Last night I got to see one of my heroes, Bob Mould, at City Winery, a really intimate venue in the west loop. He is touring to mark the 25th anniversary of Workbook, which I believe is a masterpiece. It laid the foundation for the decade+ of alternative rock that followed a couple of years later. Guys who were there, like Dave Grohl, will tell you so.
I’ve seen Bob maybe a half-dozen times in various configurations, which puts him at or near the top of the list of artists I’ve seen most often. I remember one night at Metro when he showed up late, walked out on stage by himself, took out his mid-80’s blue American Standard Strat (I have one too, coincidentally) and then proceeded to rip everyone’s head off all by himself, no band required. I also saw him with Sugar at the Aragon Ballroom, which remains the loudest concert I have ever attended.
Last night, he did something I don’t think I’ve seen him do before: he had Jason and Allison (formerly of Verbow, local heroes who were labelmates of ours back in the day) on guitar/bass and cello. No drums.
And I’m here to tell you that 53-year-old man absolutely rocked everyone’s face into liquid. And how completely inspirational. Without getting too corny, unless I do, it was a timely and necessary affirmation to me that it doesn’t have to be over, at my age or any other. I was grinning like an idiot the whole time, trying not to sing along too loudly. I was once teased by a friend at one of his shows that I was drowning out the band. It was all I could do to resist doing it again last night.
I tried recording a little of it but it didn’t work out. That’s OK, because I don’t think it could possibly do justice to the experience as it occurred live in the room.