Thursday, March 06, 2008

Bob Mould / Halou @ The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH 3/8/08

It's hard to believe now, but the first Bob Mould show (post Hüsker Dü) I had the opportunity to attend took place in Cleveland, Ohio during the Workbook Tour in May of 1989. A couple of years year later, I returned to Cleveland and actually had the chance to participate in an interview with Mr. Mould for WUJC (now WJCU) at a long since defunct club called The Empire in 1990. I still have the cassette tape of that interview we recorded with a Sony Walkman and will have to try to convert it to an updated format one of these days.

Lately, we haven't had the chance to take in many of Bob's live performances, and our visits up to northeastern Ohio are even less frequent, so braving a predicted snowstorm to make our way back to Cleveland seems to be the plan this weekend. Bob Mould will take the stage on Saturday, March 8, at The Grog Shop in support of his brand new full length release, District Line, which we previewed here on MML last December. We are more than excited and will be there, front and center, to enjoy the set.

From the February 2008 release District Line:
MP3: The Silence Between Us

As an added bonus, the opening act this Saturday evening will be San Francisco, California trio Halou, who we featured just over a year ago [December 2006 review + download]. The band now has a brand new 6 track EP, titled Sawtooth, which is an incredibly good listen. To hear more of the new music, stop in for a visit to the Halou MySpace page and be sure to make it to the show early this Saturday... snowsuit and all.

From the February 2008 EP Sawtooth:
MP3: It Will All Make Sense In The Morning


Anonymous said...

Was that the Peabody's Workbook show? That is still on of my all-time favorite shows. I was front and center. Got chills down my spine when he ripped into Wishing Well.

thepsychicpilot said...

That show at the Emppire was in early 1992. Vic Chesnutt opened. I was at Kent State in 1991 and 1992. I saw several great shows there - MBV, Blur, Ride/Lush/Slowdive and some others I'm forgetting.

4casey4 said...

Yes!! that was the show. It was a great one for sure. Sorry I didn't respond sooner but we just got back from Cleveland/the show.

A few notes on the trip and the evening:

It took us eight hours to drive what is usually only a four hour roadtrip. We arrived Friday night and watched a foot and a half of snow pound downtown from our room at the Hilton. Saturday afternoon and we learned that all of the taxi companies stopped service. Plan B was to take a bus or drive but our car was plowed into a snow bank and the busses were stuck also. Plan C was to have a few shots of tequila and walk five miles to the show but the winds were 40 mph and the snow was up to our knees. The Grog Shop phone message stated that the bands had indeed shown up and the show would go on. We were almost ready to give up and sit sulking 5 miles from where Mr. Bob Mould was going to be firing up that amazing blue guitar...uggg!!!

One last attempt had me at the front desk asking if there was someone they could contact in cases where something "absolutely had to be done"...and then she looked carefully at me. She gave me a piece of paper with a phone number and the name Harry writen on it. I called the number and a very old man answered. He agreed to take us and pick us up also if we "took care of him". Harry called back when he arrived and and we walked out to discover an enormous but beat up stretch limo waiting for us. Harry discussed UFOs and Government conspiracy type stuff all the way there and then we arrive at the front door of the show. Some people smoking outside were scratching their heads while observing our spectacle. We could barely keep straight faces when we exited the limo to go inside.

This was our first visit to the Grog Shop and the place is really nice...not too big/not too trashed. The stage is only a foot or two high and that makes for an intimate live experience. I really can't stand high stages. The opening band, Halou, were just kicking things off when we walked in and they were excellent! We are used to "gazy" type bands being introverted on stage but Rebbecca engaged the crowd, was interactive and held a dominant stage presence. Some of the 50 or so people who braved the blizzard started moving closer to the stage towards the end of their set.

Bob started his set with "Act We Act" and then "A Good Idea" before announcing his appreciation for those who could make it to the show. He offered free copies of District Line for everyone there!!! If you were there, we were the ones who yelled "Downtown Cincinnati" when he asked how far people came for the show. I think we were the winners (depending on how you look at it.) Anyway, his performance was full of fire with no acoustic and the new songs were a hidden explosion tucked nicely in the middle of the set. The only downside of the show was that some dipshit with a cam phone took advantage of the low stage and continuosly held the thing in Bob's face taking pictures while Bob was at the microphone. Not just for a quick picture, but for the better part of a few songs. That is superfuckingannoying but Bob seemed to just ignore it. I would have smacked the thing out of his hand. Other than that, the show was one of the better I've seen. You would think that the Husker Du songs would sound less, um, Husker Du-ish after all of these years but they actually sound closer to the original than they did during the Body of Song tour.

I bought a District Line t-shirt and they are very nice but if you go to one of the shows you will really like the Halou shirts. Those are super cool (great colors). Spoke with Bob for a few moments after the show and he is nice as always. Said goodbyes to Rebbecca & CO. and then jumped back into the stretched out clown car as everyone out front loading band gear and smoking watched with confused faces. If the limo was nice we probably could have pulled off the VIP thing...nah.

It was a great show and I can't hear a thing today.

4casey4 said...

When I saw/interviewed him at The Empire, Ultra Vivid Scene was the opener.

Anonymous said...

Awesome that you made it to the show! I'm sitting here in Portland and jealous of the blizzard.
I strongly recommend the InterContinental at the Cleveland Clinic for future Grog Shop shows. Not quite walking distance, but possible. For some reason, it's relatively cheap, too.

Anonymous said...

Saturna is going to open for Bob Mould on the west coast!! I found that band here and they rock.

hello from Fresno