Modest Mouse Hits Burlington

 Modest Mouse performed to a huge crowd at Higher Ground on October 19th bringing their eclectic sound.  flickr
Modest Mouse performed to a huge crowd at Higher Ground on October 19th bringing their eclectic sound. flickr

Burlington finally got its much needed indie-rock fix when hundreds of fans gathered at the Memorial Auditorium for the sold out Modest Mouse concert Oct. 19.

With a diverse fan base of old and young, the energy of the crowd was calm, yet excitement ruled the air. Isaac Brock, lead vocalist of the band, took the stage and a roar of shouts and praise filled the auditorium.  

The Issaquah — a Washington band formed —  has been releasing crowd-pleasing albums since forming in 1992. Their latest album, “Strangers to Ourselves,” was released March 2015. It’s their sixth studio album, produced eight years after their previous album, “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.”  

Some call it their “comeback” album.

I went to the show only knowing a few songs off this album and also anticipating a rambunctious scene, but the album itself is much more wistful and romantic.  This contributing to a more relaxed night, with small pockets of total insanity.  

Seeing Modest Mouse for the first time, I didn’t expect it to be so powerful. Despite the horrible sound quality blaring through the auditorium, the overpriced tickets and a dull setlist, Modest Mouse pulled together an incredibly moving show. The music flowed with deep emotion.

“The whole crew produced an overall sonic and excellent performance,” senior Elana Shlosman said.  “I’ve seen Modest Mouse five times and with every show I feel as though I become a bigger fan.”

While others like Shlosman were blown away by the show, some showed reservation.  

“I really enjoyed the show,” sophomore Julian Cunningham said.  “While there was no sloppiness, I feel like most of the show’s energy came from frontman Isaac Brock, rather than the band as a whole.”     

The ups and downs of the night made for mixed reviews of the show. Some parts of the night felt like a chaotic house party: rowdy, sardine-packed and almost impossible to find friends, while other moments were more promising. The light show created mesmerizing visuals and was among the best parts of the night.

There is no doubt the band has incredible talent.  Their songs drift from indie to punk to alternative rock, adding in some electronic features and orchestral instruments. Modest Mouse excels at creating entertaining and fun shows.   

They played crowd pleasers as well as a lot of new songs that weren’t as well known.  They killed it on “Lampshades on Fire,” “Education,” “Sugar Boats” and “Spitting Venom.”  

Modest Mouse ended the show with a lively six-song encore, summing up a riveting night.   


3.5 stars.