Mogwai and Torche rock The Metro. - Oh My Rockness

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Mogwai and Torche rock The Metro.

May 10, 2006
Oh Mogwai, my Mogwai! Just when a dude thinks he's too old and jaded to still enjoy a packed-out show, a mighty Scottish savior comes back to town to recapture one man's misplaced musical innocence. There is absolutely no place I would rather see this band than somewhere that's completely jammed with sweaty, fervent fans. And this is coming from a guy who likes his space (hell isn't the devil and his flames, it's Times Square on President's Day). But for some reason, this band soothes my claustrophobic fears.

Being in the middle of the throng at a Mogwai show is to experience an incredible type of energy that even Tesla (the man, not the band) would envy. We, the audience, wait with collective electric anticipation for Stuart Braithwaite to stomp victoriously on his distortion pedal, thus signaling the dynamic shift from a subtle song to an anthem of amplified euphoria. And when Mogwai's guitars erupt in a climax of crescendos, we feel as if we willed them to do so. We rub shoulders and heads together under cramped quarters to see what happens when soft becomes loud becomes thunderous. Listening to Mogwai live is an exercise in group dynamics... and the more participants, the more powerful the results will be.

True to innovator form, Mogwai continues to explore new sonic dimensions. The band's latest album, Mr. Beast, is certainly still guitar-centric, with the usual soft/loud/soft goodness we have come to expect and respect. But take special note of those soft interludes of theirs. You'll be surprised to hear Mogwai has a new weapon in their rock arsenal; pretty piano melodies. Mogwai and pianos may seem like a strange pairing. But I guess if the White Sox can win the World Series, then anything is possible.

Opening for Mogwai is Miamis own, Torche. And here I thought the only good band from Miami was Iron and Wine. Wow, was I wrong. Torche is sick. Most importantly, Torche sounds NOTHING like Sam Beam (or the Sound Machine for that matter). Think extremely heavy guttural guitars over extremely hard-hitting percussion. Hushed folk this isn't. Some would call this "stoner jam" rock, but that description just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Think more Helmet than Phish. Two of the members of Torche also play in a band called Shitstorm (no elaboration needed). Recommended if you like Boris or the mighty Pelican!

Mogwai and Torche play The Metro, on Friday, May 19th.


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