Review: Mod Sun Live at Irving Plaza

SOS Youth Advisory Council member Madaleine Cutone reviews Mod Sun live at Irving Plaza on March 15, 2023

March 23, 2023

By Madaleine Cutone

Madaleine Cutone

Mod Sun confessed to his Irving Plaza Audience on Wednesday night that this was the most amazing show he has ever played, and you know what? I believe him. ‘That man knows how to perform like no one I’ve ever seen in my life,’ I kept repeating myself throughout the show, and honestly, well after it ended too. From start to finish Mod Sun was a ball of joy rolling around the Irving Plaza platform, literally. My favorite performers are always the ones who look genuinely happy on stage— like there’s truly nowhere on earth they’d rather be. I don’t know if this actually was the best show that Mod Sun has ever performed in his life, considering the fifteen-some years he’s been in the biz as a solo artist. But seeing him up there, I knew that I was watching someone do exactly what they were put on this earth to do. And, watching him do it to the very best of his god given ability. Regardless, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for Mod— he’s dealt with his fair share of mental health struggles. Especially since going sober nearly four years ago. 

He told Paper Magazine: “I probably shouldn't be spending an interview talking about feeling like shit, but I don't want to do false advertising. You're just expected to think that your favorite artist or the people that you like are perfectly fine all the time… Lately, I've been looking at someone drinking and being like, "Would I be more fun if I was drinking?" That's the worst place to be in! I'm a pretty energetic, fun person to be around and I don't want to feel that way anymore.”

The show had many highs and lows, but the energy was steady and elevated throughout. Mod gave a strong start with “Eyelids,” and a couple songs later gave a nod to his recent breakup with former fiancé Avril Lavigne by dubbing her dedicated piece “New York’s Song” for the evening.  Mod hopped off stage and got up close and personal with the crowd during an emotional cover of The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” and immediately followed it up by hopping on the drums to raise the hype for “Karma.” The crowd clung on to his every move like he was their oxygen— myself included.

You never know who will end up joining your favorite artist’s set for a cameo, but in New York City, it’s a pretty reasonable thing to expect. After a grateful testament of his forever love for the group, Mod introduced Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes to the crowd for a fun-filled cover of “Cupid’s Chokehold.” The two clearly have an unbreakable bond, the mutual respect between the artists was almost tangible. As Mod watched Travie perform, he looked like he was seeing one of his idols on stage for the very first time, much like many of his own audience members there to see him that evening. 

Before closing out the show, Mod had a heart to heart with the audience. “It’s a crazy fucking world out there. You think you can count on people sometimes and it doesn’t work out that way, but I know one thing is for sure. We are all gathered here tonight, and we are exactly where we are supposed to be, right now, in this moment. I love you all very, very much. Thank you for making me not feel alone in a very strange time in my life right now.”  Thank you, Mod Sun, for doing the same and more for us.