One of the most anticipated shows of the summer went down at Red Rocks last night, as indie rock favorites Modest Mouse and Long Island post-hardcore darlings Brand New played a co-headlining gig as part of Red Rocks’ 75th anniversary concert season.
Though this was just the second show of the tour, the bands will be alternating headlining performances and Modest Mouse was up first last night, delivering a guitar-heavy set that seemed informed by the sound of their tourmates. Modest Mouse has a full-bodied, multi-faceted sound and the contributions of each member was apparent in their performance. “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes” was a crowd highlight and the band’s set touched on music from across their career and they eschewed hits like “Float On” in favor of cuts from early in their career like the set-opening “Dramamine.”
Following a long break that’s only made their influence and legacy more apparent, Brand New returned to Colorado with a hugely energetic 18-song set that pulled largely from their 2006 album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. There have been rumors that this could be the band’s final tour and there was something of a funereal quality to their set, as the mic stands were draped in flowers. But if this is goodbye, the group is going out with a bang, as their anthemic rock suited the venue perfectly and the new songs they played in their encore -- “Mene,” which debuted in Denver last year, and “I Am a Nightmare” -- fit right alongside their classics.
It was a fantastic double bill that felt special in more ways than one. Check out photos from the performance by photographer Kevin Staunton above. Modest Mouse and Brand New continue their tour on July 1 with a show in Bonner Springs, Kansas; click here for a full list of their tour dates and get tickets to select dates here.