Road Trip

David and I went on a road trip (minor). We went to see Modest Mouse in Houston. It was a pretty good show, but I think MM should practice more before touring. They had numerous problems throughout the set and no transition from one song to another. They came on the stage said,”No need to chat lets just play.” Then they played for an hour without saying anything which wasnt the lyrics of the song. (For those that dont know MM) There songs are small in comparison to other artists I frequently pay money to see. NiN Pink Floyd . . . Average song lasts about 1 1/2 mins. This wouldnt be a problem if they didnt stop for a good 2 – 3 mins between songs. The endings were abrupt like someone turned off the speakers and the beginnings were usually them tuning the guitar with some cords then bam off into the song. Why does this bother me so? I prefer to view a show as an event or performance, not a bootleg cd on shuffle. There was no order to the songs, and the fact that one of the main members kept walking off to sit on the side during songs he had no part in. Trent Reznor writes songs by himself, but yet he can arrange the pieces of the performance for 5 other individuals where they perform on every song. This adds new melodies, new chords, new harmonies to a great song. The audience gets to hear something “new” while also hearing that “old” song which has been given huge amounts of airplay. It works really well. Unfortunately MM did nothing of the sort. If the original song did not have the chello or standup bass, then the poor man must sit on the sidelines. At least they could have arranged the order of the songs so he could come on for the second have as Nirvana had done with their chello player. There was even a chance for members of the Opening Act’s Opening Act hehe to perform with MM. THe opening act’s opening act really really really bit ass. It was a local band which when on the verge of sounding decent would allow their lead singer to vocalize. These members of the opening act’s opening act came onto the stage and performed the song “The Good Life is Killing Me”. Its an easy song to perform with. All they had to do was sing the chorus at the correct time which is “The Good Life is Killing Me” and supposedly beat some tamberines, but MM performed it at the wrong time. This would have been a decent encore song. Introduce the opening act’s opening act band members, sing the song, get the audience to sing the chorus a few times and then say goodnight and leave. This would have been a decent end, yet they failed in this. They performed it 1/2 way through the set with no leadup and no introductions or words out of the context of the song. So did I enjoy the band’s performance. Yes and No. I enjoy their songs from the newest album. In fact I would put it amoungst the top 10 albums of the year. Yet, they failed in so many areas to pull off a good performance. Technical difficulties they were not prepared for. A staged encore. Only one member of the band which seemed to be really into the songs. Luckily he was the singer. The rest of the show was halting and disenchanting and amateur. So Guys of MM please do us a favor if the next album is as successful as this one please pay someone to help you pratice and stage a true performance. (I wont even begin to talk about the lighting which was minimalistic at best.)

Did I enjoy myself last night? I did overwhelmingly. Sitting in a Truck Stop at Midnight discussing futures and failures with David is one of those moments I will never forget. I will miss being able to see him on a daily even weekly basis. He is going to graduate this semester and I will someday graduate. We will move to other parts of the country. maybe even other countries. We will probably talk once a week at least at first, but there wont be nights like last night. That bites.


PS Driving to Houston and back in one night to teach a class in the morning — costly. Wasting a few hours talking to your younger brother who will be a great man one day — priceless.

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