With eight guitars lining the stage, a trumpet, a banjo and the floor-shaking beats of not one, but two drummers, Modest Mouse rocked the Grand Siera Resort on Tuesday night with considerable ease.
And often, all lead singer Isaac Brock would say in between songs was a simple "Thank you very much" — modest to say the least.
The indie-rock band from Washington, taking a break from its tour with R.E.M. and The National, sold out the The Grand Theatre to crowds of eager plaid-flannel-and-skinny-jean-wearing fans, proving that despite mainstream success, the band's music hasn't been compromised.
Opening band A Decent Animal, which kicked off the show with a set sounding similar to alternative band Built to Spill, warmed up the slowly growing crowd. A Decent Animal's music made for a nice transition to the lone whistle melody, punchy beats and guitar riffs of Modest Mouse's first song "The View."
Brock's distinctive yelp singing excited the crowd, as the lower standing-only section broke out into dancing, many singing loudly along with the songs they had come to know by heart.
Although the stage decor was simple, Modest Mouse made up for it with numerous instrumental switches, between electric guitars, a banjo, a trumpet, a bass and even the more unconventional choice of a melodica, an instrument that is a combination of an accordian and harmonica.
The majority of the songs played came from the Mouse's more popular albums, including the platinum-selling "Good News For People Who Love Bad News" and the 2007 release "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank." The crowd easily recognized current hit songs like "Dashboard" and "Float On," but the lesser-known songs like "Satin In A Coffin" and "Education" proved the band's ability to produce worthy songs, regardless of radio play.
The six-member band eventually played "Little Motel" from "We Were Dead ...," a fitting selection since the song's video was filmed in Reno. The crowd held up lighters and cell phones while swaying to the slow, melancholy beat.
After a little over a dozen songs, the band retired backstage, only to be chanted back for an encore by a crowd that seemed to just not get enough.
It was then, upon playing some of their final songs, that several fans jumped on stage, dancing and caught up in the music. Although they were escorted off, security visibly counted to five to give the fan some time next to the band.
The band's final song, "The Good Times Are Killing Me" from "Good News ...," a bittersweet song about the overpowering control of drug use, ended the concert on a somber note, reminding fans of Modest Mouse's ability to tackle serious subject matter.
And while there was no second encore as the crowd chanted again, it's clear the good times don't seem to be killing Modest Mouse or its continued success as a versatile and orginal band with a faithful following.