Nov 26, 2017 - For Beatroute BC. Review by Johnny Papan.
The five-piece post-rock group from Glasgow, Scotland sedated the Commodore Ballroom with pseudo-psychedelic sounds on Saturday night. Mogwai washed audiences over with oceanic soundwaves that was matched with an equally liquid light-show that told a story of its own. Some band members would swap instruments between songs, often trading guitars for synths.
A mostly instrumental quintet, Mogwai was short on words for their duration of the performance, letting their spacey subscape carry the audience from one track to the next. Vocals were limited, as were words to the audience aside from the occasional “thank you.” It was a relaxed experience for the most part. That being said, Mogwai did not shy away from taking unexpected turns in their set, bashing out some heavy tunes between the mellow.
Touring in support of their recent release Every Country’s Sun, Mogwai played a solid set of newer material including tracks like “Brain Sweeties,” the heavy hitting “Battered at a Scramble” and one of their few tracks with vocals: “Party in the Dark,” among others. The band also unleashed an excellent rendition of their hit track “Remurdered,” off of the 2014 album Rave Tapes.
It was a unique experience seeing Mogwai in concert; relaxed yet heavy, spacey yet oceanic. There was a sense of rejuvenation in the air when the concert was over, an aware calm similar to the effect of post-meditation. Despite seeing the band up-close, it was hard not to let your mind wander into an adventure of its own, letting the music carry your thoughts to a place of bliss.