Bob Mould

Bob Mould

with Varnaline

Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC • October 2, 1998

Bob Mould probably doesn’t know it, but he has been there for a lot of really hard times in my life. Whether it was a bad breakup or facing hard decisions or stress of some other sort, it is usually Mr. Mould that goes into the CD player first. So after almost ten years of devotion and never seeing the man live, my time came October 2nd. This tour was announced as Mr. Mould’s final tour in the traditional rock group format. With this in mind, I drove 13 hours each way, and after seeing the show, it was a small price to pay.

The opening act was Varnaline, who aren’t really worth talking about much, typical college rock fare, heavy on the cliches. Soon after them, Bob Mould and his band filed onto the stage to begin. I don’t think I have ever been more excited about a show in my life (this is biased journalism, get over it), and I was well rewarded. They opened with songs from the new Last Dog and Pony Show album, and continued to play a mix of songs from Workbook, Black Sheets of Rain, and the self-titled CD. There would be no way to list the highlight songs, as the show was 100% highlights. Even songs I didn’t particularly love on the albums made for great listening live.

As I have heard him do on live recordings, the songs changed a good deal in a live setting. Songs like “Brasilia Crossed with Trenton” and “Hanging Tree” especially became more intense and dynamic at the show, the songs would quiet down often only to be turned back into a screaming tirade. Other songs, such as “Skintrade” and “Hear Me Calling,” became more dramatic, while distorted electric guitars took the place of the subtle acoustic playing on “Lonely Afternoon.”

The song choices seemed very conscious and each older song’s lyrics took on a new meaning in light of the end of the era of Bob Mould playing rock-n-roll. Lines like “… I’ve been here too long/ I need a change/ and I hope you understand… ” or “… I’m sorry you’re disappointed/ but times they changed and so did I… ” make for a kind of unrepentant goodbye from a man who, in his own words, knows that sincerity can only stay so long.

The final song of the set was “See A Little Light,” and what once seemed to be a breakup song became a song about knowing when the time is right to let go. We left the Cat’s Cradle awestruck and with severe inner ear trauma, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

  • Soul Understated
    Soul Understated

    Soul Understated was a swizzle stick of jazz, funk, pop with a dash of Radiohead in the delightful DC cocktail.

  • Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu
    Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu

    That Trip We Took With Dad is the debut feature by acclaimed Romanian short film director Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu. Generoso Fierro sat down with Lǎzǎrescu during SEEFest to discuss the comedy and drama within the adaptation of her deeply personal family story for the screen.

  • Aware

    The Book Of Wind (Glacial Movements). Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • BANG: The Bert Berns Story
    BANG: The Bert Berns Story

    The music biz collides with the mob in this documentary chronicling the fast and dangerous life of legendary ’60s songwriter, producer, record mogul, Bert Berns.

  • The Suicide Commandos
    The Suicide Commandos

    Time Bomb (Twin/Tone). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tricot

    3 (Topshelf Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Bush

    One of the most successful rock bands of the ’90s attracted thousands of fans to its recent Orlando concert. Christopher Long was there.

From the Archives