonic, Issac Brock, Strangers To Ourselves

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