Live Review: Modest Mouse, Pearls

24 March 2016 | 6:44 pm | Hannah Blackburn

"... almost as if his sarcasm transforms into anger, Brock bursts into the next song, filling the room with his energy, and it's mesmerising."

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After entering Margaret Court Arena, we buy some beers — served up on a plastic tray — and head into the venue just in time. Pearls immediately grab us with their cool, easygoing attitude, which could almost convince us they're unhappy doing what they do, but that is the sassy story they're trying to tell. This grunge/pop/rock band convey it well.

After a short intermission, the sound of buzzing bees fills the room. The stage lights start flashing, and everyone is kept waiting while Modest Mouse linger in the shadows. Then they jump on stage and straight into Ocean Breathes Salty from their fourth album Good News For People Who Love Bad News. During their first song, Modest Mouse bust out a seven-piece band with Jeremiah Green and Davey Brozowski both on drums plus Ben Massarella on percussion. Isaac Brock starts speaking and someone in the crowd heckles, "Mumble harder!" After which Brock enquires, "I should mumble harder?" Then, almost as if his sarcasm transforms into anger, Brock bursts into the next song, filling the room with his energy, and it's mesmerising. Brock stops again in between songs and notices the room is "fucking huge. It's crazy!" Then he tells us he's forgotten how to set up his peddle board for the next song, which we find hard to believe since this band have been together for around 24 years.

There are two sets of keys onstage, played by Tom Peloso and Lisa Molinaro. Molinaro jumps from keys to violin to bass and then dabbles in vocals as well. Modest Mouse bust into Lampshades On Fire, off their sixth album, Strangers To Ourselves. Brock switches from acoustic to electric guitar, then to banjo, before inviting some brass players to the stage. Now the band exceeds ten members and they play This Devil's Workday, revisiting their fourth album. After playing Black Cadillacs, Brock lights up a cigarette and wanders around 'til they thank us and then leave the stage.

We all beg for one more song. Modest Mouse finally reappear and get straight into Shit In Your Cut then crowd fave Float On. After finally activating the disco ball that has been looming over our heads all night, and the band's five-song encore, we realise we've been blessed by Modest Mouse's performance and it's officially time to go.

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