Mogwai + Errors: Birmingham, Alabama (19 May, 2011)

Mogwai stoppt thru Birmingham, Alabama, with supporting act Errors, at WorkPlay a couple of nights ago. And what a fucking show. Check out the included pix (courtesy of pal + snappy local musician, Donny Guitar).

Errors started up just after 8p + played a 45 minute set that included much of the material from their recent rekkid Come Down with Me. Their set was a tasteful-yet-freaky combination of post-rock + electronica, and there were moments that their keyboard-driven sound was highly evocative of some of the best early synth-punk. Excellent. Fucking. Band.

The only thing that could come close to a complaint is that, to a set of ears tuned to the Deep South, a Glaswegian accent is hard to follow (+ I bet that it was waaaaay worse for the band members, trying to understand some crazy-ass redneck accents)... but, really, that nigh-impenetrable Scots brogue was quite endearing. The skinny here is that Errors is another Scots band, one which Mogwai signed to their rekkid label. And one which shares a drummer - one James Hamilton - with Mogwai this tour (Mogwai's drummer was unable to tour with em this leg). And Hamilton is fuckin' amazing, keeping a super-tight groove-pocket pulsing + living while playing stuff that also incorporates a good bit of sequenced keyboard parts. Of particular note in that regard: "Supertribe" off Come Down with Me by Errors, which leaves me with a big shit-eating grin + a delicious aftertaste of very early New Order or classic Tubeway Army...

Mogwai took the stage after a very short 'twixt-break (which was a nice opportunity to chat with a dude at a neighboring table, there to see Mogwai for the 26th time - !!! - + to dip outside for a quick cigarette - cuz tobacco smoke is on the way out as a health risk at the same time that people are knocking back alcoholic bevs left + right...) + blew the doors off the space!

Their sound continued to grow larger + larger, louder + louder, throughout the set, creating epic soundscapes that pulled everyone into the mix. The set included choice tracks from their newest, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will + featured the band playing some serious musical chairs, as everyone except the drummer (+ he played for BOTH bands, so he wasn't exactly slackin', either) proceeded to switch instruments repeatedly during the set, including some HUGE sonic moments with guitar upon guitar upon guitar layering that yielded some of the most epic-sounding live music I've gotten to experience.

(Ho... Lee... Shit... wouldja just look at all them pedals! There were more pedals onstage for the Mogwai set than in any local music store's stock... gives you serious gear-wood if you're a musician...)

This clip of them live is from just a coupla days earlier on the same tour:

Gotta say that this easily ranks with the best shows I've seen, which includes some excellent shows: Sonic Youth / Mudhoney / Kurt Cobain / Pavement at Castaic Lake in 92, repeated Tortoise shows at the Palace, Knitting Factory LA, etc., Isotope 217° / Jet Black Crayon / Nobekazu Takemura somwhere in LA (99 maybe?), Pharoah Sanders (and, like, wow! was that old dude insane + awe-inspiring!!!) at Catalina's Hollywood (97 maybe?), fIREHOSe at the Ivory Tusk in Tuscaloosa (90 or 91?), Jane's Addiction doing an impromptu acoustic set at Amoeba Hollywood in 02 while I was working (nice getting paid to do a job you love + see a band you like do songs you love), Nirvana / Das Damen at the Omni/New Daisy in Memphis right after Nevermind's release...

Now, if we could just get Tortoise to come back Alabam' again... (+ maybe our sometime-posting brother Da5e will post about the next night of the tour in Atlanta, which he + Lady Da5e were scheduled to attend...)

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