Mogwai wows the crowd at 9:30 club
In front of a nearly sold-out audience at the 9:30 club on Sept. 9, Mogwai reminded its fans what good music should sound like.
From the opening sound, the band locked together perfectly to create a flawless indie jam bliss. Frontman Stuart Braithwaite chose not to interrupt the band's set with banter, which enabled the songs to blend together into a deafening symphony.
Mogwai played a diverse blend of cuts from its new album, "Happy Songs for Happy People," as well as from its popular 2001 release "Rock Action." Since most of the band's songs are instrumental, it is faced with the challenge of conveying emotion without words.
Whether it was lowering a guitar to be barely audible or bringing the volume to an ear-splitting shriek, the band knew how to communicate its feelings. On the new track "I know you are but what am I?" multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns programmed one note to play throughout the entire song, which through its simplicity added a melancholy twist to the song.
Just when the music couldn't get any louder, the bass couldn't thump in your heart any more, Mogwai launched into its final and most beautiful song of the night, "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong." This amalgam of guitars, resounding drumbeats, and lyrics channeled through a voice-distorting machine was somehow able to capture so many different levels of emotions in just nine minutes. Judging by the smile on Braithwaite's face, this epiphany-like emotional exploration culminated in ecstasy not only for the awed audience but for himself.
Mogwai's performance tried to show the audience why music is so important: the band attempts to capture one moment and put it into a song, and then allow the audience to climb inside that moment and hear it all around them. From a distorted guitar rising to deafening volumes to the repeated guitar loop a machine kept playing after they exited the stage, Mogwai opened its world to the audience, with resounding results.