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Modest Mouse Returns To Grinders!

Story and Photos: Haley Mullenix

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Now back to the story....

After a four month wait Modest Mouse made a triumphant return to Grinders in the crossroads of Kansas City Monday night (9/5). Back in May the show had to be postponed due to inclement weather, but now in September, the cool winds of early fall welcomed them kindly.  Grinders, a combined pizza joint and music venue, is a popular spot to locals. This outdoor space, with woodchips on the ground and picnic tables towards the back has a park-esque feel, making it a cozy spot perfect for summer and fall shows. The last time I visited was 2014 to see Panic! at the Disco, so I was excited to finally be back!

Joining Modest Mouse all the way from West Yorkshire were The Cribs. I had never heard of them before but as they took the stage and began their set, many up front sang their words back loudly! The Cribs brought me back to 2014 when I was last at Grinders with their alternative indie rock sound and a dash of pop punk vocals. Vocalist Ryan Jarman paused between songs to say with a laugh, “We’ve traveled a long way to warm you up, so if we don’t do our jobs…we’ll go home really sad!” Luckily it wouldn’t be a sad homecoming for the trio, as the crowd simply couldn’t help but sway their bodies and nod their heads. As the band moved into their last couple of songs Ryan, Johnny Marr, also on guitar, and brother Ross Jarman on drums led the crowd to a beat clap to commence the set. Standing on the drums and yelling the final words out, the band was met with whoops and cheers as a final goodbye. Throwing his guitar to the ground with a final strum of chords Ryan's guitar rang out with an ominous hum as they stepped off the stage. 

As The Cribs brought us into the sunset the sky darkened and the stage lights came up setting the scene for Modest Mouse. After much anticipation the band opened their set with the dreamy, nearly six minute long "Dramamine". If I could describe this song as a color it’d be blue, it's very airy and has a bit of a groovy instrumental. The crowd was all smiles as they finally came face to face for this long awaited gathering. As the set progressed lead singer Isaac Brock took a moment to thank everyone for returning, and led with a story telling tone, “The month was May, the band was Modest Mouse, this is an apology.” The band was met with various cheers of, “We love you!” Followed by “Yes we do!” 

The love for the band was very evident and as I watched from up on the lawn I considered myself a very lucky witness. Isaac even took a moment to announce that he was, “actually having a really nice time.” He continued saying, “Thank you for that…that’s really important to me.” 

I actually had a friend who was working security for the show and when I asked what her takeaway was she replied, “It was a night with a full spectrum of emotions. I saw people crying from how moved they were by the music. Lots of laughter and tears, and of course lots of people shaking their booties too!” And it’s true! Isaac told a story on how their guitarist quit playing for months, he cut in by saying, “It made me sick! Couldn’t even look at it.” Then he continued, “But I'm back now.” As Isaac began playing “3rd Planet” he quickly stopped one verse into the song to look at his bandmates around him. “Am I in the wrong key? Am I the one who quit playing guitar?” He was met with a chuckle from the audience as he turned back to them loudly proclaiming, “No refunds!” 

Modest Mouse had such a connection with the crowd. Even a venue worker was so distracted by the show they ran right into me while their head was turned to watch! The band played another handful of songs before Isaac began pointing at each person on the barricade asking, “How are you doin? How are YOU doin? What about you?” Which quickly turned into an impromptu song with the whole band jumping in as he continued his questionnaire. They had the crowd laughing and soon broke into the heavily anticipated “Float On”. This is when the tears started flowing. With blue lights shining and a cool breeze blowing the mood had shifted, not into one of sadness, but of hope and togetherness. The crowd jumped and swayed with a connectivity that was inspiring. It’s amazing to see first hand how music moves people and is forever a privilege. 

The band soon jumped off stage and the crowd eagerly cheered them back for an encore. “One more song!” was chanted over and over, until finally the drums kicked in and they were back! Before jumping into “Ansel” Isaac offered some advice with a laugh. “Ill teach you to negotiate real quick. Request MORE songs and see what we bring to the table.. I wrote this next song in business school, same place I got that advice.” And just like that, Isaac had the crowd laughing again.

Modest Mouse came to Kansas City after a long anticipated wait. I personally had a great time at the show and I think everyone left feeling more connected to the band they love. As they finished their final song the band all gave a wave and Isaac parted the stage with a final goodbye. “Goodnight, if you’re drinking don't drive! Take care of yourselves.”

Modest Mouse has several dates left on their U.S. tour so definitely check them out soon!

09/07 – Tulsa, OK @ Tulsa Theater

09/09 – Louisville, KY @ Iroquois Amphitheater

09/10 – Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl Nashville

09/11 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle

11/18 – Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theater

11/19 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Spokane

11/21 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox

11/22 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox

11/25 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom

11/27 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom

11/30 – Oakland, CA @ The Fox Theatre

12/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern

12/02 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park

12/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren

12/05 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater

12/06 – New Orleans, LA @ Fillmore New Orleans

12/07 – Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom

12/09 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre

12/10 – St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre

12/11 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee

12/13 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

12/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore Philadelphia

12/16 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner

12/17 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5

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Modest Mouse

The Cribs

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