Modest Mouse joins ‘Lonesome Crowded’ Palace during 25th Anniversary Tour

Modest Mouse played top to bottom setlist of Lonesome Crowded West album at Palace in St. Paul

Modest Mouse at Palace Theather Photo by Travis Meier

Crowds of all ages poured into the Palace in St. Paul. Everyone wanted to pay respects to Modest Mouse early breakout record The Lonesome Crowded West.

It was the 25th anniversary of the album release and this tour/show was dedicated to the good old days of touring in a run-down van on the west coast.

The entire show was a top to bottom setlist of the album played by original members Isaac Brooks and Jeremiah Green. Accompanying them will be Russell Higbee and Simon O’Connor.

To give the album some context, the year was 1997 in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) and the internet isn’t mainstream yet. The indie-rock scene was tiny and strip malls are being built everywhere. Seattle started slowly becoming the major city it is today.

Before we can relive the beginning heydays of Modest Mouse. Mattress a.k.a. Rex Marshall was up first. This glitzy dancer and pointer on stage sent sparkly vibes throughout the Palace.

Dancing Michael Jackson meets disco dance moves led to a smooth and sometimes head-scratching performance. Even though sometimes confusing I believed we could all agree the shoes and the jacket make the show. His smooth moves and tunes were a great lead into the show’s upcoming 180.

Mattress at Palace Theather Photo by Travis Meier

Enter the 90’s indie rock scene. The lights quickly dimmed and the journey down the album memory lane began. Hearing hard rocking, heavy drumming toms’ stories of navigating the US as a young band with a vision will send anyone back to that time. Perhaps have the younger generation asking, “What’s a Truckers Atlas?”

Modest Mouse at Palace Theather Photo by Travis Meier

One thing which was definitely not in the early days was their light display. Even if you did not know every song off the album, the lights pulsated and danced a variety of colors with every changing beat. It led to a side entertainment that any concertgoer would approve of. The amount second guitarist, Simon O’Connor, jumped between tom and guitar added a nice edge to the show.

Simon O’Connor of Modest Mouse at Palace Theather Photo by Travis Meier

There was a moment about three-quarters through the show which I’m still confused by. Lead singer Issac Brock dropped to his knees and started getting intimate with his guitar. By the looks of it, he is either scratching his nose or practicing his “Frenching. Either way, I may have been the only one confused by it but I’m still wondering…

Issac Brock of Modest Mouse “doing something” to his guitar at Palace Theather
Photo by Travis Meier

Letting minds wander allowed this great album to come to life and they were able to bring the rememberable sounds which helped build Modest Mouse into the indy/alternative rock powerhouse we know and adore today.


  1. Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine
  2. Heart Cooks Brain
  3. Convenient Parking
  4. Lounge (Closing Time)
  5. Jesus Christ Was an Only Child
  6. Doin’ the Cockroach
  7. Cowboy Dan
  8. Trailer Trash
  9. Out of Gas
  10. Long Distance Drunk
  11. Shit Luck
  12. Trucker’s Atlas
  13. Polar Opposites
  14. Bankrupt on Selling
  15. Styrofoam Boots/It’s All Nice on Ice, Alright

Encore Break:

  1. Five Stop Mother Superior Rain (Flaming Lips Cover)
  2. Never Ending Math Equation
  3. Grey Ice Water
  4. 3rd Planet

Written by Travis Meier

Black coffee drinking traveling photojournalist based in NE Mpls!


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