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|Bob breaks the mold of an
Paradise Rock Club
By RACHEL HODGES
STATIC and FEEDBACK Editor
It was three songs into his acoustic set when,
shaking sweat off his closely trimmed scalp, Bob
Mould greeted the crowd. The back room of the
Paradise in Boston was packed to the gills for the
Friday night show. Despite the majority crowd of aging Hüsker Dü fans,
they were easily as rowdy as a group of teenagers – only more heavily
intoxicated. Something about Mould’s every-man lyrics brings people
back to their roots, and of course, their discontent.
Standing alone on stage, it was hard to believe that Mould’s singular
performance could ever live up to his former group work. Best known as
front-man of post-punk trios Hüsker Dü and Sugar, no one could predict
that Mould would eventually become a reflective singer-songwriter. But as
Mould’s hands began to clench along the neck of his twelve string guitar,
the volume and energy of an entire band filled the room.
Mould’s acoustic set was easily louder than the electric work of the
majority of poser-punks today, just going to show that you can take the
punk out of the scene, but the scene is never totally out of the punk. While
Mould’s lyrics are relatively complex (most would read as decent poetry
without musical accompaniment), Mould manages to never sound like a
balladeer. Despite the melancholy lyrics and Mould’s naturally eerie voice,
songs like “Lonely Afternoon” have a sense of energetic desperation – not
lazy hopelessness many artists succumb to. Mould seems distant from
the speaker of the song, able to identify with his sense of loss but not to
See A Little Light
Your Favorite Thing
Sinners And Their Repentances
Hardly Getting Over It
Gauze Of Friendship
Surveyors And Cranes
My Old Friend
If I Can't Change Your Mind
be absorbed by it. “The world, it changed without me/You should hear what I’ve been told/The streets I see are
blasphemy/Lined with paper cups and gold.”
The show itself was a mish-mash of songs from Mould’s previous bands as well as his independent work.
Rarely pausing between pieces, none of his songs were low tempo or plodding. And Mould, himself, seems as
down to earth as his lyrics.
“I’ve had a nice, leisurely day actually,” Mould said. “I flew in from D.C. today. I don’t usually fly to gigs but, it was
like 70 bucks round-trip so it was sort of hard to argue with that.”
In the little talking Mould did between songs, he seemed more like a friend of the crowd and not so much an
entertainer. As the management cranked the air conditioning, Mould borrowed a sweater from an audience
member and implored the management to ease up.
“Can you guys shut that off? It’s fucking killing me. It’s really fucking cold,” Mould said. “I don’t mean to be a baby,
but I can feel my voice changing, and that’s not good when the artist starts to suck.”
As normal as Mould may seem, however, he is still a rocker at heart. By the tenth song, Mould strapped on a
turquoise Fender Strat and plugged in, ripping through the second half of the show with the energy of a 20-year-
Despite all the accolades his group work has received, the show proved that his solo material is just as strong.
When it came time for the encore, fans were shouting for solo songs “Brasilia Crossed with Trenton” and
“Poison Years,” proving that Mould isn’t just a nostalgic substitute for old, disbanded favorites.
You can check out Bob Mould at http://modulate.blogspot.com. He is currently working on a new album which
should be released in late July.