bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ ottobar, baltimore, md 22/05/2002

poster by jim redd


click for larger image

  • yes! i am a long way from home
  • mogwai fear satan
  • you don't know jesus
  • c#
  • cody
  • xmas steps
  • helicon 1
  • ex-cowboy
  • 2 rights make 1 wrong


  • jewish hymn

    thanks to travis for the initial list of songs, rahman tareq for the corrections, and chris reedy for the scan of the actual setlist.

    support from mighty flashlight

    ottobar website.

    photos by travis


    from catherine lewis:

    after they finished the new song, someone standing near me asked stuart, "what's that new one called?" and stuart said, "c#". and the guy said, "c#?" and stuart nodded and said, "c#". 'my father my king' had stuart singing the lyrics to this song at the very very end, into the microphone that was picking up all kinds of distorted feedback. very eerie and good.

    celebrity namedropping:
    guy picciotto (from fugazi and rites of spring) was there, probably because his former rites of spring bandmate is the guy in mighty flashlight.
    will oldham, wearing the best outfit ever: overalls over a plaid shirt, with what looked like a denim or courdoroy jacket, and flip-flops, and without facial hair(!).

    from travis:

    my girlfriend and i were lucky enough to buy tickets to mogwai's concert at baltimore's ottobar before it sold out. this tiny venue is usually reserved for concerts by the likes of wesley willis and local heros such as cex. it is very small and intimate, and besides the advantage of being able to see mogwai (and mighty flashlight) up close the sound was also pretty good.

    touching briefly on the opening act, they played music that would be a great soundtrack for the morning hours of a drunken party. the singer/guitarist and drummer are talented; the rest of the band (including the bassist, who looks like dracula/frankenstein's monster and apparently was in the rites of spring with guy from fugazi) looked like they just escaped from a morgue. get some rest, guys.

    both bands came on later than scheduled. mogwai played a terrific show. i last saw them in dc a year ago at the 9:30 club. it was a great show, and i think this one was even better. the only thing that would have made it even better for me would have been their playing "sine wave". the show started with a version of "like herod" that simply destroys the album version. it was a night low on early material, but what little they did play was pulled off perfectly. last year the flute playing on "fear satan" was sloppy, to be blunt; this time it was obvious that some practice had been put in before trying as there were no mistakes. they were all in a good mood. stuart had on a "chile" hat, it seems like they enjoyed their first south american concerts.

    the new song played tonight is called "c#" for now. this was the name written on the setlist and the name stuart told me when i asked him. i'm sure it'll be renamed after it's been recorded but for now it's the legit title. i don't know if it's one of the new songs played in south america, but the way i describe it is: it's a very melodic song akin to "christmas song" but played on guitars. the singer/guitarist from mighty flashlight played keyboards during the song.

    "cody" and "christmas steps" hit the spot for all us fans of 'come on die young'. the band really got into the latter number, walking around the stage and playing off each other. stuart's part 3/4 way through when he begins to play different chords wasn't loud enough. dominic was also having problems with the sound that night, especially "helicon 1" and "2 rights" when he struggled briefly with the vocoder part (which to the audience sounded perfect).

    "my father my king" is the definitive mogwai encore and i hope they keep it on their setlists for a good long time. the photo of stuart i attached to this review is him on the floor playing the song. the 9:30 club version last year was longer, with more distortion and singing, but this version was more powerful. just a few minutes into it stuart broke one of his guitar strings, but fortunately it was a dummy chord in the song and didn't affect his part. as usual he was the last one on stage, playing with effects pedals on the floor and shaking the living hell out of his instrument, sonic youth style. after the noise finished i got the jagged orange guitar pick he used the whole night. earlier on i also acquired a unique poster for the night's concert designed by fans and put onto hard paper. it's a very nice poster. i hope everyone reading this takes the opportunity to see mogwai on tour, they are amazing live.

    from tim gregory:

    despite being sick this whole week, i couldn't miss last night's show. it was packed, and i got there late, but still found a place to camp out on the balcony.

    mighty flashlight started at around 9:45, i think -- they had that lazy folk/roots sound, some of which very much reminded me of beck's 'one foot in the grave', and some of which sounded to me like the bonnie prince billy stuff i've heard. they were good, and the crowd was pretty good to them.

    mogwai started about 30 minutes after mf left -- this will probably be one of the most documented concerts that i've ever been to. lots of people had cameras of all types, including at least 3 video cameras i saw (including one guy who was on the stage). i even saw a guy holding up a cell phone during the first song.

    they only played one of the new songs, and i was secretly hoping for 'hugh dallas', or something a little unusual, but still no complaints.

    and finally, i think i go a little more deaf everytime i see them play. make sure to bring those earplugs, kiddies.