review by Jordan Narloch
Modern Baseball took their headlining tour featuring Pup, Jeff Rosenstock, and Minnesota favorites, Tiny Moving Parts to The Garage this past Black Friday. All I could think of in retrospect was that a place named THE GARAGE couldn’t have been more fitting for the grungy tour.
The college-aged rockers looked to be nothing but a couple of friends getting together for band practice in their parent’s garage, and it couldn’t have been more charming. Dressed in humble, plain ratty tees, jogging pants, cargo shorts, and messy hair, Modern Baseball didn’t have a traditional “We’re going to go play a sold out show on a nation-wide headlining tour” kind of look. Their bare bones equipment and cartoon logo of a dog wearing sunglasses only furthered the notion that they were just playing for their own love of music.
A cut from the band’s first record, “The Weekend,” began the easygoing set. Its consistent, laidback melody set the tone for the band’s attitude as they jammed carelessly. The song is already full of imperfections. It may sound rough around the edges to uneducated listeners, and includes many goofy interactions between band members.
All of these attributes seem to be negative, right? Wrong. As Modern Baseball moved through their set with songs like, “Re-Done,” “Tears Over Beers,” and “Fine, Great,” it was evident that the concertgoers could not get enough of it. A shaggy haired, surfer-dude next to me passionately yelled every line as he thrashed about. Crowd surfers soared above, and eager smiles grew with each song.
MoBo kept up the garage practice feel with their endearingly awkward stage presence. Recognition was asked for the opening acts multiple times, jokes about the woes of tuning were made, and the members bantered about going to school to study geology to learn about “rock” music. It was so reminiscent of practicing with my own friends at our parents’ houses that I couldn’t help but smile. The group’s interactions during the performance built on this sense as they threw water bottles at each other, stomped around in a crab-like manner, and burst out laughing while singing their respective parts.
For the finale of the show, members of Tiny Moving Parts hopped onstage to help out with “Your Graduation” and a cover of The Killer’s classic, “Mr. Brightside.” The result was too many people on stage who were having a great time together, not caring what exactly happened with the songs. This attitude was met with dozens of crowd surfers and a chorus of fans singing back to them. All in all, Modern Baseball’s set was unconventional and relatable to any musician at any point in their career and that made it one of the most enjoyable shows I have seen in a long time.