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Modest Mouse at Washington State Fair | September 21, 2017

Review and Photos by Camille Germain

As Built To Spill opened with loud and steady drumming, purple and blue lights lit the fog acting as a runway to the musicians. Almost seamlessly, the clear vocals streamed across the audience. The flow of the songs hit each body with a force to move. Dressed down and ready to rock, Built To Spill was a fantastic pairing to the extravaganza that is Modest Mouse.

The Washington State Fair seemed to bring on the low energy of tired folks and a seated venue, but despite fitting the standard of fair shows that usually do not seem deliver like other venues Modest Mouse gave us quite the performance. While waiting for them to make their appearance, their routine buzzing filled the audience with nostalgic reverb and amplified excitement. It seemed to take longer than usual for the band to appear, as though the audience was not giving them what they wanted. And I don’t blame them, it was a bit of a sad group of concert goers at first.

“I’m going to mumble at you,” Isaac Brock declared at one of his many verbal intervals, which couldn’t be closer to the truth. Brock has his style down and it’s going to stick. In his standard raggy yellow t-shirt he delivered his comedic anecdotes that threaded through the cold air with anticipated satisfaction. “It’s no one’s fault but I thought it would be 15 degrees colder and I thought it would be raining. And I thought I’d be able to complaining, complainin’s fun.” Each time Brock engaged the crowd, the warmer everything got. The lights progressed to warmer tones, the chairs were detached from their people, and movement took over.

Modest Mouse is a glorified rendition of musical chairs, bringing to their fans talented and lively musicians that switch off their designated instrument. This is a band that is eccentric, serious and also goofy, giving us a versatile and intriguing show to watch every time. And every time they deliver. From start to finish their performance was on point and layered, beginning with their first song of “The World At Large” tying in their classics to newer hits., and ending with “Dashboard”.

With an extravagant light show, Modest Mouse matched it with precision (or vice versa). Being at this show brought to life all those times of being drunk in a car riding along country roads to their music. Loud and filling every inch of skin, their music became three-dimensional in a whirlwind of a moment. They played, sweat dripping off all of their faces, until the very end. The audience was screaming for more, but they only came back to tell us the city’s ordinance wouldn’t let them play more to their hour and a half performance. Despite no encore, it was a fantastic show where they sounded as clear live as recorded. Modest Mouse has passion that doesn’t waiver. This show was worth the trip down from Seattle to Puyallup for two talented groups of locals.

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