It was all too fitting that Modest Mouse and Pixies wrapped up their co-headlining North American tour at the Hollywood Bowl in mid-September, not just because the Bowl has become a haven for alt-rock veterans (though it has, especially in recent years), but rather because this double bill—triple, if you count opener Cat Power—unofficially kicked off in Southern California when the two bands played back-to-back at BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach this past May. So, in the interest of closed loops and the hero’s journey and all that, there was something comforting about seeing these understated legends assuming the region’s grandest stage before going their separate ways.

Following Cat Power’s mellow warmup, Modest Mouse assumed the stage for a splendid display of staggering, stuttering alternative tunes. From “Dashboard” and “Dramamine” to “Ocean Breathes Salty” and “Float On”, the Portland, Oregon-based band hit all the right notes with their 13-song setlist.

Granted, none of those were pulled from their latest album, 2021’s The Golden Casket, but the longtime fans in the house didn’t seem to mind 70 minutes of tried-and-true tracks.

Lead singer/guitarist Isaac Brock, the lone remaining member from Modest Mouse’ original lineup, did his part to uphold the group’s enduring spirit. Between his signature shouts and playing guitar with his teeth, the Montana native more than held his own as the center of entertainment.

Truthfully, though, Modest Mouse was there to set the stage for Pixies. After all, the former were heavily influenced by the latter. That much, Pixies made abundantly clear with their set of alternative post-punk briliance.

The veteran rockers from Boston brought the vibe down to a darker place with an opening stretch of “Gouge Away”, “Wave of Mutilation”, and a cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Head On”.

With Black Francis at the helm, Joey Santiago on lead guitar, David Lovering on drums, and Paz Lenchantin on bass, Pixies plowed through a 20-song string that featured crowd favorites like “Caribou”, “Debaser”, “Here Comes Your Man”, and, of course, “Where Is My Mind?” To close out their set, Pixies honored their own forebears with a cover of Neil Young’s “Winterlong”.

Though Pixies and Modest Mouse have parted ways from their joint tour, their respective sonic sojourns continue on. The latter has dates in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Bentonville, Arkansas remaining on their September calendar. The former, meanwhile, will take the fall and most of winter off before kicking off the European leg of their tour in support of 2022’s Doggerel come March 2024.

Modest Mouse – “Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes” – 9/17/23

[Video: T&A Go to the Shows!]

Modest Mouse – “3rd Planet” – 9/17/23

[Video: Dan Dore]

Modest Mouse – “Dramamine”, “Ocean Breathes Salty”, “Float On” – 9/17/23


Pixies – “Gouge Away” – 9/17/23

[Video: Dan Dore]

Pixies – “Haunted House” – 9/17/23

[Video: Dan Dore]

Pixies – “Hey” – 9/17/23

[Video: Mo Sin Clutch]

Pixies – “Debaser” – 9/17/23

[Video: Mo Sin Clutch]

Pixies – “Monkey Gone To Heaven” – 9/17/23

[Video: Mo Sin Clutch]

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