March 5, 2013

Bob Mould heats up the Horseshoe Tavern

What do you get when you cross a punk/alternative rock legend, two assholes, one guy who smells like kielbasa, one who smells like an ashtray, 341 guys and 5 girls in a packed, sweating room? A night with Bob Mould in Toronto at the 65-year old, legendary, Horseshoe Tavern.

Last Friday, March 1, 2013, on a cold winter's night, Bob Mould came through Toronto on tour to support his latest release Silver Age. I've been to the Horseshoe for many, many shows over the years and I don't remember it ever being this packed. I think everyone wanted to be as close to the stage as possible.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Bob. From Hüsker Dü, through Sugar and throughout his solo career, I've loved Bob's music and he's been a huge influence on my own song writing. His latest album, Silver Age, is fantastic. It featured on my Favourite 20 Albums of 2012 list and the song "The Descent" came in number 2 on my Top 60 Songs of 2012 list.

Here's a fan video of the opening song from the show: "The Act We Act", from Sugar's monumental 1992 album Copper Blue.

And here's a rip from the DVD Circle of Friends of the second track they played, "A Good Idea", also from Copper Blue.

While Bob didn't make it through Toronto on his Copper Blue tour where he played the entire album front-to-back (I did get to see Sugar at the Concert Hall back in the early 90s), he did open this show with the first five songs. He then spent some time with Silver Age before moving on to an assortment of great tracks from across his career. The whole setlist is here. Thanks for not slacking, Toronto.

I love the energy that Bob, along with Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster, put into a show. Whether it's rocking out on the late-night circuit on Letterman or Fallon, or at Austin City Limits, or in Toronto at The Mod Club or The Horseshoe, Bob and the band bring incredible energy and enthusiasm to rocking our faces off and heating up the room.

On the subject of heat, and as a Canadian, I would like to send out an apology for the guys in the band that we didn't have enough heat on to make up for the cold outside. I'm joking of course. It may have been frickin' freezing outside, but it was a sauna inside. It was so hot that Bob's glasses were fogged for almost the whole show, and condensation was beginning to drip off the ceiling.

Sam Sutherland, author of Perfect Youth: The Birth of Canadian Punk joined Bob and the band on stage during the second encore for an inspired version of the Viltones' "Screaming Fist".

For more great music, check out my posts featuring Bob Mould, Sugar and Hüsker Dü.

Overall, Bob Mould and the band played a perfect blend of the old and the new with awesome energy, great sound and a great crowd. See you next time you swing through Toronto, Bob!

Here's a pair of songs from Silver Age: "The Descent" and "Star Machine".

Now Now from Minnesota opened the show with easy-on-the-ears melodic indie pop. You may remember them by the name Now Now Every Children. Too bad most of the audience was chatting so much through their set. I would definitely see this band again.

Here's the song "Thread" from their album, Threads.

One of the photos in this post is mine. I bet you can tell which one. Hint: it's not the one that actually looks professional.