even though i own all of mogwai's main albums, a few eps and the zidane soundtrack (i love "half time" and "7:25"), i'm not your typical mogwai fan; i prefer "happy songs to happy people" above all other mogwai albums and enjoy the more melodic songs to the harsher ones. i particularly dislike the earlier material from the ten rapid ep and much of "young team", which i know must seem like sacrilege.
i last saw mogwai (for the first time) at the phoenix in toronto in may 2006, and loved the first half of melodic numbers on the setlist before being slightly bored by the harder pieces that dominated the rest of the setlist.
i'm afraid i'm not too good with names (though i'm re-listening to my catalogue to try to fill in the blanks now). it was quite good, but there was too much early material: the over-rated "like herod", which i actually hate, they also ended the main set with "2 rights make 1 wrong", which also bores me; i don't enjoy at least half of "rock action" very much.
they played the wonderful "tracy" (which was nicely edited down to a few minutes instead having the long outro), "hunted by a freak", and "friend of the night"!
the best part was hearing unfamiliar material, which i can only guess was from the upcoming album. the first song was amazing! ironically for my taste, the slower ones were a bit dull for me. around song number 8 was another great new one. i'm very excited to get the new album.
the venue and audience pretty much sucked, though. i decided to take a view from the balcony from where the view of the whole band is better and the sound is fine, but audience noises from the room float up easily. there are 4 or 5 bars in the room and it pissed me off to no end to continuously have quieter parts of songs ruined by the opening of cash registers and clanking of beer bottles, glasses and coins; i really think it's unacceptable to make that kind of racket during a concert. the audience could also be equally reverential and rude; lots of morons shouting and talking noisily and laughing during songs, especially the newer ones. one older guy thought he was so charming shouting at stuart braithwaite in a fake scottish accent; i can do impersonations, too; big deal; he would have found it idiotic or mocking. i also found the audience to prefer loud and complex playing to actual melody. there were some beautiful melodies people talked over and which i strained to hear, and people often applauded after a screeching guitar wall of noise when the song was still playing. everyone rushes to clap even though the song isn't finished. say what you will about classical music/opera audiences, but they put the music first; ego and obnoxious behavior rarely come in and ruin the listening experience.
mogwai should find another venue -- one where the bar isn't so close and fans can really enjoy the music. (i'm really getting the hang of this angry mogwai rant-blog; if only it were an affectation; i really am this irritable.)
anyway, i can't wait to see mogwai again. i almost didn't go because i had to get a paper done and didn't know if i'd have time; what a nice reward for months of work.
well, that was something... i've been to maybe 10 mogwai shows now (including the famous whirlyball gigs!) and i might just rank that one as the best:
1)first of all, the sound was fucking tremendous - the best i've ever heard at the phoenix. kudos to the engineers!
2)the selection of older material was absolutely first rate - ithica, like herod, secret pint, 2 rights, ex-cowboy!, tracy, and the return of helicon 1 (in an encore no less - cheeky bastards!)
3)the new material sounds beautiful. very melodic, imo not that heavy except batcat (which really is 10x more exciting live). definitely looking forward to the album this fall.
4)for having played only 4 shows in a while the band seemed in top form, the playing was great!
i don't think it was just me - the crowd seemed really into it. extremely enthusiastic encore cheering (for a toronto audience) - that must have been why we got one!
anyways, thanks for a great show boys. cant wait for the return in september....