Modest Mouse – The Helix – 11-07-15
And so the adventure begins, a trip to a venue rarely used for rock concerts in Dublin. The Helix is regularly used for theatre and other live events but to have a big rock band out there is something of a first. It’s an obvious enough choice as a large purpose built venue not too far from the city centre. It has the feel of Vicar street, only stretched outwards!
The first obvious thing about this gig is that normal rules didn’t apply. Any regular gig goer in Dublin is well aware that the main act is generally on stage by nine thirty and is thanking Dublin around eleven-ish. It was something of a surprise to see second support act Ellie King still on stage at nine thirty and the main act only emerging at ten thirty. The lack of a curfew was much appreciated, but I’d imagine those on public transport were a bit miffed at the gig finishing after midnight.
The band were a nine piece on the night with a heavy percussion section of three members, with guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals. There was even occasional banjo, violin, double bass and some brass to vary the sound. They opened the night with ‘Of Course We Know’ in a set that was quite heavy with their new album. We did get a number of older classic songs such as ‘Ocean Breathes Salty’ and ‘Float On’.
The crowd were your typical Friday night crew with as much interest in the bar as the band, and many seemed oblivious that there was a band on stage at all. Isaac Brock must have thought that the crowd were particularly unresponsive to his banter, but in truth most just didn’t know what he was saying, as for whatever reason his mic was low and muffled throughout the night. It worked fine during his louder moments, when he shouted into the microphone, but on the quieter songs the vocals were lost in the mix.
Despite this draw back the band were impressive and the variation in sound between songs really helped. The Helix experiment may not have been a complete success, but I’d imagine these are all problems that can be sorted. Modest Mouse already have quite an impressive back catalogue and with a band of this size, it can’t be long before they make the step to outdoor gigs!