Monday, October 3rd, 2005
There’s not too much to be said about Bob Mould’s return to the world of touring rock music that the media hasn’t already covered (and which I haven’t already linked – like this Pulse Of The Twin Cities piece). Sufficed to say that for me, personally, this would be my first time seeing Bob since Sugar played an incredibly improbable show at my university waaaay back in 1994 (it was one of two Canadian shows on the File Under: Easy Listening tour – one in Toronto, one in Waterloo. Whoever was booking shows for the university back then, I still owe you a beer), so I was fairly excited about it.
Even though that Sugar show is eleven years into the past, it’s still the best point of comparison I have for last night’s show. For starters, a lot of the material was the same – Copper Blue formed a pretty large bulk of the set list. True to his word, Mould’s setlist drew on all periods of his career, starting out with Sugar’s fuzzed-out power pop, segueing into his more contemplative recent and late-80s solo material and of course, those Husker Du songs which hadn’t been played in so very long (in Toronto, anyway). When the Huskers portion of the set arrived, it opened not with a rush of punked out fury that some might have expected or hoped, but instead with the Candy Apple Grey dirge, “Hardly Getting Over It”. THEN came the punked out fury as “Could You Be The One” whipped the entire crowd into an instant frenzy.
The crowd was an interesting one – as you might expect, it was definitely an older bunch who had probably grown up with Bob’s music. One fan whom I talked to seemed shocked I’d only seen Bob live once before and never with Husker Du, for which my excuse was that I was in grade school at the time and probably wouldn’t have gotten in the clubs. I still don’t think she was satisfied with that answer. Another guy decided that it would be punk-appropriate to start spitting geysers of beer onto the audience during “Hoover Dam”, to which Bob responded quickly by spraying a mouthful of water right back onto him. He seemed tickled by the gesture.
It was interesting to be able to compare and contrast the different phases of Mould’s musical career all played together like that – though all stylistically distinct, they’re still remarkably consistent. Of course, it helps that they were all delivered at absurdly high volume via Mould’s intense, buzz-saw guitar. Mould himself was also looking impressively lean, fit and quite happy, often wearing a big grin on his face and he playing and moving with an energy that would put many younger artists to shame. He even talked to the crowd – saying “thanks” a few times and introducing the band. Eleven years ago, I think he said “thanks” once, and sullenly at that. His band definitely deserved props – bassist Jason Narducy did a fine job of covering the vocal parts for Grant Hart/Greg Norton/Dave Barbe and locked in super-tight with drummer Brendan Canty, also of Fugazi. If I’ve any complaint, it was that it was SO loud up front that sometimes it would take me a goodly portion of the song before I caught a familiar riff or lyric that allowed me to identify it. I suspect I was in the minority there, though, as most of the crowd roared with approval with each opening note.
Locals Uncut have been opening for Bob on this leg of the tour, with this hometown show being their final stop. Though they’ve been around a while and have some profile, I’ve never heard them before. Like, never. Turns out they’re fairly adept at the heavy rock thing. Couldn’t hear the vocals for shit so I could only judge based on the instrumental end of things, but they were alright. They got some moves and some hair. The could go places.
Back to Mould – I was happy to see the Sugar-era Lake Placid Blue Strat Plus still in action. To get the Huskers-era Ibanez Flying V back into service was probably too much to ask for… and it’s probably either been sold or destroyed by now. And on the souvenier front, I got a shredded pick which Bob threw right in front of me. Sweet. And of course, there’s photos.
Exclaim! has a piece on the wealth of high profile Canadian indie releases coming out this Fall. It’s worth noting that the big board at Soundscapes last night said that the Broken Social Scene record was delayed until next week. Is the big board correct? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be the big board if it wasn’t worthy of the title. We’ll find out tomorrow if and when the anguished cries of the indie kids denied their Broken Social love ring out around town. But they can console themselves with the delayed-from-last-week Metric album. Update: Apparently manufacturing delays have pushed back the release in Canada, but it’s still out tomorrow in the US. Bah.
Quick show announcement – Portland’s Joggers and GoGoGo Airheart are at Sneaky Dee’s November 14. I got an advance copy of The Joggers’ A Cape And A Cane a little while ago and am still formulating thoughts – but I can see these guys getting big regardless of what I think. They’re already getting some buzz, so if you’re all about staying ahead of the cool kid curve, this could be one for your calendar.
One Superman Returns teaser trailer, coming up.
Oh look – the CBC lockout appears to be ending. I’m not surprised – as I’ve been telling everyone who’ll listen (which is no one), there was no way the lockout would continue past the start of the NHL season (aka this Wednesday). No way, not with their biggest money maker coming back after a year away. It’s like the garbage strike a few years ago. They suddenly reached an agreement a couple weeks before the Pope arrived for Pope-fest – just enough time to clear the mountains of trash off the streets before the pontiffs and pilgrims (and their pilgrim dollars) came to town.
np – Sea Ray / Stars At Noon