While traveling from one end of the country to the other, one of the Pacific Northwest’s musical acts, Modest Mouse, will make a stop off the beaten path for a pair of concerts.
Originally slated for a single show, organizers added a second due to an overwhelming fan response. The outdoor concerts at Fort Worden’s Littlefield Green at the McCurdy Pavilion is planned for Aug. 24 and 25.
A History of “Good News”
Issaquah’s own Modest Mouse has made it within the ranks of other regional musicians, such as Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, carving out a unique space in the public consciousness with their indie-rock genre.
Formed in 1993, the band, led by Isaac Brock on guitar and vocals, took a few years to form their blend of rock and free-flowing indie sounds that would be their foundation for the rest of their careers.
Brock met former bassist Eric Judy, when he was working at a local family video store and later found drummer Jeremiah Green at a heavy metal show. The band got to work, releasing its first extended play and single under Sub Pop Records at Moon Studios in Olympia.
They moved on to Up Records to release two full-length albums, including “This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About” and “The Lonesome Crowded West,” in back-to-back years.
Their next outing was “The Moon & Antarctica” on Epic Records, which was recorded in Chicago, receiving critical but not mainstream success, though their song “Gravity Rides Everything,” was licensed in a Nissan Quest minivan commercial, helping the band afloat financially.
Modest Mouse broke into the mainstream with their 2004 album “Good News for People Who Love Bad News,” with their two hits, “Float On” and “Ocean Breathes Salty.” The album reached as high as 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 40 on the UK Top 40. Selling more than 1.5 million copies in the United States, “Good News” was certified Platinum, marking the high point of the band.
Three years after, Modest Mouse followed up with “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank,” hitting number 1 on the Billboard 200. The first single off the album was “Dashboard,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and debuted at No. 61 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Their latest outing was 2015’s “Strangers to Ourselves.”
The band told HMV.com in 2015 their follow record to “Strangers to Ourselves,” which is their most recent album released in that same year, the next record will be a part two of sorts.
Brock added, “It’ll be released as quickly as it’s legally allowed to be. It’s a partner to this one.”
At this point, the band has not released any details about the follow-up, but have been touring the country.
The current line-up consists of Isaac Brock: lead vocals, guitars, banjo, keyboards; Jeremiah Green: drums, percussion; Tom Peloso: upright bass, horns, keyboards, bass guitar, vocals, fiddle; Jim Fairchild: guitars, backup vocals, ukulele, pump organ, banjo; Russell Higbee: bass guitar, vocals, guitars, pump organ; Lisa Molinaro: viola, bass, vocals, keyboards; Ben Massarella: percussion, effects.
No longer “Strangers”
The pair of concerts is brought to Port Townsend by Seattle Theatre Group, which presents an average of 600 events on an annual basis throughout the region, including at Paramount, The Moore and The Neptune, bringing in Broadway productions, concerts, theatre, lectures, education, community, film and other enrichment programs.
“STG’s mission and values align closely with that of the Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center as they are dedicated to enriching arts education in the Pacific Northwest while stewarding its historic metropolitan theatres,” said Executive Director Dave Robison, of the Fort Worden Public Development Authority.
Centrum, a nonprofit arts organization and tenants at Fort Worden since 1974, already has a close relationship with Seattle Theatre Group, through its DANCE This! program.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our partnerships and programming at Fort Worden and in the arts community of Port Townsend, where we already have many natural synergies,” said Adam Zacks, chief programming officer for STG. “A National Historic Landmark and a renowned destination for supporters of the arts, Fort Worden is an ideal setting for STG to strengthen our presence on the Olympic Peninsula.”
On the “Dashboard”
The two concerts will be presented at Littlefield Green at the McCurdy Pavilion on Fort Worden State Park. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the show starting at 6:30 p.m. This all-ages, outdoor festival features a “local foods” court, and a beer garden for patrons 21 years and older with valid ID. All tickets are general admission and are available at www.ticketmaster.com. Events are rain or shine.
As it is a festival atmosphere, guests are encouraged to bring low-backed chairs and blankets, and to prepare for any inclement weather. No outside food or drink, pets, umbrellas or pop-up tents are permitted.