Bob Mould at The Cactus Cafe
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last four months, you’ve heard that UT announced it would be closing the Cactus Cafe at the end of the summer. It appears that public outcry has caused them to reconsider that decision. As far as I can tell, the two proposals gaining interest now are either that it be run by the students or by KUT. They continue to take feedback until May 7.
I’ve apparently been under a rock because I didn’t realize until yesterday morning that Bob Mould was in town for a two night stand at the aforementioned Cactus Cafe. I quickly checked with The Wife and that tickets were still available and got myself down there for the second night. I’ve only been to the Cactus a couple of times, but I had not doubt that it’d be a great intimate venue for Bob’s solo show and given the uncertain future, it may be my last chance to see the Cactus in its familiar glory.
I arrived around 7:40 to find a line of 20 or so people waiting to enter the Cactus. All of them around my age or older than me. They’ve turned the area in front of the Cactus into a study/hangout space and it was filled with students studying for exams, checking Facebook and staring at the oldsters lined up in front of them. (I saw a coed with a Class of 2013 shirt, quickly did the math and realized that it’s been 21 years since I graduated. THAT made me feel old). The Cactus is a very small room that’s great for solo acoustic shoes. I forgot that the bar is cash only, but luckily there’s an ATM just outside in the lobby.
Mike McCoy from local band, The Service Industry, opened the show and played a 30 minute set. Bob came out after and played for about an hour with a mix of songs going back to Husker Du through Sugar and across his solo career. As usual, he started acoustic and then switched to electric and closed with several of his Husker Du songs. Along the way, he mentioned that he’d written “Thumbtack” and “Panama City Motel” while living here in the early ’90s. I think he plays “Thumbtack” at nearly every solo gig here. I saw him at one of the last shows at Liberty Lunch along with one at La Zona Rosa on the Carnival of Light and Sound tour and I think a SXSW appearance and an ACL appearance a few years back. The last few albums have been hit or miss for me but there’s always at least a few standout tracks. I wish that he’d played “Paralyzed” from Body of Song.
He’s moved from DC to San Francisco now. He’s writing (or has written) an autobiography that’s slated for release from Little Brown And Company this fall.
Here’s the set list as far as I could make it out. There are a few gaps. I streamed video from my iPhone for part of Celebrated Summer and Thumbtack. The video’s not too bad and the sound is actually pretty good. I would’ve liked to have gotten “Wishing Well” at the beginning, but I missed it.
See A Little Light
Panama City Motel
I’m Sorry, Baby, But You Can’t Stand In My Light Anymore
Life And Times
Can’t Change Your Mind
Makes No Sense At All