Any doubts that Mogwai have recently delivering below par were shattered when the five piece walked on stage at Galway’s Radisson Lounge and launched into a triumphal rendition of ‘White Noise’, the opening track from their new LP Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. For the proceeding 90 minutes, the band played a set which demonstrated the sheer force of their new material as well as highlights from their back catalogue.
The first half of their set was fairly sedate as the band took their time with their prettier songs which included ‘Letters to The Metro’ and the always impressive ‘Auto-Rock’. Soothing lights reflected by a disco ball and projected images of landscapes emphasised the charm of these songs.
Things picked up a bit with ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’ as the Scots carefully built momentum with each successive track. The poppy ‘George Square Thatcher Death Party’ provided a suitable run into what was the climax of the show – ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’, a true epic even by post-rock standards. Again lighting was employed to match the monumental sound; blinding lights flashed as the song reached its deafening crescendo. Unfortunately the encore didn’t match this high as the guest vocalist on ‘Mexican Grand Prix’ was impossible to hear leading to a bittersweet conclusion to an otherwise fantastic evening.
Apart from a few short thankful comments from lead guitarist Stuart Braithwaite the band didn’t engage in much communication with the crowd- relying instead on their instruments to do the talking. Almost 20 years on the road hasn’t affected their stage presence and it was clear this was a group who love being on stage making noise. Few other bands are capable of capturing and sustaining such an intense atmosphere for an entire gig and this show solidified Mogwai’s reputation as a live act that must be experienced.
Photos by Sara Devine from Dublin’s Olympia gig.
[nggallery id=373 template=carousel]