On April 25th 2011, I saw the Scottish band Mogwai live for the third time. They were playing the Olympia, in Montreal, to support their latest record called Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will.
Before the show, it seemed like the stars were not aligned for them this time around. A few days before the show, they announced that due to visas problems, they had to postpone the first few dates of the American leg of the tour. I was happy to see that the Montreal show was not delayed. Then, the day before the show, they announced on Facebook and Twitter that drummer Martin Bulloch would not be part of the tour, due to family commitments. James Hamilton of the band Errors will be playing drums for the North American tour.
As if it was not enough, when the opening act took the stage, they told us that they were playing instead of Errors who were supposed to be the opening act. I don’t know what happened here, but it seemed like everything was against Mogwai this time.
But honestly, I have to say that it all turned out pretty well. Finally, the first band to play was a Montreal band called USA, out of Vietnam. I never heard of them before. The singer/guitarist of that band is called Jonathan Cummins. He’s well known in the music community for having played in many bands, including the Doughboys and Treble Charger. But the sound of this new band is really far from the Doughboys or Treble Charger. The quartet plays a loud and heavy rock that is not instrumental, but that has long instrumental intros / breaks. I was pretty impressed by the performance. Of course, the sound was not all that good, but having a good sound is something an opening act can rarely count on. But the energy, and the songs were there. I will definitely be watching them and be looking for a CD release. I don’t know if there’s anything available yet, but I checked at the merchandise booth at the show and they did not have anything. However, for those interested, you can hear some songs on their Facebook page. And by the way, for those who said that a Telecaster could not be heavy or loud, well Cummins would prove you wrong anytime.
Mogwai took the stage next. Once again, we were on for a delightful journey through their musical landscape. They opened the show with White Noise, the first track on their new CD. As with all the other Mogwai show I have seen, there was nothing really fancy there. Just a great band, with awesome music. They also had a big screen behind them where there was some projections to add visuals to all that. Nothing fancy but still, everything it takes. Pure rock, intense and loud. But they’re not just loud. There’s something more. You can definitely feel the intensity. They sent shivers down my spine.
Something I really like about them, and you have to see them many times to notice, but as opposed to many other bands, they don’t serve us the same shows over and over. As an example, this time around they did not played songs as Haunted By a Freak, Christmas Steps or Batcat, even if these songs where great moments of previous shows. The playlist that time was mostly around the last album, with some older stuff thrown in. As an example,
the encore started with Auto Rock, off their 2006 album Mr Beast. I believe they played pretty much all the songs off the new CD, except for Letters To The Metro and Too Raging To Cheers. They played and fantastic show that lasted for roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes, including the 3 songs encore.
And for those “anxious” about Bulloch not being of the line up, let me tell you that Hamilton did a great job. That guy is definitely a hard-hitting beast. The only noticeable mistake was at the beginning of George Square Thatcher Death Party, in the encore. But still, it was just a little fun.
All in all, a gorgeous show… just as usual.