Modest Mouse runs amok

Lindsay Semph and Mike Korcek

Sunday, Nov. 11, in the Eagle’s Ballroom at The Rave in Milwaukee, people from many walks of life witnessed the forces of Modest Mouse in all their aggressive glory.United with the efforts of opening acts Love is Laughter and Man Man, the night progressed into dance floor chaos and musical mayhem.

Love is Laughter, straight off an express flight from Brooklyn, set a mellow tone early in the evening that was soon to be contested by the following performances.

Blowing Love is Laughter off the stage with their multi-instrumental theatrics and random antics, Man Man proved indeed to be not only be men but men squared, mathematically speaking.

Instigating raucous reactions from the masses, Man Man complemented the energy of Modest Mouse and functioned as a seamless transition.

Running amok onstage with kazoos and drumsticks soaring through the air, screaming in unison, and using unconventional percussive instruments such as cans, tubes, and a bowl of water, this “ensemble” sparked thoughts of Dada-esque performances.

The sea of concertgoers went with the flow of Man Man’s crazy vibes and was overwhelmed by the appearance of Modest Mouse, most notably the ferocity of lead singer/guitarist/banjoist Isaac Brock.

It was interesting to see Johnny Marr, former guitarist of The Smiths, rocking it out as another new member of the group. Drawing mostly from their newest album that came out this past April, “We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank,” the performance seemed reminiscent of pre-“Float On” Modest Mouse rockability.

This album, with its upbeat and enthusiastic melodies, justifies the fact that many shows on this tour have sold out, as was evident in Milwaukee with the crowd spilling past general admission, encroaching into “much needed” bar space.

All in all, the concert was nothing short of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (in a more mammalian sense).

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