Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Show Review - Mogwai - 4/27/11 - Mr Smalls - Pittsburgh - Live Review - Concert Review

While the Pens were taking their lumps in game 7, Mogwai played to a pack crowd last Wednesday night at Mr Smalls. I thought that their might be a sparser crowd with several events taking place (including competing concerts), but the show was close, if not sold out. I took in the performance from the balcony for the first time since they opened it. If you get the chance, definitely take advantage of it. Yes, you pay an additional $30, but it gets you a primo seat plus matches your $30 with both food and drink. An added bonus is you don’t have to deal with looking over someone’s head or bumping into others every 2 seconds.

The one disappointment concerning the show was the scheduled opener, Errors, did not play. No one knew this until Mogwai came out for their set some 2 hours after the doors opened. They apologized on Errors behalf stating they had Visa issues with getting into the North America. I just wish I had known this beforehand as I rather had watched the period of the game.

Mogwai is known as one of the loudest live acts around, and they certainly didn’t disappoint this evening. They quickly jumped onstage with a brief wave and began right into their hour and fifteen minute set. Guitars swelled and dived with precision as the band carried the crowd from one song to another. Many of the songs were off their new album Hardcore Will Never Die…But You Will. Most of the set was the normal instrumentals, but a few had the distorted vocals seeping through. I have seen Mogwai a couple of times before but all without vocals. It was a nice addition.

The crowd was swaying for the entire time and surprisingly, respectively quiet for Pittsburgh. Mogwai isn’t a band that brings theatrics to the stage or much crowd interaction. But what they do is hold the attention of the viewers with their mix of slow buildups and massive crescendos. It is a transfixing experience that you should see. Their intensity was maintained throughout the set creating an environment that kept the masses enjoyment.

After about an hour, the band rested before coming back for a 15 minute encore. The encore was even noisier then their main set, which is surprising concerning all the energy spent on it. The last song was rounded out with a 4+ minute ‘jam’ session that kept everyone in the crowd from the doors. A very good evening, plus missing what would have been a disappointing game 7.


  1. Good show & thanks for the videos. I enjoyed them much more live than listening to studio recordings. Still not sure whether wearing earplugs was the wrong decision. How many days did your ears ring?