At first glance, it’s no coincidence that bands like Brand New and Modest Mouse could sell out Madison Square Garden. Although the bands are a little different within their own musical perspective, they have equally devoted fan bases. Both bands are in the grey area of their genres. They are not too mainstream, but well-known enough to make their imprints. The crowd which was a mix of 20 and 30-year-old fans who either glued themselves to the front of the barricade or calmly watched their show from their seats. This was a different type of night that would not be rowdy per say – it was more sophisticated.
Modest Mouse is known to change-up their sets on a consistent basis. It would be hard pressed to find that any show was the same than the night before. This particular night was not for the fans that may know them for the undeniable hit, “Float On”. This was a set for the fans that were interested in the lesser known songs. Lead singer/guitarist Issac Brock lead on with his familiar, spontaneous energy and cowl as the band flowed through songs like the bass driven “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” and the underrated “Third Planet”. The newer “Lampshades on Fire” had a spontaneous outro to it whereas the entire set made use of the entire band. The energy was a little more subdued especially going into Brand New that would more lively, but the band stuck to their set and flow.
Throughout the months, there have been lyric sheets, single songs released, and hints of Brand New’s end to come. Even the tour merch that was being sold during the concert had the years 2000-2018 emboldened upon it. As every video surfaces of front man/guitarist Jessie Lacey‘s insistence that the band will come to an end, the furious love for the band only intensifies. Starting with a simple introduction, “hello, we’re Brand New”, the guitar strings to “Sink” began with a mix of smoke and darkened lights. The first two songs off 2009’s Daisy, (“Sink” and “Gasoline”) melded well going into “Millstone”, which enabled fans to chant the lyrics, “my own stone around my neck”. They were the hometown heroes returning to their state after a seven-year layoff from playing a show. The band played their set list pretty close to their favorites like “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades” and “Luca”. The new songs like “Mene” and “I Am A Nightmare” were missing, but you have to figure that the band has one last tour run in them with a farewell album in the works.
Not any band can sell out the storied Madison Square Garden in New York – let alone, do it within minutes that tickets go on sale. Opposites do attract when it comes to good music and the night was full of it.
Check out the full gallery from the show here.