Local San Diego radio station 94.9 put on their Holiday Hootenanny Saturday December 9 featuring Modest Mouse, The Shins, Pete Yorn, and the Silversun Pickups at UCSD’s Rimac Arena. The gymnasium, resembling a high school’s more so than a university’s, was packed early as Los Angeles darlings Silversun Pickups opened the show. I’ve known about this band for a couple years now so it’s rad to see them opening on such a great bill and getting exposed to all the kids. Speaking of kids, the audience was really young which is nice to see the youth getting a dose of quality music as opposed to all the garbage on MTV and the radio these days.
Up next was Pete Yorn who put on a quality rock ‘n roll set. After Pete, The Shins took the stage to deafening roars from the crowd. The Shins are always amazing live and they didn’t disappoint. They played some new cuts from their forthcoming album, Wincing The Night Away, that will be out next month, and the fans even gave a standing ovation when they finished up.
Capping off the night was Modest Mouse playing one of their first live shows since new guitarist Johnny Marr (yes, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr) joined the band. Their onstage presence was massive with two percussionists and several backing guitars and keyboardists. They, too, have a forthcoming album and played some tracks from it. Amid classics like Paper Thin Walls, Trailer Trash, and the show-closer Sleepwalking, the largest portion of their set list was from Good News For People Who Like Bad News. The capacity crowd was in a full hipster hopping frenzy and even brought the band back out for the only encore of the night. They rocked through Doin’ The Cockroach and a few other jams and the crowd poured out of the gym, elated, into a very un-San Diego-like heavy rain shower.--Blair Alley