Concert Review: Modest Mouse Crush A 'Fox'


What do a banjo, horns, a cello, guitars, a violin, two sets of drums and powerful lyrics have in common?  They all belong comfortably in the Modest Mouse family.  Making their way through the West Coast, Modest Mouse sold out Fox Theater in Pomona, CA on 05/28/17.  With a lengthy discography, any fan of the band knows that their setlist can and will be unpredictable.  Playing for attendees 19 songs in total, including their encore, this 2,000 capacity room was full of enthusiasm for the illustrious musicians.  I had heard through friends that with Modest Mouse you are either in for a night of greatness or total let down, it just depended on what you like most about them.  Therefore, I went in blindly.  


Fans lined up early around the restored movie palace in order to land that limited spot access on the floor space and were warmly welcomed by the vibrant Mattress, a solo artist on a synthesizer and a microphone producing a sound unlike any other.  Setting the stage up under the warm amber lights, MM’s crew strategically placed each instrument while fans counted the numerous pieces in front of them.  Once everything was turned on and in tune the lights went down and one by one each member came out and started into their part of “Shit In Your Cut.”  Overwhelming cheers came from the crowd after their intro as they went right in to “Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes” and “Missed The Boat.” This almost two hour setlist, yes you read that right, seemed to have a selection that not everyone was taking a liking to.  Looking around, fans of all ages ranges seemed more in to their phones during “Dashboard” and “Wicked Campaign” instead of what was right in front of them.

Creating a set this much in length requires endurance that didn’t falter with the band but more with the crowd.  Towards the last three songs,  fans started to make their exit and close out their night early with Modest Mouse. Those that stuck around lit up with satisfaction when the instrumentalists started in with “Float On.”  Ending off with “The Tortoise And The Tourist,” the members left the stage calmly and coolly leaving their manifold of instruments behind.  After the typical chant for more throughout the venue, the gifted group returned for three more before officially concluding their night with Pomona.

An unforgettable experience will be what I will always remember from this night.  Along with others, the setlist wasn’t my favorite either but it wasn’t about the song selection for me that was needed to make their show unbelievable.  It’s their skills and expertise with each instrument they play.  Each member plays more than one piece which gives them that sound and performance that left me nodding with a smile and thinking “remarkable.”  You never know what you’re going to get from this band on stage, but that should be the drawing in factor, the all aspect unpredictability that comes with Modest Mouse.


  1. Shit In Your Cut
  2. Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
  3. Missed the Boat
  4. Doin’ The Cockroach
  5. Satin In A Coffin
  6. The Devil’s Workday
  7. Bukowski
  8. Dashboard
  9. Baby Blue Sedan
  10. Wicked Campaign
  11. The Whale Song
  12. The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box
  13. Styrofoam Boots
  14. Perfect Disguise
  15. Float On
  16. The Tortoise And The Tourist


  1. Fire It Up
  2. Sugar Boats
  3. Shit Luck


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