Friday, May 30, 2008

REM/Modest Mouse at the Hollywood Bowl

I enjoyed Modest Mouse - slightly less ramshackle than when I saw them a few years ago, although 'Float On' still sounded as if it was being played in the wrong key by at least two of the band... I like the new signing on the right wing though - a talented kid called Johnny Marr... So who is this new boy? Gone is the pudgy junkie look of the (still) ill-advised solo years, replaced by a cool, skinny, sharp-dressed young looking hipster with a sharp haircut... The boy called Johnny was looking as good, if not better, than he ever did in The Smiths... However, like George Best walking out on Man Utd in the 70's (the story is old but it goes on) and ending up with a then 3rd division team (Fulham) - Johnny Marr left the best band in Manchester (best band period!) and settled for lower division mediocrity...

Modest Mouse

1985 seems a long time ago - Fables had just come out and REM were about to become the biggest band in the world (possibly...) Not that there was much evidence of that at Milton Keynes Bowl on 22nd June 1985 (U2 called the event 'The Longest Day' - oops!) REM were still relatively unknown in the UK and Fables had received a lukewarm reception. Playing low on the bill, their jangly pop was blown away by a mixture of a light breeze and the terrible acoustics at MK. And so we come to 2008 - I was talking to a friend the other night about when REM jumped the shark. We concluded that they hadn't jumped the shark or even lost the plot (er - Shiny Happy People anyone?) they just kept repeating the same plot over and over... Apparently the new album is a return to form but don't they always say that? Anyways, I digress. The show itself was good although I was bored after 5 samey songs until they played the wonderful 'Fall on me' about half way through... The second half was better with 'Losing my religion', 'The one I love' and ultimately 'Man on the moon'...


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