Bob Mould at the Dakota Jazz Club, 6/15/11
Photos by Stacy Schwartz
June 15, 2011
Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis
Though he hasn't lived in the Twin Cities for quite some time, singer/songwriter and now author Bob Mould still has one of the most loyal hometown audiences anyone could ask for. Seeming as much eager to please as he was appreciative to tell his story in prose and in song, Mould delivered a powerful evening to the packed-to-the-rafters crowd at the Dakota.
During a long set that alternated between story telling and music, Mould unraveled the personal memories and stories from his new book, See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, along with selected songs from his vast catalog that accompanied each section of the book.
"I'm not ad-libbing because I'm reading from a book," Bob joked as he placed his blue Fender guitar on its stand to read another excerpt to the highly attentive audience.
Effectively introducing each part of the book with the highly detailed and excellently written stories of his life as a musician and gay man, Mould wore his heart on his sleeve, displaying each phase in his often up and down emotional roller coaster career and the struggles of keeping together relationships, both personal and professional.
From his cathartic evolution as a solo artist to living in New York City during 9-11, the loss of one of his musical peers, Kurt Cobain, and to admitting his dabbling in techno music for a couple records was a bit baffling to even himself, Mould pulled stories from the book to create moments as contemplative to the audience as they are to the man who lived them.
Some of the real highlights of the night, aside from undusting some of my own memories invoked by Mould's songs, were the pieces that I didn't remember very well and were given new light in the performance and reading's context. Songs from his post-Sugar self titled solo album, "Thumbtack" and "Egøverride," sounded as inspired as his most well-known songs, and helped bridge the story from the fallout around that time in his life to where he's at today.
"Oh yeah, about my first band. Everyone should have a first band as great as Hüsker Dü," he recounted to rousing applause near the end of his set. While he seemed to avoid delving into his issues with his former band mates, Bob focused instead on the story of one of his most well-known records, Zen Arcade, often hailed as a masterpiece.
"I do realize it means more to everybody than it does me," he remarked.
Illustrating the difference between living the life he's had in the past and the often personal impressions his work has had on his audience, Mould demonstrated his ultimate gratitude by tearing into a pair of crowd favorites from that classic record, "Something I Learned Today" and "Chartered Trips," to finish off a highly satisfying evening of his best songs.
Critic's Bias: I've seen Bob countless times with Hüsker Dü, Sugar and solo many times and was looking forward to hearing the insight to his work and career as much as my favorite songs.
Photos by Stacy Schwartz
The Crowd: A full house of loyal Mould fans, a five-year-old girl who was bouncing in her chair all night with her Dad, former Hüsker Dü bassist Greg Norton and every music writer in town.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I totally want to buy that book now!"
Random Notebook Dump: Bob's quote of the night commenting on Michelle Bachmann, "If she wins we all move to Berlin."
For More Photos: See our full slideshow by Stacy Schwartz.
See a Little Light
Sinners and their Repentances
The Act We Act
If I Can't Change Your Mind
Life and Times
I'm Sorry Baby, But You Can't Stand in My Light Anymore
Something I Learned Today