bright light ! gigs

mogwai @ first avenue, minneapolis, mn, usa 30/09/03


  • yes! i am a long way from home
  • mogwai fear satan
  • hunted by a freak
  • killing all the flies
  • may nothing but happiness come through your door
  • you don't know jesus
  • helicon 1
  • ithica 27o9
  • ratts of the capital


  • kids will be skeletons
  • my father my king

    thanks to ryan mccosham and nate.

    support from papa m.


    first avenue website


    from grant schultz:

    this was my first time experiencing mogwai live, and the setting was perfect. first ave has such a history and atmosphere...while sipping a couple beers before the show i found myself growing extremely anxious for the show to begin. i've seen some great bands at first ave, but something about mogwai filled me with a mixture of trepidation and glee all at once.

    papa m opened, and while pajo has a pretty remarkable resume, this show wasn't really up to snuff...he should have just played solo...the bass player and drummer tried to do too much, it seemed, and the intimacy of what could have been wonderful songs was lost. he played the final song solo, and it was the best of the set.

    mogwai started at about 11 pm and absolutely destroyed the place. i saw people with earplugs in who were also sticking their fingers in their ears to try to create an extra barrier against the waves of distortion. i had nothing in my ears and the sound was incredible. it was overwhelming, but in a perfect way...not screechy and too high end like some came from the gut and filled the room with a thickness i've never felt to this degree before.

    from what i could see, the audience (including me) was numb, in a trance, unable to move. the sound just enveloped us all, and the multiple guitars created so many harmonic tones i sometimes wondered if everything i was hearing was actually being played by the band, or if my brain was generating phantom tones in response to the overpowering and beautiful music. this enormous sound made the dynamic shifts even more pronounced and meaningful. this was music i could feel.

    i was expecting a more laid back show from mogwai, more along the lines of the low show i saw here a couple years ago, but i'm so glad they blew my expectations away.

    the second song of their encore, 'my father my king', was genius. pure joy. 20 minutes of the greatest noise i've ever heard. the ringing in my ears stayed with me for 2 days...kept me company in my drab cubicle at work...comforted me.


    press release from pro audio group

    minneapolis, mn (october 10, 2003): first avenue, the upper midwest’s most revered rock n’ roll emporium, hosted a show by new electro-voice microphone endorsers mogwai on september 30th. the glasgow, scotland based band visited the twin cities towards the end of a thorough tour of the us to promote their june 2003 release, “happy songs for happy people” (matador), their fourth full-length in a string of critically acclaimed recordings. first avenue is also home to a full ev x-array™ rig and proprietary monitors loaded with ev components.

    innovating upon influences such as seminal experimental outfits my bloody valentine and sonic youth, mogwai are figureheads of the current “post-rock” movement, a loosely bound genre concerned with moving beyond conventional song structures and stylings. mogwai’s layered guitar soundscapes shift in oceanic swells and lulls, rather than in verses and choruses. from this perspective, the five-piece push conventional rock instruments and contemporary technology to the limits of what can still be nominally considered “rock with guitars”. they also create an intricate, almost cinematic sonic landscape in which to test the performance of new equipment – microphones, for example. interference and feedback are potential challenges for foh engineer mike guanci and monitor engineer mick brennan, who supervise 90 minutes of multi-layered guitar and keyboard textures, ranging from barely audible glacial guitar tones to full-bore, high spl climaxes. high-performance mics make all the difference in this volatile sonic environment…

    with this in mind, mogwai uses a variety of mics: n/d967 (high gain-before-feedback vocal mic), n/d468 (instrument mic), n/d868 (kick drum mic), n/d767 (vocal mic), various multi-purpose cobalt series mics, and the re1 wireless system. the band also employs four klark teknik lbb100 direct input boxes and is seriously thinking about upgrading to the dn1414 rackmount di. the n/d967 in particular ran the gamut during the show, with minimal vocals at maximum volume being integral to the mogwai sound. multi instrumentalist barry burns, manning the vocoder via a freshly minted n/d967, commented: “thumbs up! a big difference.” that was testimony enough: the sound of the show spoke for itself. mogwai head back to play sold-out concerts across the uk later on this month, ev mics in tow.

    singer/guitarist stuart braithwaite and multi-instrumentalist barry burns used the newly released n/d967, the highest gain-before-feedback performance vocal microphone on the market. the n/d967 is optimized for live vocals with n/dym® sensitivity, and features an ev-exclusive personality switch to shape sound. other features include a unique removable front grille assembly and pop filter for easy hygienic cleaning, a superior multistage shock mount for unmatched low handling noise, and a ‘warm grip’ handle for a more comfortable feel.
    the new n/d967 is able to take any high gain punishment that comes its way without feedback. the n/d967 is also engineered to offer a high-mid & high frequency clarity that competitors’ products simply cannot match, enabling vocals to cut through in any situation, from the thundering six-string tsunami that ends a mogwai show, to the busy mid-frequencies of delay-drenched guitar interplay.

    re1 series wireless system: a completely programmable frequency agile system with advanced clearscan™, a dual band compander, rugged and powerful transmitters and many other features that make it worthy of the legendary re label. during soundcheck, mogwai guitarist john cummings treated first avenue to the opening refrain of “back in black” by ac/dc, whilst exploring the upper level of the club. the freedom of wireless! this was before the evening’s show, of course…