bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ 9.30 club, washington dc 22/06/2001


  • sinewave (with bardo pond's bassist)
  • mogwai fear satan
  • d to e
  • you don't know jesus
  • cody
  • ex-cowboy
  • ithica 27o9
  • 2 rights make 1 wrong
  • helicon 1


  • christmas song
  • jewish hymn

    thanks to phillip ross and mike crane.

    support from bardo pond

    mogwai also joined bardo pond for their last song, 'tommy gun angel'. michael from bardo pond played on 'sinewave'.


    from tim gregory:

    mogwai helped bardo pond with their last song. do they normally do that? it had kind of a disappointing effect for me, but then again, i don't care for bardo pond.

    '2 rights..' is really starting to sound kinda idm-ish, huh? also, the song doesn't really work mid-set (as they tried this time). the guys all want to walk off stage end of song.

    stuart looks downright middle aged. beard, moustache, baldspot. wow. he was wearing a 80s era batman shirt. and when i say wow, stuart looked middle age, that's not supposed to be a put down. he still rocks (and he can't be old. he's less than 30 right?)

    also, he sang during the cacophony at the end of jewish hymn. it sounded like a real song, but i didn't recognize it. sample lyric: 'when i was a cowboy, nobody was on my mind. jesus said can you get me some...blah blah blah...'

    barry played keyboards with bardo pond on the first couple songs. i really was hoping to like bardo pond - but it was not to be. they reminded me of a strung out edie brickell and the new bohemians. the drummer was way cool though, in a geeky, spastic kind of way. he looks like he's having a tourette-related attack when he plays. his beats were vanilla, but you could tell he felt every one of them, so it was great.

    the crowd was fine. there were a couple people who bummed earplugs off me. those not wearing earplugs were holding their ears in pain! i learned my lesson at my first mogwai show: mogwai want to punish you.

    i've said it before, and i'll say it again: damn, that guitar player's got fast hands. he probably could strum 32nd notes for a hour.

    from phillip ross:

    there is a write up in monday's washington post of the show on friday night by mark jenkins, a local music scene fellow who's pretty well respected. his take on the show was, i think, pretty on the mark. he said they played a lot of interesting material, and played it well (he also compared them to mbv and sonic youth of old), but noted that by the end of the almost 2 hours it was beginning to seem a bit, well, bland. i think this has something to do with absence of lyrics and because the band doesn't interact much with the audience. this is not to say it was a bad show -- quite the contrary. and throughout i saw stuart, dom (who wore a baseball cap all night and played guitar on ex-cowboy), and john exchanging lots of smiles and laughs, while barry, smoking constantly, seemed very wrapped up in the sounds and martin whomped away at the drums. which is to say that they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

    highlights for me were fear satan and ex-cowboy (i'd written all sorts of pleading emails to stuart, hoping against the odds that someone would read them and influence the night's set list; i guess i lucked out, or enjoyed a nice coincidence), as well as what i thought were surprisingly good versions of sine wave, 2 rights, and helicon i. the only time i wasn't into the music was at the end of my father..., when it just got too noisy and stuart, headphones on, started "singing" over john's feedback experiment. i've seen too many bands do this for too many years now. it wasn't original and, worse, it didn't even sound good.

    the crowd was small but devoted. the tour single was available. and the drinks weren't too expensive. it was a great night altogether... these guys are the future; they're going to take control.

    from peter huber:

    the show on friday night at the 9:30 club was one of the best shows i've ever seen. mogwai is not that impressive visually, but nothing matches the musical intensity of the band live and i've seen many many bands in the past 20 years. i've been a mogwai fan since "young team", but this is the first opportunity i've had to see them.

    after driving down to dc from philadelphia, bardo pond (from philadelphia) was somewhat of a let down. the song that barry helps out on is by far their best. everything else was unimpressive. even the last song that all of mogwai helped out on wasn't that great.

    mogwai took the stage with bardo pond's guitarist for sine wave. i have to admit this version didn't grab me like the version on "rock action". i thought "mogwai fear satan" was lukewarm as well. i don't know what happened, but by the time they got through "you don't know jesus" they were simply incredible. i'm so glad i brought ear plugs! (thank to other readers' suggestions) even with earplugs, i could hear every note. i watched as others either acted as though it didn't hurt or held their ears in agony. i'm sure several people left the club deaf that night.

    highlights for me included a flawless version of "ex-cowboy" and an incredible version of "2 rights...", a song i didn't think they could pull off live. i was also very pleased that they played "christmas song" as it is a favorite. stuart walked right by me before the show, but in the dark and with his looks significantly different than pictures i didn't know it was him. he is a lot smaller than you would guess. i'm glad he gets into the show though and i agree it really looked as though the five of them were having a great time!

    also, mogwai's sound man is one awesome guy. i had my 14-year old son with me (only his second show ever) and we were hanging around the sound booth. the sound man taps my son on the shoulder and invites him into the booth to watch him. that was a very cool gesture and my son got to leave with the set list. let's just say he will not forget that night anytime soon.