Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bob Mould Plays Songs Old & New at City Winery

Bob Mould has never been one to rest on his laurels, as he indicated once again at one-and-three-quarters-hour sold-out show Thursday night at New York's City Winery. Though he was the leader of the influential and much-loved Minneapolis band Hüsker Dü, Mould has forged his own career since then that has lasted a good deal longer than the group he is best known for.


Above: Bob Mould performs "Make No Sense at All" in Los Angeles in 2008.

Though I wasn't able to take any photos or video at the show, the video above gives a pretty good idea of the sound and look of a Bob Mould show. There's no stage show or effects, no band, no frequent guitar changes, just Mould and his Stratocaster (though sometimes he may play an acoustic guitar as well). Even the clothing is pretty similar to that seen below: Mould in a black or gray t-shirt and blue jeans.

Although Mould has been doing shows that combined song and talking (to promote his recent autobiography, "See a Little Light"), he was all about the music at City Winery, which was fine with me and what seemed to be most of the other fans there. Starting with "Wishing Well" from his first solo album "Workbook," Mould played song after song from his now-lengthy catalog.

There were other songs from "Workbook" ("See a Little Light" and "Brasilia Crossed with Trenton") as well as tunes from his more recent solo efforts (including "The Silence Between Us" and "I'm Sorry, Baby, But You Can't Stand in My Light Anymore") and selections from his post-Husker Du band Sugar (including "Hoover Dam" and "My Favorite Thing").

He closed the show with an encore of "If I Can't Change Your Mind" and Hüsker Dü's "Makes No Sense at All."

Mould occasionally stopped between songs to briefly add context to a song or tell a story. Among other things, he mentioned that he enjoyed playing with the Foo Fighters; he performed on a song on their latest album and also performed it with them in concert a few times.

And in what will be good news for Bob Mould fans, he plans to play some upcoming dates with a trio. A note on his website reads, "In honor of the 20-year anniversary of Sugar's "Copper Blue," Bob along with his band, Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats), and Jason Narducy (Robert Pollard, Verbow) will be performing the album in its entirety for the first time ever."

Mould mentioned at the show that he'd be playing some upcoming dates with the trio and would begin with some European and later dates, but I don't recall him specifically mentioning that they were to be "Copper Blue" shows. Nevertheless, the notice on Mould's website mentions several European dates for the "Copper Blue" show as well as a show in San Francisco Feb. 24th.

Also in the future for Mould is a new album (he played at least one new song on Thursday night).  To hear what a Bob Mould solo show sounds like, you can stream his set from last year's Sasquatch festival.

If you're a fan of Bob Mould or any of his various musical incarnations, check out his website for news of his shows with the trio. Although Mould can rock out with just his Stratocaster, there's nothing like hearing him the the full sound of a band.

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