Written by Samuel Barker
Feb 20, 2005 at 08:00 PM
Isaac Brock of Modest MouseThe last time Modest Mouse came to town, there were trying out songs for the then yet-to-be-named Good News for People Who Love Bad News. A sold-out crowd at the Engine Room was in a buzz for a chance to hear the new songs being performed by the band after fearing for a time that Modest Mouse may have been no more.

Since that time, Jeremiah Green had rejoined the band after a brief hiatus to remedy mental health issues, but was not without problems, getting out of jail in Austin just in time for this show after missing the show in Grand Prairie. Also, Good News for People Who Love Bad News has had two successful singles (Ocean Breathes Salty and Float On), sold a half-million copies and broke the band through to the mainstream, despite Brock staying true to the musical and lyrical themes of past.

Graduating up to the Verizon showed to be a simple task for Modest Mouse, as they sold the venue out with relative ease. Fans new and old filled the venue to see the band tear through some classic and, of course, a good helping of Good News for People Who Love Bad News. As the lights dropped, the packed house filled the air with screams as the band made their way through the darkness to their positions.

As the lights slowly came up, bassist Eric Judy began the opening bass riff to Dramamine. As the rest of the band came in, the audience quieted allowing Brock to clearly deliver the lyrics without interruption. It took no more than a few seconds before the band burst into their current single, Ocean Breathes Salty, which was met with applause as many of the new comers were met with a song they knew.

In a set front loaded with tracks from Good News for People Who Love Bad News, the band catered to the newer fans. Seeing Brock strap on a banjo for Bukowski and Satin In A Coffin showed the new avenues the band was willing to explore with their music. Their other single, Float On, was met with the loudest applause of the night, showing how much of the audience is from the newer generation of Modest Mouse fan.

Of course, it was not difficult to hear the older fans screaming along with staples like Doin’ The Cockroach, Interstate-8 and the closer for the night, Never-Ending Math Equation. As good mix of old and new brought the night together nicely and showed the cohesiveness of the band’s catalog.

For a band that was on the brink of peril two years ago, Modest Mouse was back with a fever that showed as Brock added intensity to the songs that was only subtle before. Rather than walking through the motions now that they sold a few records, Modest Mouse seemed more determined and alive than ever.