Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Glasgow's Mogwai played Boston a couple nights back, their first area show in over five years. I remember griping when they skipped us on their '03 tour, but better missing out then than now, as I think the new 'Mr. Beast' is leaps and bounds above than their previous one.
I remember very clearly when I fell for Mogwai... October 6th, 1997 at Toast in Burlington, Vermont. I was there to see Pavement, and didn't know much more about the openers than they were Scotland-based and Matador-signed, having released their first stateside collection, 'Ten Rapid', earlier that year. Burlington was actually the first date of their first U.S. tour (after three NYC shows earlier that year), and I can honestly say that to this day I've never been more completely blown away by an opening band. And I mean that emotionally and physically... the small Toast stage wasn't enough to contain them. They were as loud then as they are today, and right from the beginning they were able to perfectly alternate between melodic delicacy and ear-splitting walls of sound. The lack of vocals never bothered me, the music is always good enough on its own, and their more recent incorporation of the occasional lyric hasn't detracted either. They've stuck with what works, while at the same time stretching the boundaries of the ol' 'quiet-loud-quiet-loud-out' formula. It's actually the restrained recordings, the ones that threaten to break big but instead stay beautiful, that stick with me longer. In a live setting I'm up for the occasional near-metal riff, but it's the quiet moments I relish.
There were plenty of both on Sunday, songs from all over their discography, including a few older personal faves ('Helicon 1', '...Long Way From Home', 'Stanley Kubrick'). Got a little thrill hearing both parts of 'Helicon' back-to-back, as I used to flip that import 7" incessantly (and paid a pretty price for it on a record shopping trip to Montreal).
So here's the (nearly) complete Mogwai set (I arrived almost too punctually to the Avalon, walking in just as 'Hunted By A Freak' started up, and I missed out recording it)...
Live at Avalon
Sunday, May 14th, 2006
01. Hunted By A Freak (not recorded)
02. Travel Is Dangerous
03. You Don't Know Jesus
04. May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door
05. I Know You Are But What Am I?
06. Acid Food
07. Stop Coming To My House
08. Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home
10. Ithica 27 � 9
11. Stanley Kubrick
12. Friend Of The Night
13. Glasgow Mega-Snake
14. New Path To Helicon, Pt. 2
15. New Path To Helicon, Pt. 1
16. We're No Here
Thanks for Mogwai forum visitor Narlus for those excellent solo-shots just above.
For more Mogwai action, visit the indespensible Bright Light! fansite. For more words and pics from the tour, hit up BrooklynVegan (NYC show) and Information Leafblower (DC show). Leaky Sparrow wrote about their stop in Paris last month as well, and keep an eye on Chromewaves (like I need to say that), since Frank is likely catching them tonight in Toronto.
To find out where the Scotsmen have been, and are headed, you can track their journies at the Follow the Beast site, which includes setlists and tour reports. And, needless to say, there's a Mogwai MySpace page as well.
Need more Mogwai live recordings? There are a bunch a up at the Internet Archive (including their Coachella set), or you can grab a big honkin' high-quality mp3 recording of their Washington, DC show courtesy of NPR. Sounds excellent, it does.
oh, and... If anyone has an issue with this live set being made available, just say the word (email link on left). Recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps mp3s. fyi, these live mp3s are made available for just a few weeks, and are not reposted once removed.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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