bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ phoenix theatre, toronto, on, canada 02/09/03


  • kids will be skeletons
  • mogwai fear satan
  • hunted by a freak
  • ithica 27o9
  • stop coming to my house
  • helicon 2
  • you don't know jesus
  • helicon 1
  • ratts of the capital


  • i know you are but what am i?
  • xmas steps

    thanks to ashton and ryan.

    support from part chimp.


    photos taken by josh newman.

    click on the images for larger versions.


    from ashton richards:

    overall it was a pretty great show. there was a bit of sound trouble for part chimp regarding the microphones, but regardless they still rocked. the rest of the crowd didn't seem into them though. the crowd was also disappointed that the 'gwai weren't on for all that long (75-minutes about). i was slightly saddened by the lack of 'my father my king'. my plan for most of the night was to swipe a setlist, but tonight it wasn't to be. before the show i saw stuart's aunt and some other people (relatives perhaps?) come pick up stuart and take him out to dinner. i also overheard part chimp taking about a missing passport, and how it was hard to get into canada, and likewise it's unlikely they'll get back into the us. a typical good mogwai show all in all. lots of cheers and covering ears.

    from brently merrill:

    i went with my girlfriend to see mogwai last night in toronto. she had seen them before, but this was the first time for me. we got there early, as i thought that any opener who was on rock action records would be good. but oh no was i wrong. part chimp were one of the worst opening bands i have ever seen.

    mogwai got on the stage about 10:45 and opened with 'kids will be skeletons', one of the 4 songs i really wanted to hear last night. then they went into 'mogwai fear satan', another of the songs i really wanted to hear! at this point, i was in such awe of seeing one of my all-time favorite bands for the first time that i stopped keeping track of the setlist. but the end of the show, the last track in fact, was pure brilliance. 'christmas steps'. beautiful violent 'christmas steps'.

    lesson learned: love mogwai. hate mogwai fans.

    from ryan murray:

    unbelievable show, the band was totally on point, the sound was great, and the phoenix is one of the best places in toronto to see a show. this was the best of the numerous times i've seen them, everyone i was with agreed. still loud as anything on earth. if there is one complaint it's that the show was only about 1 hr 15 mins, so another couple of songs would have been nice. but when there wasn't a down moment the entire show, it's hard to feel anything other than completely satisfied. absolutely ripping. anyway, if anyone needs further info on how they were, i'll be trying to get tickets to the cleveland show today.

    from chris coutts:

    this was my first (but not last) time seeing mogwai. i had a friend there who'd seen them before, and she said the show she was at in 2001 was incredibly loud, and this was evident by all the chumps with earplugs stuck in them. overall, though, the show was fantastic, and the volume couldn't have been better.

    i really enjoyed part chimp, even if their microphones were a no-go. they played a very good set and set up the mood for mogwai perfectly. i didn't pick up their disc on the way in, but after their set and especially the last track they played, i am wishing i had. mogwai came on at around 10:45, right on schedule. it was a hard show to keep a tracklisting of, because i was so absorbed by the music being played. 'kids will be skeletons' was a fantastic opener, but paled in comparison to 'mogwai fear satan' which followed. what got me was before the kick on 'mogwai fear satan', stuart teased the crowd with the opening riff of helicon 1' (i'm not sure if many noticed it), and then bang, the stage lit up and 'mogwai fear satan' kicked. once that died down, 'hunted by a freak' picked up and everyone's heads once again began to bop. i noticed barry at the back singing more of mogwai's "bollocksy" lyrics. they sounded more like an instrument than vocals, which really gave me a new appreciation for the track. during the opening of 'ithica', the crowd was still semi-bopping along, but when stuart did his thing, all movement in the entire room stopped, and hundreds of pairs of eyes just looked upon stuart's right hand grind into his guitar. unbelievable and captivating. 'stop coming to my house' was also well done, even if the drums weren't all soundified, they were still right on key and a raw delight to listen to. 'helicon 2' and 'you don't know jesus' just seemed to flow perfectly with each other, and 'you don't know jesus' just seemed to be very loud, so i began to get worried that the set was coming to a close. that only added to my extreme joy that they had finally followed up on stuart's little tease and played 'helicon 1', which seemed to last for fifteen minutes alone. dominic and john were outstanding here, and stuart was very good on bass. it was a hard song to pay attention to, because so much was going on with everyone. alas, they announced before 'ratts of the capital' that it would be their last song of the evening, but if they had ended with 'ratts..', i would have been more than content - that's how good it was. they really did go all out on this one, and when barry grabbed the second bass and martin began to go absolutely apeshit on his kit, never missing a beat, i was completely in awe. this is one of the finest off the new album, and one of the first i heard off it when i noticed it was over 8 minutes in length (traditional quality mogwai song length), and should without a doubt be played at more shows. it was an incredibly powerful listening, although i still think it could've been louder.

    after a very brief leaving of the stage, mogwai came back for their encore, and opened up with 'i know you are but what am i?', another great track off 'happy songs for happy people'. this was well done, and you could feel that they were indeed setting people up for something special. people had been cheering for 'christmas steps' periodically throughout the night, and finally, they gave it to us. it only took a few picks of the guitar for the crowd to begin cheering and clapping for ten or even twenty seconds, and then silence in preparation of this powerhouse. stuart toyed with everyone for quite some time it felt like, and then finally, dominic slammed the bass in everyone's face. after 'ratts of the capital', i really didn't think it could get any stronger, but 'christmas steps' really did take it up a level. it was a fantastic playing, and a stellar way to end the evening. i was surprised at the lack of unbearable noise at the end of the show that i was psyching myself up! for ever since i heard they were coming to toronto, but instead, stuart just picked out with barry on 'christmas steps', and gave a final thank you, and that was the end of the night.

    i've been to a few concerts, but this was by far the absolute best i've ever been to, and possibly the best i ever see myself attending. there were a few wankers in the crowd (to be expected when playing at a place with multiple bars), but i got much more than what i paid for. i just hope they decide to come back before long, because i already miss the feeling that this show gave me.