Review and Photos – Modest Mouse at the Orpheum, Vancouver, Aug 22 2022
A few stray balloons floated overhead as the enthusiastic crowd at the Orpheum Theatre joined American rockers Modest Mouse for the well-known hook, “and we’ll all float on, okay.” Thirty years old and seven albums in, the band can still bring a crowd to their feet with energy that would rival a group of 20-somethings—even on a Monday night.
Nearing the end of an extensive North American tour, Modest Mouse, led by vocalist and guitarist Isaac Brock, visited Vancouver as one of three final shows in Canada. The group of six crafts their unique sound with a variety of instruments. Complementing the usual lineup (drums, guitars and bass) was an extensive selection of percussion instruments and a few other special guests, including a trumpet and double bass. Brock called out his frequent guitar changes between songs and joked with the crowd, “they’re different colours.”
It’s clear that Modest Mouse can still execute a catchy chorus one minute and challenge your senses with a cacophony of vigorous drumbeats and screaming guitars the next. The track, “Fuck Your Acid Trip” from their latest release The Golden Casket, sums this up in one song.
The group performed several new releases, but it was their older hits—singles like 2000’s “Paper Thin Walls” and the hit single “Float On” from 2004’s platinum album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News—that garnered the most excitement from the crowd.
A few songs into the night and the memorable intro to “Dashboard” lifted the already considerable energy in the room tenfold. The contagious track from 2007’s chart-topping album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, moved the last few stragglers onto their feet to dance and bob their heads to its upbeat tempo. White and orange spotlights shone out onto the enlivened crowd as the song earned them the loudest applause of the night (so far).
Eighteen songs later, the band left the stage casually and calmly, even taking a moment to wipe the sweat from their brows. As the room darkened, the applause amplified—it was a sure sign they would be back soon. Following several minutes of even louder applause and cheers, the group returned to the ecstatic audience. Their considerable encore performance was another mix of classics and new releases honouring their extensive career. The seven-song set included one of the latest, “Leave a Light On” and a reach back into the archives with 2000’s “3rd Planet”.
As the encore neared a close, an overzealous fan attempted to leave his mark on the performance with a jog across the stage, dodging a security guard who tried to stop him on the other side. The seasoned professionals on stage didn’t even flinch, ignoring the disruption, and closing the night the same way they began, with few words and the music centre-stage.
Earlier in the evening, Vancouver-based Yukon Blonde set the stage for the rousing performance with a solid opening set of indie rock for the hometown crowd.
More Modest Mouse at the Orpheum photos: