Modest Mouse x Sir Chloe
The Vic // Chicago, IL // July 31, 2021
For better or worse, live shows are back. Modest Mouse is definitely making it for the better.
It’s 2021. Music is back. For nearly 18 months, we were starved for live shows, concerts, and events, and finally, we’re getting the chance to do it all again. With more and more people being vaccinated daily, the hope is that concerts are here to stay. Lollapalooza, one of the world’s largest music festivals, took place in Chicago over the end of July/beginning of August weekend, and those brave enough to go into the 100,000+ crowd did so with gusto. For many, however, Modest Mouse‘s much more intimate set at the 1,500 person capacity venue The Vic Theatre was a far more relaxing (and undoubtedly safer) way to see one of the favorite bands.
Despite being vaccinated, I still wore a mask indoors at every after-show I shot, and The Vic was no exception. Grandstand Media, Modest Mouse’s PR company, actually insisted that all media wear masks, which I love. There’s nothing more important than keeping people safe, and none of us in this industry want to go back to the way things were in 2020. As I made my way into the photo pit, I noticed the lack of Lollapalooza bracelets on concert-goers. Most people appeared to only be seeing Modest Mouse in this venue and not the following day in Grant Park.
Indie rockers Sir Chloe opened the set, and I was surprised at how many people knew their music. It’s rare that a concert has as many fans for the opener as they do the main act, and that just goes to show how popular Sir Chloe have become. Started by singer/guitarist Dana Foote, the group includes guitarist and producer Teddy O’Mara, bassist Emma Welch, and Dana’s brother, drummer Palmer Foote. Their shoegazer-inspired rock conjures up memories of 90s bands like Garbage and Radiohead, and Dana Foote’s vocals bring a light airiness to their songs. Their song “Michelle” was my personal favorite. It reminded me of the music I used to play late at night while driving around the suburbs with the windows down: melancholy, wistful, and a hopeless yearning for everything I didn’t have as a teenager.
Modest Mouse started their set with “Dramamine”, which was actually one of my favorite songs as a teenager; I was officially back in high school now. Singer and guitarist Isaac Brock sounded exactly the same as he did on this record 20 years ago, and immediately I was singing through my mask along with 1,500 die hard Modest Mouse fans. I had expected the band to start with a song from their new album The Golden Casket, which also happens to be their first album in over six years. While the band had released three standalone singles in 2019, The Golden Casket was a long time coming for Modest Mouse fans. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long, as they soon played the first track off the new album, “Fuck Your Acid Trip.”
There is no better feeling than singing along at a live show. Modest Mouse and Sir Chloe brought that feeling back for so many people who hadn’t been to a show in over a year. We can only hope that moments like this last; the more vaccinated people we have at shows, the better. This week, many Chicago clubs and venues reinstated mask mandates, as well as requiring proof of vaccination in order to go inside. Whatever it takes to keep bands touring and playing shows, count me in.