Mogwai @ Avalon 05.03

Posted May 12, 2011 in

I’m amazed that this show actually happened. Glasgow’s Mogwai were plagued by visa and family issues before they were even able to kick this tour off, so the fact that they were able to pull this show off deserves a round of applause. Way to go, chaps.

Having been moved from the originally scheduled In the Venue to the Avalon Theater, a move I still don’t understand, I decided to play a game of “avoid the crowd” and hit the show a bit after doors had opened. By doing so, I not only avoided said crowd, but I also missed most of the opening band, Errors. I’m sure these guys are well-regarded in some circles, but what I heard sounded like uninteresting techno-pop jumbled with My Bloody Valentine-worshipping shoegaze. Not exactly the best way to begin the evening, but first impressions can be a bitch.

After being forced to fucking pay for a wristband so I could grab a smoke between bands (seriously, Avalon – what the fuck is that about?), Mogwai finally hit the stage about 9:15. Now, in case you’ve never seen them—or heard them, for that matter—Mogwai play a blistering mish-mash of rock, shoegaze, metal, indie, and trance-inducing drone. Touring in support of their latest release Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, Mogwai brought it from the get-go. Opening with White Noise from said release, the mixture of musicianship, lighting, and backing tape that looked like it could have been lifted from footage from the original Tron, Mogwai set the mood perfectly. The band did an excellent job of mixing songs from their most recent works, but, with the exception of the awesomely-performed "Mogwai Fear Satan," it didn’t seem like they reached into their back catalogue as much as they could have.

Errors’ drummer James Hamilton has taken up drumming duties for Mogwai on this tour due to the aforementioned family issues, and he did so almost flawlessly. Combined with the continuous instrument-swapping of the other band members and the sheer musicianship they displayed, this was definitely a show not to have been missed. If, and when, Mogwai returns to Salt Lake City, do yourself a favor and attend.