Modest Mouse @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY – June 20th 2008

It’s 11am on Thursday, and I’m checking my email. An email from Epic Records entitled “A Morning With Modest Mouse” is in my inbox. Most of these form emails from the record company list information you learned from reading a fan forum two weeks prior; but this was not the case. The email went on to announce a special early morning show at Music Hall of Williamsburg at 1:30am (yes 1:30 AM!) Friday morning. Fresh off the Madison Square Garden stage with REM Thursday night, the band would head over to Brooklyn for a special performance which would be in the middle of the night Thursday into Friday morning. Tickets would go on sale an hour later for $20. And 13 hrs later I was waiting in line to enter the Music Hall, as fans lined up in droves seeking extra tickets.  The Music Hall of Willamsburg has a capacity of 550, and the tickets sold out in less than 4 minutes.

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Much like The Bowery, the Music Hall allows for an intimate show.  After a lengthy sound check (doors opened at 1am and MM didn’t take the stage until 2:30), drummers Jeremiah Green and Joe Plummer took the stage. To the crowd’s surprise, they dove into the drum pattern of “Trailer Trash.” Johnny Marr, Eric Judy and frontman Isaac Brock followed. The opener set the stage for MM to dig deep into their catalog for some classics off of “This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About,”  Thoughout the set, the band jammed on songs (for this all-Mouse audience) that perhaps might not have gone over with the REM crowd. After the opener, the band went into intense versions of “Breakthrough” and “Dance Hall,” before a crowd pleasing, long version of “Dramamine.”

Brock was talkative and commented about his affirmation for the Silver Jews and told a story on the origins of “Wild Pack of Family Dogs.”  Later a long/jam version of “Tiny Cites Made of Ashes” brought raw emotion, only available at 3:30am.  As if screaming into a guitar pickup for a distorted mantra of “Does anybody know a way that a body could get away?” wasn’t enough, Brock started an impromtu mosh pit when he jumped into the crowd while the band continued the song. Brock was on fire thoughout the entire set and did not let up until finishing up with “The Good Times Are Killing Me,” right before they were forced off stage by a 4am curfew.

This “secret” show was one for the memories and easily the best show of the year.

The Set List:

Trucker’s Atlas
Breakthrough
Fire It Up
Dance Hall
Dashboard
Dramamine
Wild Pack Of Family Dogs
We’ve Got Everything
Satin In A Coffin
Little Motel
Paper Thin Walls
Tiny Cites of Ashes
Whale Song
The Good Times Are Killing Me

Mark Written by:

Avid concert goer and film buff obsessed with indie and electronic music.

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