Dark skies began to release its grip on the moisture they’d been retaining and those drops of rain sent fans scurrying from the parking ramps towards The Armory for reprieve. The cavernous venue is waking up to host more and more concerts recently and the fans were filling in this once empty space for an evening of music once again.
The Districts, a Pennsylvanian four piece, put on a show for the amassing crowd. Their 30 minute set ran the gamut of music that persuades people to move along to the rhythms while at other times it induced a calm contemplative state. Sometimes the openers that are paired with the headliners don’t always seem apropos, this was certainly not the case. The Districts’ music exudes the kind of vibe that is befitting of one that should perform alongside the likes of Modest Mouse.
As is often the case, drummers that get locked into their groove with such veracity and fervor is a joy to watch. Especially when they are not set up hidden in the shadows towards the back of the stage but more prominent in the front and turned on an angle to get a better look at their skills on display.
The Districts’ fervid stage presence is what makes live music so addictive. This is something that has slowly been returning to so many people lately and it has been greatly missed by many.Modest Mouse continues to take their music beyond the boundaries they’ve previously set with each new release. Since their inception in the early 90’s this outfit from Issaquah, Washington has gone on to experiment and progress and evolve. In June of this year they released their latest album titled “The Golden Casket” and have since hit the road in support of their latest endeavor. With so many eclectic material in their catalog one could expect to be taken on quite the trip as they delved into their back catalog and also all the new material recently written.
While this wasn’t their largest ensemble on stage it was still a grand sound from six musicians taking on a few different instrumental roles. Once again, it was welcoming to have a drummer up front on the stage. Perhaps it had something to do with Jeremiah Green being one of the original members along with singer/guitarist Isaac Brock. Regardless of the thought process behind it, the setup was a welcome sight to take in.
In between songs Brock commented on this large downtown Minneapolis venue. He mentioned that he has never been inside a building that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. He speculated it must have been built for World War II which was quite close as The Armory was built for the Minnesota National Guard in 1935. During another break he asked what else was this place used for. Numerous folks in the crowd shouted back their responses to which Brock replied that they were too noisy and confusing all together and would have to ask someone else later. Then they continued on with their set and played “Float On” which unbeknownst to him was a nice segue as it opens with the lyrics of “I backed my car into a cop car the other day.” There we have another former use for this building, a parking lot. Brock could have just backed that car into the Armory and walked away even though sometimes life turns out okay.
Modest Mouse went on to perform a handful more songs before closing out the evening which included a five song encore. As “We’re Lucky” reverberated out across the confines of The Armory I couldn’t help but alter one word in the lyrics. If the word “places” became “walls” it then flows as “these are the walls that we’re lucky just to be between.” Despite not being out of the woods yet, we are quite fortunate to be coming together again en masse alongside these four walls that are holding up the arched ceiling of the historic Armory.