What a fantastic winter evening! It’s not often that one is able to see a headlining band with two openers as enjoyable as Cass McCombs and Mason Jennings. But now the heavy snows are melted and St. Louis was treated to another great show at the Pageant as concert season returns full-swing.
Cass McCombs opened up the night in a dramatic fashion. This band stretches across audio genres and mood to illustrate the immense talent and variety within their music. A bit melancholy at times, Cass McCombs is also very moving and sometimes reminiscent of listening to the more experimental bands of the 1980s New Wave era. Sometimes sounding a bit like Robert Smith leading the Cure, Cass led his band through several songs that brought back these classic sounds that so many of us grew up loving. This is not to imply that they are a copycat band—not by any means. They had a unique and distinct style and feel, and they definitely brought some fresh music into an otherwise chilly night. The variety of instruments, such as the keyboard, violin, tambourines, etc., made for a most interesting show.
The second group, Mason Jennings, was a different kind of band altogether. These guys really got the crowd moving. This 3-man band with an acoustic sound brought a light-hearted and fun aspect to the evening, putting on an enjoyable show, and just enough to get the crowd ready for the main event, Modest Mouse.
Modest Mouse did not disappoint this sold-out crowd. This eclectic, funky group has been a favorite of indie fans for a number of years before getting major airplay (and somewhat constant) on alternative stations in 2004. While no one was quite sure what to expect from them, nobody was let down. The band played almost everything from their popular last CD, Good News for People Who Love Bad News [Epic], and the audience was clearly thrilled to see the songs performed live, along with some old favorites for the crowd. To heck with global warming: we’ll have Modest Mouse warm our St. Louis winter nights!