BOB MOULD Concert Review (Echo)

“Breaking The Mould”
Written by
Jason Reed
March 30, 2017

Like countless other music fans of my generation, I’ve always regarded Bob Mould as rock royalty, a King Midas whose finger often imbues value in everything he touches. Through his pioneering punk output with Hüsker Dü, his introspective and critically acclaimed “Workbook” (and subsequent solo albums) or his 90’s collaborative work in Sugar, few musicians have the “signature sound” and influence that Bob does. His trademark combination of his vocal delivery and guitar riffs provides a sound that is unique, incomparable and, more importantly, emotionally resonant and inspiring.

It was with great excitement that I went to see Bob perform an intimate, stripped down show that was part of WIRE’s DRILL Festival at the Echo in Los Angeles.  This was a rare opportunity to see him without the accompaniment of a band. This was Bob “straight, no filler.” Just him, his guitar and a Blackstar amp.

Bob ripped through his set with an impassioned ferocity. Highlights of the night included “Stand Guard” (a rarely performed track off of the 1990  “Black Sheets of Rain” album), Hüsker Dü tracks “Celebrated Summer” and “Chartered Trips.”  A number of tracks from Bob’s last couple of studio albums also fit nicely within his set, rounding out his catalog of amazing songs.

According to my notes (which were, admittedly, a little garbled), the full set list was as follows:

  1. Hoover Dam (Sugar)
  2. Your Favorite Thing (Sugar)
  3. The End of Things
  4. See A Little Light
  5. I Apologize (Hüsker Dü)
  6. The War
  7. The Descent
  8. You Say You
  9. Lonely Afternoon
  10. Sinners and Their Repentances
  11. Hardly Getting Over It (Hüsker Dü)
  12. Pray For Rain
  13. Stand Guard
  14. Chartered Trips (Hüsker Dü)
  15. Voices In My Head
  16. Hold On
  17. Moving Trucks
  18. If I Can’t Change Your Mind (Sugar)
  19. In A Free Land (Hüsker Dü)
  20. Celebrated Summer (Hüsker Dü)
  21. Daddy’s Favorite
  22. Black Confetti

After the show, I had the pleasure of briefly chatting with Bob and getting some albums from my collection autographed. He was such a gentle soul, very gracious and kind.

Given the deeply satisfying performance tonight, I’d strongly urge fans of Bob Mould to see him perform on his current “solo/electric” tour. It’s a rare opportunity to see this legend at his most barebones and on point.

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