Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Modest Mouse @ United Palace Theatre 4/29/2007
On Sunday night I took my first trip to the newly re-opened United
Palace Theatre to see Man Man and Modest Mouse (Unfortunately I did not make it in time for Love As Laughter). First off I want to say that United Palace Theatre is a very nice venue and easily accessible by the A train (take it to 175th Street and get off by the 175th St & Ft Washington exit and you are block away). The theatre is similar to beacon in aesthetics but for some reason reminded me more of the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA. The only downside of United Palace is that I really felt that sound was only coming out of the left side (I was sitting row LL dead center) and that the bathroom lines are very long...besides that, the venue is pretty sweet.
Onto the bands. For me- Man Man is probably the best band out there for Modest Mouse to take out on their tour. They remind me of Modest Mouse in the late 90's when they were either a band you loved or hated. Man Man has this unique sound that really blends the voice of Tom Waits with the music of Frank Zappa. And before you go getting upset-no, I am not calling this band genious's like either of the forementioned artists but this band is definitley creating music that is not being made by your average Philly band. Their set consisted mostly of material from their latest album "Six Demon Bag" and it was damn good (if you don't own this album I suggest getting it....it's definitely different but something to be enjoyed). I would say the fact that they had some people out of their seats getting down to the music was a good sign considering it seemed that 97% of that audience was there for Modest Mouse.
As for headliner, I must say they delivered. After having seen them play Webster Hall and the Bowery Ballroom a few months back I was a little skeptical about how this show would go considering I knew I was going along with an audience that i am guessing only knew the band based on the success of their last two albums (something I felt was not the case at the Bowery).
Right when they opened the show with "Paper Thin Walls" I just had a feeling this night was going to be good. The band then played through a couple of new songs before getting it on for a real rockin' "Bukowski" which found the audience screaming lyrics at the top of their lungs. It was after a few tunes that Issac played the opening notes to one of my all time favorite tunes from one of my all time favorite albums, "Trailer Trash" (if you do not own The Lonesome Crowded West then stop reading this now and buy it). The show could have ended at that moment and I would have slept a happy camper but the band continued to march on and get into what was the shows absolute highlight, "Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes". It was at the beginning of this song that Issac left the stage for about 5 minutes leaving all guitar duties to Mr. Marr who absolutley nailed it...after it became clear that the rest of the band was not sure when Issac was going to return to the stage, they decided to cover the lyrics as well. It should be noted that this was not your every day show from Issac who was clearly not feeling well-limited banter but still gave 100%. Once he re-joined his bandmates all insanity broke loose... and I mean ALL insanity. Arms flailing, heads bopping, the crowd jumping out of their seats, and people singing word for word with Issac. The crowd became so alive and out control that all problems occupying one's mind were put aside and life was grand and this- this IS the reason why I so love live music.
They went onto play "People As Places As People" and full on rocking "Doin' The Cockroach" ending the set with "The View". Closing out the night the encore consisted of two new songs, "Fly Trapped In a Jar" and "Spitting Venom." This was cool with me considering I was already a satisfied customer along with everyone else making their way home on the A train with Modest Mouse stuck in their heads.
United Palace Theatre
Paper Thin Walls / Ocean Breathes Salty / Dashboard / Fire It Up /
Bukowski / Florida / Float On / Trailer Trash / Education / Tiny
Cities Made Of Ashes / People As Places As People / Doin' The
Cockroach / The View / Encore: Fly Trapped / Spitting Venom
*photos via http://www.youngna.com/youngna/pages/gallery.htm- (from Webster Hall) check out the rest, beautiful work!