Flashback almost four years ago and I would have found myself in the very same venue, watching the very same band. The first time I caught Mogwai at the Granada Theater, I didn't know what to expect but I had very high expectations based on Mogwai's reputation as a great live band. Fast-forward four years and one thing remained the same: I had very high expectations, but not based on reputation, but based on experience. I had seen first-hand what type of show Mogwai puts on, so when the chance came up to see them again, I did not hesitate to catch the quintet from Glasgow work their magic.
There's just something about instrumental rock that can transplant you to another world. Mogwai excels at this with their cascade of lights and wall of sonic bliss. They may not be the loudest band in the land but that's really not the point, even though they were plenty loud. I took out my Earlove a couple of times, only to immediately place them back in my ears due to the volume. Their magic works in the layers upon layers of sound generated by the five, sometimes six, musicians onstage. The band didn't come out in full-auditory force, rather, they warmed up the crowd with "Heard About You Last Night", the chill, opening track to their latest release, Rave Tapes. But it didn't take long for the band to reach their stride as they continued their musical trek with "Friend of the Night" and "Take Me Somewhere Nice." I was surprised to see that only five of the fifteen-song setlist were from Rave Tapes, but that meant that the band got to play some fan favorites in "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead", "How to Be a Werewolf", and "Mexican Gran Prix". But the Rave Tapes songs were great additions to Mogwai's arsenal, proving that they're not just a one-trick pony of face-melting guitars but that the electronic facets in their music can be just as enjoyable. "Remurdered" was exceptionally great.
Even though the band didn't play the marathon song "Mogwai Fear Satan", a typical set closer, they instead closed their initial set with the brutally good "We're No Here". After a short intermission, the band came back to the stage for an encore with "New Paths to Helicon, Pt.1", "Auto Rock", and ending their show with "Batcat". In my opinion, I thought it was an overall great setlist. And just like I said after the first time I saw Mogwai, if you ever get the chance to see them, go do it. You'll be glad you did. Photos of the show are below:
Mogwai @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 3:00:00 PM Rating: