The Waiting Room in Omaha, Nebraska, was graced with the presence of the Scottish post-rock quintet Mogwai on Thursday night. The group put on a show that mixed intense lighting with an overwhelming wall of sound, making for a one-of-a-kind live experience.
The night was opened up by solo-act Xander Harris of Midland, Texas, who declared he was ready to “make Omaha goth again.” He spent the duration of his set masterfully layering dark waves of synth with deep beats, mixing a desire to curl up and watch the world from afar with an itch to dance away any dread. Go check out his bandcamp page to dig into his catalog!
Mogwai then took the stage for a solid hour and a half, playing a fair amount from their new release Every Country’s Sun, while mixing in a variety of tracks from various previous albums. An eclectic crowd was visibly connected, with swaying, nodding, smiles, and even some dancing, as well as audibly, with one member of the audience informing the band that only a couple songs in they had already “melted our faces off; we don’t have faces anymore.” That true statement, along with a couple other declarations, generated a good laugh from everyone, enforcing the positive vibes throughout. The set list was put together perfectly, flowing regularly between the mild and mellow, and the intense and encompassing. Instead of putting together a playlist of the songs from the night, I opted to put forward a smattering of work from across their repertoire, because as great as it is to know what they’ve played live, it’s nothing like experiencing it; this is a group you just need to see in person. Few live acts have this sort of energy, specifically the kind that (as my wife put it so wonderfully) has each member using their instrument to tell a story…those stories are then woven together beautifully into a powerful, moving symphony. Unfortunately, Mogwai only have a handful of shows left in North America, but they’ll be on the road during 2018, back in the UK, mainland Europe, and making it down to Australia, as well.