Boston recently had the pleasure of welcoming Glasgow-hailing post-rock giants, Mogwai. Having never witnessed a band of their caliber or unique sound live, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been to many instrumental performances before – jazz, classical, progressive – but I knew this was going to be different.
Lo and behold, it was. Full disclosure: I wasn't a huge Mogwai fan (not before this anyway); I was familiar with their music and found it pleasant, soothing, and overall a great break from "regular" vocal music (excellent study music). However, in concert, these Scots are an entirely different experience altogether. It is literally the kind of show you refer to as "an experience."
Playing a number of tracks from their latest release, Rave Tapes, but every so often reaching in their back pocket for an older hit (such as "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" or "How To Be A Werewolf"), Mogwai indulged us in a whirlpool of beautiful melodies, dynamic contrast, instrumental effects and more. It was an undeniably ethereal experience live as the sounds and various timbres and textures emanating from the speakers just enveloped each listener – mad props to the House of Blues sound management staff for the fantastic, well-balanced audio!
What really blew my mind was how heavy the music could be at times, especially for songs like "Deesh" and "Remurdered", my favourites from Rave Tapes. Post-rock is an ambient genre, absolutely, but Mogwai showed how intense, gut-wrenching, thought-provoking, and heart-melting this genre could be, with their superlative musicality. I, for one, am definitely looking forward for what comes next from Mogwai. And as they would say after each song, greeted by applause from the crowd, "Cheers" indeed and till next time.