Sunday, June 17, 2012

Culture: Mogwai, at Webster Hall, New York

Very often you need a lot of patience, but sometimes it`s worth it. In April 2011 my girlfriend and I had a ticket for a Mogwai concert ( in New York, but the gig was cancelled - because of visa issues. We kept the tickets and hoped to attend their postponement concert in autumn. But this act also got cancelled, this time because of health problems. Recently the Scottish band (wikipedia) announced another U.S. tour and we took the risk and bought tickets again.

We where highly rewarded. The Mogwai show at Webster Hall, New York (, last Friday was something to remember for years on. The band started - as announced on Facebook (facebook./mogwai) - at 8.30 pm, a very unusual punctuality, and played almost 2 hours. The five musicians (3 guitars, keyboards & percussion) delivered mainly instrumentals, illustrated by some sporadic vocals. They didn´t provide much of a show. Instead Mogwai acted very economically and focused on their job: Developing a variety of acoustical pictures. The stage fit to this task. We saw just the musicians standing before a black screen with some blinking lights, a canopy which could be interpreted as the universe.

The dramaturgy of the show was well done (you can find the setlist here  The Scotsmen played long pieces with some very melodic and atmospheric parts which you almost could have enjoyed while sitting on a sofa (which wasn`t there), but occasionally they turned on the heat and you had to stand up and bang your head. The final ascended to a performance of dynamic power and culminated in a furious climax with blurred guitars, viscous resonance, feed back and other effects. The keyboarder changed his instrument and now 4 guitars served massive walls of sound.

During the encore (Zugabe) the percussionist and the keyboard player left the stage and the remaining two guitarists started tormenting their instruments on the ground  producing a fierce tsunami of sounds. Finally there was just one guitarist on the stage serving a staccato of sound effects. After he had left his abanded guitar continued filling the hall alone with her powerful sound for some minutes.

Wow. Thanks a lot Mogwai. You rewarded us well for waiting. We want to see you again!

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