Lampshades on Fire
If you are already a Modest Mouse fan, you might be aware that they have a new-ish album out: Strangers to Ourselves…I love that title so much. it’s been out for a little while now. What prompted me to share this song this week was that they performed at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem this past Monday – about 5 miles down the road from me – so of course, I went. They came to the SteelStacks last year, and though I’ve been a Modest Mouse fan for years, it was the first time I saw them in concert. They were so good that I went back this year, and it only seems appropriate to share one of their songs with you this week.
Most likely, if you know the group you’ll know this song – it was the one they released as their first hit single from the “new” album and I first heard it on one of our local alternative stations. It isn’t actually my favorite song off the album – if you like this one, check out Wicked Campaign, or The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box. I mean, really they’re all spectacular songs and I highly recommend the entire album.
While I’m at it, this venue deserves a mention. If you don’t know Bethlehem, PA because of the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival, you might know it because of Bethlehem Steel. It used to be the second-largest steel producer and largest ship builder, but it’s been closed for years. The property was sold to Sands BethWorks, and it’s home to a large casino. I’m personally not a fan of the casino at all (or any casino), but the site of the company’s original plant is also home to SteelStacks, an arts and entertainment district.
The plant’s five blast furnaces were left standing and serve as a backdrop for the new campus. SteelStacks currently features the ArtsQuest Center, a contemporary performing arts center.. The area also includes three outdoor music venues – Levitt Pavilion, a free music venue featuring lawn seating for up to 2,500 people, Air Products Town Square at Steelstacks, and PNC Plaza, which hosts concerts featuring well-known artists. Modest Mouse played at Levitt Pavillion on Monday night (the tickets were not, in fact, free) and here are a few shots from the show – you can see the blast furnaces as the backdrop:
If you still don’t think that’s interesting, BuzzFeed designated this venue as one of the 19 Insanely Weird Concert Venues to Visit Before You Die – it made the list as #11, citing:
“It used to be the home of Bethlehem Steel, one of the biggest steel producers in America, but now houses a festival called Musikfest every year. It’s the only venue I can think of where it’s cooler to sit far from the stage, because you can see the mills in the background!”
And of course, we had a great time at the outdoor event listening to this awesome band play at this sweet venue:
And now that you’ve made it through all the random useless information about my hometown, here’s what you should rock out to today (or everyday):
Modest Mouse fan? Coolest venue you’ve ever been to?