Words by Nicholas Parco | Photo by Anthony Abu Hanna

Bands usually enjoy showing off new songs when on tour. In most cases that is the part of the show when fans stop paying attention to what’s happening on-stage and go get more alcohol. Crowds always love the older stuff (especially those entitled Brand New fans).

Despite multiple rumors almost every year since their most recent releases, Brand New and Modest Mouse have not released any new music this decade. Modest Mouse has a handful of songs that they only play live and aren’t on any albums, but Brand New has been silent since releasing Daisy in 2009. At this point, die-hard fans of both groups would foam at the mouth to hear new music.

Still, both bands have massive, devoted fan bases that filled Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens to capacity on Saturday, August 9th.

Brand New, which has co-headlined for Modest Mouse on a number of occasions on their current tour, hit the stage first at 6:30 p.m. sharp to a crowd of excited and sweaty fans (thanks to the blazing heat). A homecoming show of sorts, the Long Island-based band brought the energy and passion that they have a reputation of showing only on occasion.

Front man Jesse Lacey tested his vocals to the max with a set full of songs from Daisy and The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me— intense, heavy, numbers that are much different than band’s first two releases. Shockingly, the crowd seemed content with the song selection, despite only hearing three songs from the beloved Deja Entendu. For reasons unknown to me, fans usually knock Brand New’s edgier, more recent songs, but the crowd enjoyed them at the Queens show as evidenced by the multiple pits near the front of GA throughout the evening.

Amidst the loud set, Brand New played a quiet deep cut that is rarely heard live, ‘Brothers (Untitled 03)’, before going into angsty fan favorites ‘Okay I Believe You but My Tommy Gun Don’t’ and ‘Seventy Times 7’. Lacey’s neck veins bulged as he screamed the words to ‘Jesus’ and set closer ‘You Won’t Know’.

As the sun went down and it cooled off, Modest Mouse lead singer Isaac Brock came out on stage wearing a button down and a winter hat (like the hipster he is) and proceeded to please the crowd with a set full of songs from the Washington band’s more commercial hits, beginning with ‘The World at Large’.

Following a powerful performance of ‘Ocean Breathes Salty’, Brock’s signature slam-poet delivery of lyrics was highlighted on ‘Doin’ the Cockroach’ and ‘Cowboy Dan’. The indie rockers pleased just about all 17,000 fans in attendance when they encored with their biggest hit, ‘Float On’.

Before closing the night with ‘The Good Times Are Killing Me’, Brock explained the strict 10 p.m. curfew the venue has in place to the crowd, and how he wouldn’t be able to afford playing a minute later. Maybe we will get some new Modest Mouse material after all.


TheWaster.com | Queens