Photographs by Sean Chin.
“I love a good storm”, Isaac Brock said. Unlike us all, he was disappointed that the horrible weather had passed Toronto and that there was smooth sailing ahead for the Modest Mouse show in Toronto. Brocks language during his banter was foul and slurred, which makes his whimsical lyricism of poetic majesty all the more interesting. In the end, he’s an everyday man who made it big, and if he hasn’t truly grasped his ability to captivate people just yet then maybe he never will. He and his band simply perform without any strings attached and that alone is a very good time. Their set was only about an hour long, which Brock blamed on the “fucking stupid curfew”, and I think we could have all done with some more Modest Mouse, yet their set was short and graceful.
The short set did have a lot of the good hits us fans know and love deeply, with all of their albums being touched upon (we had a healthy dose of The Moon and Antarctica which was good news to me, and I don’t really like bad news). Before their staple Float On, Brock commented on the planes landing in the distance. That’s the beauty of Modest Mouses music. Brock clearly couldn’t have planned that banter. Their music just fits any mood and any time. With so many credible songs to choose from, the emotions couldn’t have been misread and the narratives told would have fit anyways. With Brock singing that he has a reputation for ruining things for people, we all sang along happily but we related deep inside.
Brock explained why he keeps his hat on and whips it off at random. He likes to keep the sweat out of his eyes (to avoid looking like Popeye the Sailor Man; his words) and then he likes to feel the breeze. He may have some pride with his craft and his natural talent, but he is indeed modest with who he is as a person. However, a mouse he is not. He may feel small with his lyrics of death and the abundance of life, but he and his band are clear examples of people, like you and like me, making it in this cruel world alive. That connectivity united us all and the music kept us going; we’ll all float on.