4/22 Memphis TN

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4/22 Memphis TN

Postby Luke » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:47 am

Setlist was
Strangers to ourselves
Tiny cities
Paper thin walls
Devils work day with awesome horn arrangement, sounded like an entirely different song
-----Russell, Tom, and Isaacs tech lady on horns
Fire it up
Here's to now
Best room
Blue sedan
-----Instrument fuck up
God is an Indian extended
Bury me with it abandoned
Dramamine stars are projectors tease
Be brave
Good times extended ending with awesome jammed out out to
Cowboy Dan extended breakdown and jammed out to
Float on
Ground walks, almost fell apart during the first half, the ending jam was epic

Overall there were some incredibly epic parts to the show, but technical difficulties really fucked with the flow of it. Great setlist spanning pretty much the entire catalogue. I'll have a more thorough write up later, gonna stick around and hope to meet some of the band
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby horriblezone » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:42 pm

haha ground walks almost fell apart when i saw them the second night in NYC, same with wicked campaign
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby McWeird007 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:23 pm

I wanna hear this alternate version of Devi's Workday they've been playing!
"I like the saline tea, but it's true that the moon can pull it back and forth away from me"
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby Luke » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:12 pm

The band came on around 10:30, usual cast of Jeremiah and Davey on drums and percussion, Jim on guitar, Tom on keys, horn etc, Lisa on violin, keys and vocals, Russell on bass and Isaac. Lisa played two low notes on the violin and the show began with Strangers to Ourselves.

Everyone sounded synced up and Isaac was undoubtedly fired up as he swung his guitar around singing. Strangers is a great opener as it builds without truly revealing what is to come. As Jeremiah laid down a dancey beat, Tom oozed in with the opening bass riff to Tiny Cities Made of Ashes. I was impressed that they would play this so early in the set being such a raucous and usually improvisation heavy performance. Isaac was playing so hard that he broke a string, marching around the stage chanting in perfect unity with Tom, occasionally raising the guitar to his face, screaming into the pickups. It was at this point that I was forced to realize just how big the sound of the band had become. I have seen them play when it was Isaac, Eric and Jeremiah, but with 6 people on stage all playing at once, the sound really kicks you in the chest. I had read reviews of previous shows since STO came out claiming the band sounds better than they ever have, and I found myself agreeing.

As the Wicks' strings were being replaced and retuned, Isaac picked up his spare and launched into Paper Thin Walls. This was probably the cleanest and most straight forward performance of the night, not deviating from the original structure or lyrics.

As Lisa played the opening notes of Lampshades on Fire, the crowd let out a very boisterous cheer, arguably the loudest they got during the evening. Of all the songs performed off of STO, Lampshades is obviously the best groomed for live performances. This makes sense, as the band has been using this in setlist rotations for upwards of 3 years now. Pretty straightforward performance, they threw in the extended outro which was interesting to hear live.

Isaac switched back to the beautiful Wicks guitar, leading the band into Pups to Dust. A couple flubbed bits but overall a cool performance, glad they began playing this more recently.

A number of horns were handed out, with Tom, Russel and Isaac's tech lady (Nancy?) on brass and Isaac strumming the banjo for an insane, brilliant performance of This Devils Workday. The horns led into the song, with Isaac chanting and strumming along, becoming rigid as he exploded with "WELL's". Everything about this performance was chaos, with Isaac going bonkers and playing incredible banjo riffs while Tom and co. shot heavy horns at the crowd, blood red lights protruded from behind the band, giving the feeling that we were another corpse floating down the river. Arguably my favorite performance of the night, I really hope video surfaces.

Staying with the banjo and a horn motif, Bukowski came next. I haven't heard this song performed live in a loooong time so it was great to catch. Definitely a favorite of mine from Good News. The "take what you want from me, you deserve it all" bit was perfectly executed.

Fire It Up came next. Whenever WWD songs are played live, I'm reminded how great an album this really is. I don't listen to it often, but whenever I hear songs performed live off of it I'm blown away. Definitely think that a live version of this song and many others from WWD trump the recorded versions.

Here's to Now led perfectly into The Best Room, which also sounded pretty spot on. I really like the second half of this song, once it finds it's groove, Isaac's vocals sound much more fitting to me.

Isaac started into the familiar slow riff of Baby Blue Sedan, with soft vocals following. This song showed once again just how good this lineup can sound, taking a pretty basic (underproduced compared to STO and WWD) and turning it into a full bodied yet still somber performance of an emotional track. Even with everything going on onstage, Isaac's voice was the focal point. I worried that with such a large lineup there would be too much going on during simpler songs like Blue Sedan... I was happily proven wrong.

