Review: Bob Mold Band Crushes Vic Theater
Punk icon Bob mold brought his energy, gratitude and tight threesome to Lakeview’s Vic Theater September 24. His Distortion and blue hearts! to visit started September 16 in Boston and is turning into a Solo distortion touring October 15 in Bloomington, Illinois.
Halifax, Nova Scotia Kestrels opened the show. The musicians seemed just as eager to get back to playing as masked fans in the uncrowded house were once again to witness live music (face covers and proof of vaccination were required for entry). The happy reverb power trio filled the room on a no-frills stage accompanied by simple but effective lights.
An hour later, headliner Mold took the stage with his trio of Jason Narducy on bass and backing vocals, and Jon Wurster on drums, all dressed in black t-shirts and jeans (simplicity!), saying “It’s Friday in Chicago. Fuck yeah! “They were forced to come back and came up with faster versions of Hüsker Dü and Sugar classics like” If I Can’t Change Your Mind “and” Hoover Dam “, in a” loud, fast fashion. and angular “as Mold once described his band’s music, sound and delivery.
This clean, post-pandemic performance was a welcome return to in-person shows, emphasizing lyrics, craftsmanship, and connection. The resulting simplicity is perhaps one of the few bright spots after 18 months of quarantine. The band delivered tunes at breakneck speed exactly as Mold described it as a “blistering wall of sound, crisp white static radio, with the occasional melody, words buried deep in the storm like s ‘they were encrypted for shortwave transmission. The airs of Mold are indeed monoliths which can either protect and separate, or uplift and exalt.
Wurster was the driving force behind the team, Narducy took strong rock stances from Ramones (Mold credits the seminal punk band for inspiration for their music and philosophy), and Mold masterfully strutted and worried (to more than one title) of his time on stage (he called his movements “wobbles”). The group was excited, hungry, energetic, grateful and loud. Mold thanked the audience for wearing masks so they could continue their “victory lap”.
Narducy’s Split Single group released third album Amplified this summer, and the Evanston resident (and good COVID citizen) has also performed small shows on local porches and backyards throughout the pandemic. Wurster is also in Split Single, and the two are also members of Superchunk. Würster’s Instagram feed features groan-worthy panels tagged #mynewworstfriend and historic rock photos of unusual matings filed under #rockandrollweirdness.
Mold was really verklempt at the end of the energetic set and the encore of the single. “Music is my job, my hobby, my life,” he told the equally grateful crowd. “I fucking missed it.”
He walked off the stage simply saying, “Mask yourself, cheer up, cheer up.”
For those who cannot see this tour, Mold offers many guarantees to enjoy at home. He recounts the audiobook of his 2011 memoirs, See a little light: the track of rage and melody. Listening to the Audible file while biking around town is like having a conversation with him, hearing his gay childhood story in a farming town in upstate New York, learning guitar (including on a Flying V) and formed his first group when he attended Macalester College in St. Paul. It chronicles the consumption of alcohol and drugs, and the Spartan life of the road filled with crises, adventures and the formation of punk rock coalitions. Yet he focuses on his singular and long-standing goal: “We have to play music”.
Mold also offers complete music packages. Demon music group released the fourth vinyl box set Distortion: live (solo music and Sugar) in July 2021, following the April LP set Distortion: 2008-2019 (District Line, Sunshine Rock), the LP ensemble Distortion: 1996-2007 in January (solo, LoudBomb and Blowoff), and Distortion: 1989-1995 from October 2020 (solo and Sugar), and the 24 CD box set Distortion: 1989: 2019 (all music by Hüsker Dü).
You can see more upcoming shows at Vic Theater on their website!
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