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Photos by FaithDesired, full set here.

What can one say about a band that simultaneously makes you feel impending doom, teenage nostalgia, deep melancholy and ecstatic build up? Mogwai is one of my favorite bands. They are the embodiment of “post rock”. No vocals, distortion, eerie sounds, dramatic climaxes and might I add wonderful song titles. These 5 boys from Glasgow have been around for 13 years now and have released 6 full length albums (latest to come out 9/22), written the score to a film and have had their songs used in several TV, film and commercial broadcasts. (see below). They mix some very hard rock sounds with some very pretty lullaby tunes. Last time I saw them live, they focused on their softer stuff with the exception of their last song which practically blew my ear drums out of my head. I was indeed thrilled to see them at 930 on Wednesday.

Fuck Buttons at 9:30 club DC Fuck Buttons at 9:30 Club DC
Fuck Buttons at 9:30 Club DC  Fuck Buttons at 9:30 club DC Fuck Buttons at 9:30 Club DC
The evening’s performance started off with electronic noise duo Fuck Buttons of the UK. I don’t really know what to make of this band. I heard their two songs on MySpace and was intrigued, an odd yet beautiful noise. Beyond those two songs, they really disappointed me live. Using a variety of synths, kiddy tape players, distorted vocals they created a noise that was….well just drone-y noise. At one point I think they only played one “note” or drone for 5 minutes. I felt like they could have made an impact if they actually focused on sounds instead of noise. Anyway…
Fuck Buttons at 9:30 Club DC
Fuck Buttons at 9:30 Club DC
Anticipation for Mogwai was high. Can I point out that the majority of the crowd was male? There was definitely a say 10 to 1 ratio. IS there something inherently masculine about Mogwai? I really don’t think so. I find some their songs to be delicate and beautiful. Well, the reality was not many women were there.
Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC
With 10 guitars on stage, a bass, a keyboard and a drum set, Mogwai proceeded to play a harder than usual set. Debuting some material from their yet to be released album The Hawk is Holding but also playing older favorites like ” Friend of the Night”, “Christmas steps”, “Hunted by a Freak” and ” Cody” and ending with the metal sounding ” We’re not here”, they made an hour and a half seem like 5 minutes. All of them skilled musicians, I felt like the drummer really held the whole performance intact. The constant build ups of the drums set the tones for all the songs. The addition of the piano/keyboard in some of their songs gives a softer side to the heavier guitar and bass heavy songs. They didn’t speak much except for a comment about hoping Sarah Palin wouldn’t move into DC but they really didn’t have to. Their songs, despite not having lyrics for the most part, convey a message. Usually sad but sometimes happy, it’s really what you make of it, but you can’t deny there is emotion imbued in each song. The crowd was not only appreciative; it was one of those moments where you could tell everyone had every album and new every details of every song. Those moments aren’t frequent. There was a dead silence before every song, anticipating what would be next…
Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC
It was perfect.
Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC      Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC        Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC  Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC      Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC                Mogwai at 9:30 Club DC            

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