Brand New/Modest Mouse Concert Review

By Mathew Zuniga
Music Journalist

Two bands I love coming together for a massive summer tour, count me in! Brand New and Modest Mouse came together at the 360 Amphitheater in Austin for a night of music, nostalgia and a taste of what is to come. 

The tour saw both bands rotating order with Modest Mouse opening some shows and vice-versa. In Austin it was Brand New that opened up the gig, forty-minutes late to be exact. As I am sure you are aware, Texas is hot and the New York emo boys were not having it. It seems the lead singer, Jesse Lacey, didn’t want to be in direct sunlight, so he delayed the start of the show until the Texas sun fell beneath the horizon. Understandable some fans were both audibly and physically upset. However, once the group entered the stage it seemed all had forgotten about the wait and an uproar of excitement came from the sold out crowd. Brand New started the night off with mostly songs off The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me but soon got to the fan favorites off of Deja Entendu. Brand New sounded amazing, combining their energy into even their slower, darker songs. As usual the band did very little to no talking and just belted out song after song. I was extremely happy with the performance. I was although disappointed with one aspect of the show. No songs off of their debut album, Your Favorite Weapon, were played. It’s understandable as that record does not quite reflect the band they are today, but I would have still loved to sing along to the pop-punk goodness.

Band Pic
Photo by Mathew Zuniga

I was extremely curious how the crowd would be for this concert billed with both an emo-punk band and a lighter indie-alternative band. I have seen Brand New before, but never Modest Mouse so I was not sure how the two fanbases would mix. I do believe although both bands are not the same genre they both share many qualities. Both bands pen sarcastic and witty lyrics that don’t always seem to make much sense. Modest Mouse has always had a punk undertone in their songs and I think a track like Dramamine could definitely be filed under emo. When Brand New first took the stage some fans rushed the barrier and instantly began forming a mosh pit area. However, it did take a few songs to form because the crowd was so packed. I was curious how the more violent crowd would be amongst the Modest Mouse fans, but it was all fine and dandy in the end.

Modest Mouse took the stage next, after setting up for their surprising amount of touring band members. Playing a great mix of songs with a healthy dose off of, arguably their most iconic album, Good News For People Who Love Bad News and We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank, my favorite album, along with other classics and a couple singles from their recent album. Much like Brand New, Modest Mouse did not chat much but pumped out a surprising amount of songs, considering many of their songs run past the four minute mark. Fans favorites like Dramamine, Tiny Cities Made of Ashes and of course Float On had the entire audience singing along without missing a beat. The many instruments and spot on vocals made for an extremely pleasant listening experience.

The concert featured both bands having full sets, which meant both bands played well over a hour. So despite being only two bands the show did seem to go on forever. Although not a bad thing because both bands performed phenomenally. Brand New’s delay did push the show late into the night, but fans stuck it out and enjoyed the entire night. The venue was a great part of the experience as well. Although I love smaller venues like Mohawk and The Parish, being part of such a large crowd felt accepting and the night still felt up close and personal, I was in the pit area next to the stage. Overall, the concert was great and I will make sure to catch both bands next time they come through town as well as reccomend their live performances to any fans of the bands.

James Jordan II

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