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It was a muggy Wednesday night in Dallas, Texas but that wasn’t going to stop people from making their way to the Southside Ballroom for a nearly sold-out show to witness the magic that is Modest Mouse. I remember hearing “Float On” on the radio in the car with my mom driving. To say I was able to be up close and personal with them was bound to be a super cool moment. The artist Mattress accompanied them on their 20 year anniversary of The Lonesome Crowded West Tour.

Mattress was set to take the stage and by my surprise it was just him (and his music pad). Already getting it started in an interesting but not so surprising way for a Modest Mouse show I’d say. I can honestly say it was 100% not what I was expecting as far as sound goes, but man was the crowd into it. I can’t figure out the best way to explain it but it’s a mix of 90s electro mixed with spoken word poetry. This man was full sending it all on stage. Never did I think I’d find myself in a room experiencing anything like it but it was definitely a memorable moment to say the least.

Soon after Mattress left the stage, the lights got dim and music dropped. At this point there was very little room in the ballroom to navigate anywhere. If anything was learned that night, it was that Modest Mouse still has a massive fan base, especially in Dallas. Members start making their way on stage and then Isaac Brock walks up to the mic. Knowing we are hearing the full album; most people sat back and enjoyed the show. It’s always cool getting to hear a full album from front to back live and Modest Mouse delivered.

The lights were honestly impeccable to say the least. I loved that the drum lights illuminated the whole kit because most of the time drummers stay hidden. Each member was highlighted on stage. Hearing Isaac’s vocals live was a trip. After all these years he still sounds as good as he does on the records. The 18-song set, and 4-song encore were truly an incredible experience. You could tell in the room that Modest Mouse still knew how to put on a good show and draw a crowd – something that is hard to maintain the test of time. I’m glad I got to capture a super cool moment in time for them and hope for many more years of success in their career!

James Coffman

Photojournalist - Dallas

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