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Tab the Band, Mimicking Birds & Modest Mouse
Terminal 5
610 W. 56th St.
March 15, 2009

Written by Austin Rodrigues
Photographed by Amy Davidson

Opposite Photo: Isaac Brock

A familiar feeling came over me while I watched TAB The Band open for Modest Mouse at Terminal 5. I say familiar because there was something about TAB that felt nostalgic, they made me feel like I 17 again. TAB is like the best rock band from your hometown. These are the guys you knew in high school that were cool, talented, and admired.

TAB the Band

I did some research after the show and I discovered that TAB is from Massachusetts, where I actually did go to high school, Maybe that’s why this analogy seemed so spot on to me. The most successful band from my hometown is Staind, and though TAB sounds nothing like Staind, both bands share an indefinable characteristic…that makes them the kind of band who can sell out the one live music bar in your local downtown area. Neither Staind nor TAB play my kind of music, but if you’re from their hometown, they are the kind of bands that make you want to be in their booster club.

TAB the Band

Further research informed me that two band members, Tony and Adrian Perry, are the sons of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. When you take a good hometown band with great musical ability and throw in a famous-dad-rocker factor, you’ve got a band which has a chance of becoming a household name.

The girl I was with described them as rockabilly. I thought they almost sounded like a 21st-century Motley Crue. But whether or not their music is your typical style, their stage performance is infectious. I love the fact that each member played their heart out. On this particular occasion, the fact that they were opening for Modest Mouse may have had something to do with playing an extra great set. I get the sense, though, that TAB’s not the kind of band that’s really ever going to disappoint you.

There were two things I noticed about the crowd that night: first, they were younger than I anticipated, most barely of legal drinking age. Second, they actually came to support the opening act. One of TAB's songs, "Looking Pretty Pretty," was recently featured in the HBO show Entourage. "Looking Pretty Pretty" drew the largest audience reaction.

My favorite song of the night was the closer, a song called "Heavy Idea." Again, not my kind of music, but the enthusiasm of the band was enough to make me rock. Lead singer and bassist Adrian Perry plays his bass like an electric guitar. , That’s kind of cool and just one example of how these guys can’t contain the beast.

You know the old movie cliché, where at the end of a movie, the lead comes in second place in the talent show, but then gets signed to a record deal anyway? Well, TAB The Band is the band you would cast to play those a-hole rockers who won. They’re not the lead of the movie, just the a-holes who won the talent show.

Mimicking Birds
Mimicking Birds

Mimicking Birds also played that night. Their set was mediocre; it didn’t make me want to run out and get their CD The drummer freaked me out because he kept standing up and staring at the crowd like he wanted to fight. It was especially weird because they’re a pretty mild band. The match up of Modest Mouse and Mimicking Birds just doesn’t make any sense. Mimicking Birds would be a better fit for a Billyburg coffee shop. Pairing them up with an explosive Modest Mouse just confuses a crowd.

Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse

Then it was time for Modest Mouse. This was Modest Mouse’s last show of their recent tour. Modest Mouse is one of my favorite bands and this was my second time to see them. The double edged sword of being a Modest Mouse fan is that they have so many incredible songs, you know you’re going to hear a few that you love, but at the same time any true fan has an ideal set list that they’d like to hear. The band has played over one hundred different songs at any given time in concert so the chance of hearing all your favorites is a long shot.

The set list the night at Terminal 5 was awesome. Both times I’ve seen Modest Mouse I’ve been impressed with their ability to mix up their old and new songs. The opener was "3rd Planet," which really got the crowd amped up for a great set.The buzz that night seemed to focus on who was going to be on guitar. Johnny Marr of The Smiths had recorded the most recent Modest Mouse album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, with Mouse. However on their current tour, Johnny Marr was replaced by Johnny Fairchild of Grandaddy. Since I was the guy with the notepad and paper I got asked this question a lot and was proud that I had an answer prepped. I recommend bringing a pen and paper to a music show even if you are not reviewing the show, because chicks will ask you questions. The transition of having Fairchild instead of Marr was seamless and I though the band sounded great.

Isaac Brock, the lead of Modest Mouse, was lively that night. He sounded perfect, the music was spot on, and he had fun with the crowd. He even asked someone in the audience if they’d like to hear "Custom Concern" or" Baby Blue Sedan" next. I always thought he was a pretty temperamental dude, so it was nice to see him be playful and energetic.

Terminal 5

Overall this was a great night at Terminal 5. Check out TAB The Band next time they come around, check out Mimicking Birds if you’re feeling mellow, and to Modest Mouse: Get back in the studio and make another epic album, so that I have an even better chance of hearing my dream set list.


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