The rain fell, as expected, heavily at times, but it came with deep rumbles of thunder and frequent flashes of lightning, which forced a change in the show at Crossroads KC: Bob Mould and his band with openers Fury Things.
Things were scheduled to launch at 8 p.m. Tuesday. But the lightning, not the rain, delayed the concert until about 10 p.m., at which point the organizers decided to make it a one-band show, and Mould and his two accomplices took over.
Their music is fast by nature, a melodic fusillade of high-speed guitar chords and high-volume vocals, all of which gives their music a simultaneous sense of urgency and joy. So, for 70-plus minutes, Mould and his rhythm section played furiously, as if they were robbing a bank and had a date with a getaway car, a pace that added to the show’s fervor.
The set list bounced about his catalog, from Husker Du songs like “I Apologize,” “Celebrated Summer“ and “Makes No Sense at All” to tracks from his Sugar days, like “A Good Idea,” “Changes,” “Come Around,” “Hoover Dam” and “If I Can’t Change Your Mind,” and recent solo material, like “The End of Things,” “The Descent,” “Hey Mr. Grey,” “You Say You” and “I Don’t Know You Anymore.”
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No matter their era or origin, all of his songs bear similar traits: molten, jackhammer guitar riffs, sing-along melodies and dance-along grooves.. It’s a sound that straddles the fury of punk and more radio-ready alternative rock.
Mould had little to say to the small crowd of a few hundred huddled in front of the stage, except to express gratitude for their patience and their endurance of the inclement weather. He did provide a moment of levity by tossing in the Husker Du version of “Love Is All Around,” the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore show, which took place in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where Mould lived and attended college and where Husker Du got its start.
Instead, he and his stout rhythm section, bassist Jason Narducy (who added harmonies throughout) and drummer Jon Wurster, kept their noses to the grindstone and pounded out the two- and three-minute songs one after the other, workman-like. All night, Mould added to the energy coming from the stage by bouncing about the stage and pounding out chords demonstratively and enthusiastically, as if to damn the weather that had put a mild damper on the evening.