After a bit of a break in the action due to more instrument malfunctions and Isaac raffling off bottles of water, Tom strummed an acoustic to the tune of God Is an Indian and You're an Asshole. A really beautiful rendition followed, with everyone going into improvisational tangents spearheaded by Lisa's perfectly western notes. I'm not sure if this was extended because of the ongoing instrument repairs or if it was planned, but it was really great to hear an extended, dressed up version of God is an Indian. I really like the song but I wish I were perhaps a bit longer, like Blame It On The Tetons or Wild Pack of Family Dogs.

Bury Me With it was started, but pretty quickly abandoned as it was clear Isaac's guitar wasn't tuned or set properly. He apologized for sounding like shit and continued with his banter as techs worked on his gear.

Eventually with his guitar back in hand, Isaac turned to the rest of the band and said "I want to play Dramamine." Russell started the bassline with Jeremiah coming in, but as Isaac tried to play the opening riff, nothing came out of his amps. He turned stage left, threw both of his hands up in the air and looked up, as if he were calling out God for fucking with him. Whatever problem was occurring was figured out and the band played a great version of Dramamine with the usual Stars are Projectors tease.

Two high pitched notes from Isaac's guitar led the rest of the band into The Tortoise and the Tourist which also sounded pretty good live, one they clearly have been rehearsing a lot.

Dash Board came next, followed by Be Brave. The harmonics section of Be Brave, where Isaac sings about the world pissing us out sounded great live, the band really captured the apocalyptic sound.

Nearing 12 midnight and clearly almost the end of the set, the band played The Good Times Are Killing Me. Again, the obvious chemistry and comfort in live settings allowed the band to extend the ending, with an awesome jam putting a cap on a great set.

Modest Mouse left the stage around 12 midnight for about 10 minutes leaving the crowd to chant for more as the sound of crickets and insects filled the room.

When they returned, Cowboy Dan was the first song of the encore. The breakdown was extended which created even more of a crescendo when Isaac belted out "WELL Cowboy Dan's a major player in the cowboy scene." Lisa's violin sounded fucking badass the entire song, adding a really awesome western vibe to the song. The ending was extended quite a bit, similar to the ending jam heard in the ACL 12/4/07 recording. Epic stuff as always, but this version was definitely up there with others I've heard.

Changing pace a bit, Float On came next much to the happiness of the majority of the crowd. This is another song I prefer live, as Isaac's vocals tend to be a bit more lively and enthusiastic.

Closing out the night was The Ground Walks With Time in a Box. The first half of this song was very sloppy and almost fell apart at a number of points. But by the time the second half jam of the song came around, Modest Mouse had found their groove and nailed an improvisational bit. Again, the cohesion and comfort with improvisation showed here as they tore through an awesome ending jam.

I really enjoyed this show for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the band sounds fucking great. Technical difficulties marred the show a bit, especially later on in the set, but the points at which the band was firing on all cylinders sounded incredible... Better than anything else live I have heard from them. Secondly, they are starting to play more material again. Last time I saw them in 2012 for a string of three shows, most of the same songs were played all three nights. I know that was because Russell had recently joined the band and I'm sure it took a minute to gain familiarity with the catalogue. Lastly, I grabbed one of the mushroom zebra posters... It's fucking awesome.

I got to meet Isaac and Tom after the show. There were a bunch of people asking Isaac for pictures and taking selfies with him. He was swamped and I had already met him and gotten a picture and autograph before, so I approached Tom who was standing un-disturbed. I thanked him for the awesome show and told him how incredible I thought This Devils Workday sounded. He chatted with me a bit about living in Colorado, specifically how he drove a VW bug to Boulder in the 80s and lived there for a bit. He seemed super appreciative and happy to talk with me which was awesome. Seems like a super down to earth guy I'd love to sit down and smoke a joint with.

Anyways, awesome show, solid setlist, despite tech difficulties was a lot of fun. Long live Modest Mouse.
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby Leanne » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:32 pm

Thanks for the setlist/review!
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby LongDriveInAcar » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:43 am

Wow! Stars are projectors tease? Sick!!
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby Gregg » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:11 am

Dramamine with the usual Stars are Projectors tease

Sorry, the usual tease is "Life like Weeds", are you certain it was "Stars are Projectors"?
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby Luke » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:19 am

Woops it was life like weeds. My bad.
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Re: 4/22 Memphis TN

Postby MajinTrunkz » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:34 am

Thanks for the review! Sounds like an awesome show. I agree with Tom being a really cool guy to talk to, I've had the chance to speak with him on a couple of occasions.

Edit: Here's video of the attempt at "Bury Me With it." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFvpBjHNeDg
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