Okay, so this was my weekend in a nutshell: up at 2:30am, work until 12:30pm, attend my sister's retirement party at 2pm, volunteer at the Summer Music Festival at 4pm, high-tail it to town for Modest Mouse at 8pm, home at 11:58pm, pass out at 12:10am, curse at alarm at 4am, work from 5am-1pm, stop at the grocery store, make broccoli salad for graduation party on Sunday because I have no plan-ahead sense, go to a different graduation party, collapse for one hour, go to card club at 6:30pm, pull in the driveway at 11pm, to bed at 11:30pm, set the alarm clock ablaze at 5:30am, drag my butt to work by 6:45am, go directly to ANOTHER graduation party directly after work, drink, eat, play corn hole, go to bed at 9pm to wake at 2:30am and start the entire mess all over again.
My wounds are self-inflicted.
Needless to say, I'm fried. There's a popular phrase "I'll sleep when I'm dead." At this rate, I give it about two years before I take the big dirt nap. There's also a term "PACING" with which I need to become more familiar.
But I digress from the topic at hand...
Some days there are too many terrific things to do in Pittsburgh. Saturday was a perfect example. Our kick-ass public station, WYEP held it's free annual summer music festival at Schenley Plaza featuring local favorites Donora, Great Lake Swimmers, Sharon Van Etton and Dr. Dog.
For FREE, people. I repeat... FREE!
|the lone dancer kicking the jams to Donora|
|casey hampton of Donora|
she of the very gifted vocal chords
|outsiders think pittsburgh is a gloomy mess|
this sky right here, this sky has been here
nearly every day since january
suck it, haters
|a rare occasion where murry is sans spectacles|
|geo and i are in the adoring crowd|
listen... you can hear the birth of my obsession
Ok, that last bit was in my head. Anyway, he did give grandma here a big high-five. He did not, however, pass me his weed. BUT, the group along side of us kindly made the offer after Mary Ann declared, "I smell weed!" Good to know not all youngins are stingy with their grasses. And, boy howdy, there was a LOT of spliff burning. A lot. Enough to inspire the waifish white boys to shake their asses with reckless abandon.
P.S.: Sometimes I really love young people.
I can't say the same for Modest Mouse's work ethic. They made the crowd wait for 45 minutes in the sticky heat before they took the stage. Thank God there was a relatively steady breeze or else it could have gotten ugly with all the overheated, overimbibed patrons passing out into their own technicolor yawns.
When they finally did come out to play, the kids went nuts, singing back to them on nearly every song, dancing awkwardly, fist pumping in unison. That classic rock concert move made me laugh out loud remembering the following Blue Man Group bit on this very topic. (shuttle to 5:40 in for proper instruction)
It was fun standing in the middle of all that unbridled enthusiasm. There are a handful of Modest Mouse songs I like a great deal, (Dashboard, Float On, Fire It Up, Missed the Boat, Little Motel), but I never noticed how aggressive and shouty their songs are before now. It's like they're singing in ALL CAPS. STOP YELLING AT ME, DUDE. You can turn off the caps lock anytime. To be honest, I can't understand the lyrics without reading them, so the garbled cacophonous verses just sounded like noise.
Aaaaaaaand, I. Am. Old.
It's not to say I didn't enjoy Modest Mouse, I did. It was loud and lively and a ton of fun watching the kids pulsing in unison. What a kick that must be looking out from the stage. Towards the end of their 13 song, 70 minute master set, the crowd surfing started. There were so many kids skimming across the crowd, I lost count.
And then they left the stage with nary a word.
And we waited... and waited... and waited...
Fifteen fucking minutes later, they sauntered on stage. FIFTEEN MINUTES!!?! (SAID IN MY BEST MODEST MOUSE LYRICAL SHOUTING STYLE) That's a ridiculous length of time for an encore break, especially because we had to sit through some lame white noise tape of crickets and bird chirps and shit. It was confusing. Were they coming back? Is it over? Should we leave? What the ef? Are they getting hummers back there,or what? Is the bar stil open? Does this chick realize she's NOT in the bathroom?
Not on my shoes, Chippie. Not on the shoes.
Just when I was ready to chuck it, they came out for four more, including fan favorite Fire It Up. Instead of ending on a high note with another crowd pleaser, Float On, they finished with a somber Dylan cover, You Ain't Going Nowhere.
And then they were gone.
Just walked off without a word. No good night. No thank you, Pittsburgh. No so long, Suckers. Just... gone.
What the hell? Weird, right?
Annie summed it up perfectly by saying the finish left her filled with bewilderment.
In conclusion: I'm glad to have finally seen Modest Mouse. They were good, but I won't seek them out again. Been there. Done ... whatever that was.
Apparently, the band has had an odd history with its Pittsburgh dates. You can read all about that factoid in the PG's Scott Mervis' review which includes a partial set list here. See. It's not just this dinosaur talking through her butt.
I'm still scratching my head.