Mogwai, House of Blues, Boston, May 10, 2014
Review by Tom Gilmore
On May 10 of 2014 the post-rock greats Mogwai descended upon the city of Boston for a very early show at The House of Blues; Mogwai was on stage by 7:30p.m. Too damn early if you ask me, there must have been another event later that night, but there was no way I was going to miss this show, regardless of the early set time, as this night was my very first time seeing Mogwai live. I have had numerous opportunities to see Mogwai live but all have fallen into the category of being in the right place but not at the right time. I have been a fan since their debut LP was featured on Scotland’s very own Chemikal Underground, an independent record label started by members of The Delgados back in 1994.
Although this was my first time catching Mogwai live, I have seen plenty of live coverage of this great band over the years and therefore didn’t expect much for stage antics. In my opinion, one does not attend such shows to just watch the musicians play their instruments. They come to feel the music. Mogwai’s ability to take the listener from a place of calm and tranquility to pure chaos via a rocket ship is unparalleled. Because they do not move much while performing, they probably could fit on a small stage, but I’m not too sure if all their equipment could, and certainly a large venue is needed to handle the wall of sound these lads from Scotland put out. What was equally impressive to the sound was the light show. Hanging from the rafters were three hexagonal-shaped light sources, presumably to draw reference to the track “Hexon Bogon” off their latest LP?
Boston’s set list shared some similarities to previous shows but not enough to discourage one to catch the band again down the road. The majority of the songs performed in Boston were off the albums Rave Tapes & Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. This was a bonus for me as I have yet to pick up the latest. They almost played a song from each album that has been released. My favorite songs of the set came at the close of “We’re No Here” and “Yes! I Am a Long Way from Home,” which were part of the two song encore. I couldn’t tell from observing the audience what the majority were into, but my guess is they were in some kind of hypnotic trance.