bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ fireside bowl, chicago il, usa 25/05/2002


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


  • like herod

    thanks to michael kaczmer and john mahoney.

    support from mighty flashlight

    ticket scan from michael kaczmer.

    fireside bowl website


    from john mahoney:

    yeah, no my father my king. but it was awesome. for those not familiar, the fireside bowl is a tiny, run-down old bowling alley with a tiny stage in the corner elevated about 18 inches off the ground. it was so small that john was playing behind one of the pa things the whole time. but the smallness of the place and the low ceilings made the mogwai sound the loudest i’ve heard of the three times i’ve seen them. it was just unbelievable - the songs where the dynamic changes from whisper-quiet to full wall of sound (satan and like herod) were just scary, they rocked so hard. rocked harder than diamonds.

    and for the most part, there was no talking during the quiet parts, which was nice - stuart said “you are all so well behaved.” and might i add that i am overjoyed to finally hear my favorite gwai track "yes! i am a long way from home". the new songs were hot too. splendid.

    from 'bollocks62':

    i got off the bus at the fireside to see the line wrapped around the street and the side of the building. for a few seconds i wondered if i was even going to get in, even though i had a ticket. the idiots that run that place over-sold the venue horribly. i believe the legal limit for people inside the fireside is 165 or so, but there were at least three times that many people there. so it was a bit crowded, but the show was awesome. i was up front about 6 feet directly in front of the right pa, so my ears took a severe beating. two days later and i still feel it. especially beautiful moments came during 'mogwai fear satan' during the flute solo. 'like herod' just ruined my ears though. i could see the band all turn their amps up at the very end. it looked like stuart(?) was licking his volume knob to try to turn it up while playing. altogether a great show, but i really should have brought ear plugs. i will be deaf by the age of 25. good times. cheers.

    from michael kaczmer:

    the mogwai show at the fireside bowl was amazing. sitting and waiting before the show began, i looked over and saw stuart and barry conversing over the setlist. i took a peek and saw the first 3 songs as 'yes!', 'satan', and 'star'. now obviously, after the fact, that list was changed right before the show, but it was cool to see the guys from the band walking around the fireside, the crowd around them pretty much oblivious to the fact that right there sitting next to them were members of the band they had come to see. also saw martin walking around in a #6 mark martin/viagra hat... so either he's a nascar fan, or he just likes viagra!

    anyway, the show was beyond sold out. a sign inside the place reads maximum occupancy at 164, but it was pretty obvious that there were a lot more people than that in there. so, squeezed into a mass of people, inside that tiny, run-down bowling alley, i couldn't wait for mogwai to take the stage.

    when they finally appeared, they went right into 'you don't know jesus'. a pretty amazing version too. 'satan' came next, and it was one of the best renditions i've ever heard them do. it seemed that they're changing it just a bit, enough to keep it interesting. the end part sounded (to me at least) to have a slightly different guitar part towards the end. nothing too odd or drastically different, just something cool.

    a new song came next, which i assume was 'star wars', since that was what stuart had written on his setlist prior to the show. it's a really nice song, typical mogwai-like sound, but that's never a bad thing. if i had to pick an era it sounds most like, i guess it'd fit right inbetween 'cody' and 'rock action'. 'cody' was up next, and this had to be the best i've heard stuart's voice in all the times i've seen the 'gwai. a really beautiful rendition, quite moving. following that somewhat poignant moment was 'xmas steps', and as always, this one got a great reaction from the crowd. the sound at the venue was pretty damn good, for being inside a bowling alley. nice loud bass sounds, and pretty good all around sound.

    next up, another new one, which i'll assume was 'nursery'. a cool, slow-starting song that builds up into a nice crescendo, then slows down some more towards the end. i'm trying to remember exactly how it went, but my memory is failing me as i write this, so i hope i got it at least part right. 'yes!' came next, and i've been waiting to hear them play this one live for a while. awesome version, quite worth that wait. the last two songs of the set were my two favorite mogwai songs... 'helicon 1' and '2 rights'. wow. these two never fail to amaze me, every time i hear 'em played live. '2 rights' sounded perfect, from the vocoder-like 'vocals' at the beginning, right down to the electronic break-down at the end. the band left the stage for maybe a minute, if that.

    coming back, i expected to hear 'my father my king', but somewhat surprisingly, they kicked into 'like herod'. i was happy at this, 'cause as much as i love 'my father', i love when bands are willing to change things around, even if just slightly. it keeps things interesting, not only for the fans, but hopefully for the band as well. this version of 'herod' was loud! the big explosion of sound in the song was numbing, and at the end, the feedback barrage was out of this world. a great way to end an amazing set. as far as actually seeing the band, well, that's kind of hard to do at the fireside, unless you're right up front, or standing on a bench or sitting on someone's shoulders. being a way too small club, especially for a band of mogwai's status, it still worked out well enough. i'm not sure if the band decided to play there just to be 'punk' or not, since i know they could've sold out a much larger venue, but it was still overall a great show.