Bob Mould Melts Faces with Blissfully Awesome Show

Posted on Friday February 12th in

Bob Mould :: 2016.02.11 :: Brooklyn Bowl London

Photos courtesy of Trudi Knight

Hüsker Dü hero Bob Mould is 55 and has a more mature audience these days. So you’d expect people who grew up with his music to be of a similar age. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still dye their hair purple or wear a Dead Kennedys T-shirt. As last night’s crowd proved: Punk is an attitude, and youth is a state of mind. In fact, opening act Cheap Meat were probably the youngest people in the room. They were fully aware of the headliner’s legendary (albeit underground) status and smart enough to know that his fans aren’t easily won over — which isn’t to say they’re music snobs or disinterested in newer bands, just that many of them probably saw groups like Hüsker Dü and Nirvana back in the day, and they’ve been around long enough to hear every good and bad derivative of them since. Thankfully, Cheap Meat fall into the former category. Bloody good, in fact. You could clearly hear the influence of such bands as the aforementioned, alongside classic power-pop acts like Cheap Trick, Big Star, the Knack and Weezer, but it’s done in a way that sounds fresh and ultimately original.
Cheap Meat :: 2016.02.11 :: Brooklyn Bowl London

Holy shit, Bob Mould! The communal excitement from everyone gathered — Mould, his band, and the audience — felt like it could derail at any minute during the group’s incendiary 90-minute performance, such is the fury and force of their sonic attack. From the moment the most powerful of all power trios hit the stage, it was fucking on, once again proving that punk is an attitude you can never outgrow, whilst youth is a state of mind unaffected by the passing of time. Yes, half the heads in the crowd were bald, including the head of the main man everyone was there to see. But that didn’t stop those heads from banging twice as hard as the youthful, and frankly deprived, heads half their age bobbing along to the predictable sounds of All Time Low next door in the O2 Arena.
Bob Mould :: 2016.02.11 :: Brooklyn Bowl London

Truthfully, most of today’s groups can’t hold a candle to Mould. Even when compared to the solo careers of his contemporaries, like Thurston Moore’s (decent but relatively soft) work post–Sonic Youth, Bob Mould wipes the floor with all of them, and the intensity with which he still plays is astonishing. Kudos also has to go Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster for their respective driving basslines and roaring percussion, which provided the frontman with the solid foundation needed to rip and shred away like the six-stringed, bald-headed animal that he is. And to the soundman — whoever he is — for creating such a cantankerous wall of feedback and distortion, whilst retaining all the clarity and precision of the instruments in the process. We weren’t quite aware of how loud the PA went until last evening, but as the ringing in our ears confirmed, it goes pretty damn loud.
Bob Mould :: 2016.02.11 :: Brooklyn Bowl London

We should also point out that offstage after the gig, Bob Mould proved to be as charming and courteous as he was uncompromising and authoritative onstage during his performance. There’s no encore bullshit or pretentious airs of graces. He finished melting everyone’s faces, took a minute to cool off (we’d need considerably longer after that onslaught of aggression), then headed out to meet the fans, shake their hands, have pictures taken, and generally lived up to his reputation of being a really down-to-earth dude.  We could all learn a lot from Bob Mould.
—Matt Stocks | @mattstocksdj


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