Review: Modern Skirts’ Final 40 Watt Show – 4/5/2013
The first time that I ever saw the Modern Skirts was with friends at the 40 Watt for their All of Us in Our Night CD Release. After seeing them many times since, I thought it was fitting to be able to see them play their final show there.
Glasscrafts, a local four-piece band comprised of members from Glass Giraffes and Tunabunny, was the only opener. Their self-described dream pop rock kept the tempo up, setting the stage for the Skirts’ double set.
The Modern Skirts were all smiles as they walked out to In the Night by Phil Collins, taking the time to give each other hugs and handshakes, and acknowledge the fans that came to see them off.
Over the course of the night, they took the audience on a travel across the course of their discography. Videos, from images of clouds, to the “Jane Child” music video and even a home movie, were projected onto a screen and accompanied many of the songs.
They began with songs from their 2005 release, Catalog of Generous Men, including “September Days,” “Seventeen Dirty Magazines,” “My Bully,” and “New York Song.” They followed with songs from 2010’s All of Us in Our Night, including “Astronauts,” “Radio Breaks,” and “Like Lunatics.” From their newest album Grammahawk, they played “Happy 81,” “American Gothic,” and “Jane Child.” After these, they began pulling songs from their “bag of shitty tricks.” They played songs that weren’t on albums (the new “Sin City” and “Hood Ornament,” which was dedicated to JoJo Glidewell’s mom), one off the Happy 81 EP (“Thomas Wolfe”) and, later in the second encore, “I Drink and I Drink” from the five song Modern Skirts EP. They finished their sets with “DUI.”
JoJo returned to the stage and asked if the audience minded if he played a song. Not surprisingly, the audience was all for it, and he played a solo rendition of “Save Me,” one of the best performances of the night. They ended on “Pasadena,” a crowd favorite and based on the cheers, a song that many of the crowd was waiting to hear all night. To close out the night, John Swint took to the microphone to perform a cover of Biz Markee’s “Just a Friend.” Even after playing about two hours and over twenty songs, their energy stayed high.
Much like they promised, there wasn’t a rotating cast of guest performers, just the addition of horn players Russ and Dave on select songs. It was nice to see these two singing along to songs, as much of fans as everyone else there. All in all, the members of the Modern Skirts appeared to enjoy playing the music as the crowd did listening to it. One of them said many times over that this was the most fun that he’d had at a show in a long time. They also all acknowledged how important it was for them to play a final show at the 40 Watt, calling it their home in Athens.
There was the feeling of much love all night long from the band, and many thanks from them to fans both new and old. While it is sad to say goodbye, it’s definitely a bittersweet feeling. There’s still one last chance to catch the Modern Skirts play; their final show will be during AthFest – June 19-23. – Sarah Weitman