buttonMOGWAI @ Ebisu Liquid Room (5th Oct. '04)

Busting Eardrums

You know you're at a good show when you can feel the music. All concerts allow you to watch and listen to a musician. Some spectators may put forth cheesy sentiments about how they've been touched by a specific artist's lyrics or actions and can feel their message deep in their soul. This isn't what I'm talking about. When I say feel the music, I mean it in the most literal sense possible. As Mogwai ripped through their closing number, Like Herod, during the first of two shows at the Liquid Room, the power and sheer volume of the music caused attendees legs to wobble, spines to rattle, and teeth to clatter. Doing their best to let everyone truly experience the phrase "ear splitting decibels, the Scottish quintet would be wise to purchase some stocks in a hearing aid company so that in the coming years they can truly reap the benefits of all their hard work.

After the quiet opening it was time to start doing some permanent damage to the crowd's hearing. Introducing themselves in Japanese, Part Chimp's drummer John Hamilton screamed 1, 2, 3, 4" and the band instantly engulfed the venue in a beautiful wall of sound. Extremely short-lived, the pleasant noise was replaced by a potent and heavy as fuck blend of post-rock and hardcore. Tim Cedar howled his way through the lyrics from their debut album, Chart Pimp, while his and Iain H's guitars collectively and individually battered and bruised ears. Going with the completely underrated less is more approach, the quartet steamrolled the audience with a tight, 25 minute set of rock.

The night started off simply enough with a solo acoustic performance from the James Orr Complex. Performing tracks from Chori's Bundle, as well as a great version of "A Million Men" from 2001's Figa EP, the low-key set was well received by the growing audience.


With everyone's ears still ringing, Mogwai took to the stage. Looking to get some use out of his microphone, Stuart Braithwaite said "Hello. It's nice to be back," before launching into "You Don't Know Jesus, the first of a dozen excellent, predominantly instrumental tracks.
Offering little surprises, the show featured everything that Mogwai fans have come to love and expect. Atmospheric, theatrical music- check, building crescendos check, a lot of distortion and feedback check, the ability to switch from beautiful, soothing chamber pop to crushing death metal in a fraction of a section check, seizure inducing flashing lights check, playing loud enough to explode the skull of a small child check, phenomenal music talent check.
Touching upon each of their four full-length efforts, the group held the near capacity crowd mesmerized for 90 minutes with gems such as "Ithica 27-9" and "Summer. Exploring every aspect of the quiet/loud dynamic, the band lulled the audience into a relaxed, dreamy state before slapping them in the face with a blast of thundering, dissonant rock. Slowing things down to allow the audience's eardrums to heal, the crowd kept their guard up knowing that the next wave of deafening guitars could hit at any time.
Although many no doubt had difficulty hearing the next day, on this night all they cared about was the sonic bliss being created by Mogwai. Judging by the spirited applause that followed the conclusion of "Like Herod, you can bet that they will be willing to suffer temporary deafness next time the group is in Tokyo.

- set list -

You Don't Know Jesus
Hunted By A Freak
Mogwai Fear Satan
I Know You Are But What Am I?
Ithica 27-9
May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door
Killing All The Flies
Ratts Of The Capital
2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
New Paths to Helicon
Like Herod

report by shawn and photo by keco

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buttonmag files :
buttonBusting Eardrums : (04/10/05 @ Ebisu Liquid Room) : review by shawn, photo by keco
buttonphoto report : (04/10/05 @ Ebisu Liquid Room) : photo by keco
buttonillustration report : (03/11/11 @ Nagoya Bottom Line) : illustrated by chika
buttonphoto report : (03/11/10 @ On Air Osaka) : photo by ikesan
buttonphoto report : (03/11/06 @ Shibuya AX) : photo by maikokko
buttonスチュワートに敬意を表して : (03/11/05 @ Shibuya AX) : review by nob, photo by keco
buttonphoto report : (03/11/05 @ Shibuya AX) : photo by keco
buttonロックの"先"に見えたもの (01/04/28 @ Osaka Big Cat) : review by ken, photo by ikesan
button圧倒的な轟音の緊張感 (01/04/28 @ Osaka Big Cat) : review by ikuyo, photo by ikesan
buttonno title (01/04/25 @ Akasaka Blitz) : review by nob, photo by nishioka

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