Sasquatch day 3: Electric

Ratatat’s late-nigh set closed out Sasquatch’s Sunday lineup (photo by Kyle Johnson)

Sasquatch Sunday rolled late into the night with Ratatat’s closing set. Performances leading up to the New York electric duo’s set included Beach House, Cold War Kids, Flogging Molly, Flaming Lips, and Modest Mouse.

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Foo Fighters, Modest Mouse and others route through Missoula

The secondary stage at the 2010 Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington’s Gorge Amphitheater (Photo by Christopher Nelson).
The secondary stage at the 2010 Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington’s Gorge Amphitheater (Photo by Christopher Nelson).

The nation’s live music industry remains an unpredictable environment, with fears lingering of last summer’s unusually challenging concert season where artists cancelled tours and struggled to fill seats. Yet 2011 summer music festivals are experiencing record sell-outs.

Tickets to Bonnaroo, Tennessee’s annual music fest in June, are nearly sold out. It was less than a week before tickets for Cochella—Indio, California’s annual music festival taking place next weekend—sold out.

And the northwest’s ever-growing music fest at Washington’s Gorge during memorial Day Weekend, Sasquatch sold all its 100,000 tickets (25,000 per day across four days) just a week after the lineup was announced.

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The mighty Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock in performance at the Alberta Bair Theater Sept. 3, 2009.
Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock in performance at the Alberta Bair Theater Sept. 3, 2009.

At times when Isaac Brock speaks, he’s unintelligible. But when he sings, it’s a different matter.

At Modest Mouse’s Sept. 3 appearance in Billings, Brock mumbled a few statements between songs, but it was his musicianship that impressed the most. Lead singer and guitarist for the indie rock band that hails from Issaquah, Wash., Brock fronts an accomplished lineup of performers (albeit Johnny Marr, former guitarist of the Smiths, was missing, perhaps out gigging with his Wakefield indie group The Cribs. Jim Fairchild played Marr’s guitar parts).

Modest Mouse lights up the stage at the Alberta Bair Theater.
Modest Mouse lights up the stage at the Alberta Bair Theater.

Modest Mouse played a range of songs from the band’s discography, including hits from their 2004 album Good News For People Who Love Bad News–arguably the one album that propelled them into mainstream success. They also dove into archives from This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About and The Lonesome Crowded West, the band’s first two albums, released in 1996 and 97.

Brock’s guitar produced a wild array of song, but his music was complemented by his eccentric lyrics. As the band’s main songwriter, Brock channels his poetic connection to language to create verses, which, in song, are quite infectious. From “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” to “Custom Concern” to “The World At Large,” the set list spanned the group’s diverse repertoire.

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Modest Mouse books Billings date

Modest Mouse
Issaquah, Wash. indie rock band Modest Mouse will perform in Billings Sept. 3.

Indie rock band Modest Mouse announced a tour that includes two Montana dates, Sept. 3 in Billings and Sept. 4 in Missoula.

The show, booked by Porterhouse Productions, is at the Alberta Bair Theater, a venue that holds a quarter of what the Shrine does, where Modest Mouse last performed in Billings.

Tickets for both Missoula and Billings are on sale now through the Modest Mouse Fan website for $39.50 plus applicable charges and go on sale to the general public tomorrow at noon.