[Photos/Text by Andrew Parks; slideshow available here]
“Can you turn it up? I’m not deaf yet!”
Funny you should say that, sir, because our ears aren’t ringing yet, either. In fact, we’re able to actually formulate concrete thoughts in the midst of Mogwai‘s second night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. For the moment, at least, as the godfathers of mostly-instrumental madness explore another exercise in peaks and valleys, raw power and restraint.
Well that was the case, until Scotland’s post-rock all stars decided to stop fucking around and start getting real–real loud, catching us off guard with the relentless distorted riff sections of “Summer.” If there was ever any doubt as to why Mogwai’s influenced so many metal bands over the years, the group’s masterful performance of this early single eliminated that with the cold-hearted swiftness of a hit and run accident.
Other portions of the evening’s catalogue-skimming program weren’t so immediate or direct. For one thing, there was the piano/beat-driven procession of “Auto Rock” and “Friend of the Night,” which eventually segued into a soaring version of “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead.” And then there was “Cody,” the closest Mogwai comes to an unadulterated love song.
“That was for the guy who asked us to bring the pain,” joked guitarist Stuart Braithwaite, after delivering the song’s hushed, unfiltered melodies. (Guitarist/keyboardist Barry Burns ran most of the band’s other ‘singing parts’ through his vocoder.)
Dude, you have no idea.
On a side note, we apologize for the cock tease nature of the video clip below, but a security guard told us to stop filming right before Mogwai hit the ground running. That’s probably because this week’s Brooklyn residency is being filmed for a future DVD release…
Mogwai @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 4.28.09:
Yes! I Am a Long Way From Home
Hunted By a Freak
Friend of the Night
I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead
I Love You, I’m Going To Blow Up Your School
2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
We’re No Here