State fairs often have a mixed bag of concerts and shows. With events including rock, country, hip-hop, comedy, magic, and more, everyone is likely to find something they’re interested in. This year, tucked into the classic mix of mainstream country and aging acts playing their hits for loyal followers was a rare treat for indie fans, hometown superstars Modest Mouse playing with the much-loved Built to Spill.
The opener played a low-key set, however fans were overheard gushing about how well the band played and how happy they were to see them. The headliner came on next and eased into their set with the gentle picking and distinct “ba ba bas” of “The World At Large” from their 2004 smash record Good News for People Who Love Bad News. From there the energy built over the next hour and a half. The band played a heartfelt rendition of “Blame It On The Tetons,” and the show climaxed with sweaty frontman Isaac Brock yelling the lyrics to “Cowboy Dan” into his electric guitar. Brock was backed with a talented crew of musicians, each switching effortlessly between violin, keys, trumpet, guitar, and bass, guided by two drummers and an additional percussionist. Aside from a mishap with a banjo, the sound was big, rich, and layered.
Modest Mouse is notorious for putting on hit or miss shows. Hearing from past concert-goers, the performances can either be amazing or sloppy. This time around, however, Brock and company played a tight, rousing set consisting mostly of older favorites and forgoing the encore tease to rock right up to the last minute — 10 p.m. sharp, when the city’s sound ordinance kicks in.
The fair ends this weekend on Sept. 24, but there is still time to catch a handful of shows over the next few days. Visit the Washington State Fair online for ticketing and more information.
An evening with Earth, Wind, & Fire
Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Jason Aldean with special guest Kane Brown
Sunday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m.