Mogwai soar in long-awaited return to Boston

A review of Mogwai at the House of Blues on June 16, 2012

, Contributing Writer

One of the first things that anyone who has been to a show featuring Mogwai would probably tell you is to bring earplugs. That is not to say that the band’s music is so unbearable as you would want to block it by any means necessary. What is trying to be said is that they do tend to get a bit loud for even a regular concertgoer. However, once you get past the deafening aspect, you’re in for one of the most powerful and emotionally gripping rock concert experiences one can get nowadays. The audience on hand at the House of Blues in Boston on Saturday certainly got that when Mogwai finally returned to town after two postponed shows from last year.

Since the Glasgow-based rockers’ start in 1995, Mogwai has methodically carved out their own unique niche in the post-rock community, specializing in sweeping and majestic instrumental pieces that can dynamically shift from calm and serene to heavy and energetic in a heartbeat. The sole common factor that Mogwai brings to the table in each of their songs is incredible emotional weight.

The show at House of Blues had a bit of weight to it in of itself. After postponing both of their appearances in 2011, there was a bit of extra hype and added pressure surrounding Saturday’s show. Thankfully, for the band’s adoring fans, the band did not disappoint.

Mogwai started the show with “White Noise”, the first track off their latest studio album Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. But, after that, it was a very eclectic mix of songs from their almost 15-year discography. There were some brief breaks in between songs where guitarist Stuart Braithwaite would thank the crowd, but it certainly did not feel that way as songs quickly bled into one another to great effect.

The last couple of songs of the main set could easily mark the height of the concert. Starting with “Ex-Cowboy” from Come On Die Young, the paradigm reached a peak, ending with powerhouse track “Glasgow Mega-Snake” from Mr. Beast. What was really impressive was how the band was able to collate four tracks from four different albums and line them up into one incredible finale. The band’s three-song encore was also impressive, ending with one of the band’s first singles “New Paths To Helicon, Pt. 1”.

It had been a long wait for Mogwai to finally return for a performance in Boston, but when they did on Saturday, they surely made it worth the wait with a special show.

Setlist
1.  White Noise
2.  I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead
3.  Travel Is Dangerous
4.  Death Rays
5.  Mexican Grand Prix
6.  Ratts of the Capital
7.  Rano Pano
8.  Stanley Kubrick
9.  Ex-Cowboy
10. Hunted by a Freak
11. Mogwai Fear Satan
12. Glasgow Mega-Snake
   Encore
13. How to Be a Werewolf
14. Auto Rock
15. New Paths To Helicon, Pt. 1

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