last night i went to see a tribute to Bob Mould at, of all places, the Walt Disney Hall. ahem. that would be a celebration of Hüsker Dü’s main man, at the venue where an usher wearing a forest green blazer and gold vest + lapel pin will tsk you for snapping gum too loud. to show just how weird that choice of venue was, i wanted to take a picture of the stage, with the illustrious organ in the background. instead, my camera was switched on video, so here’s me getting busted by Philharmonic staff. ” Ohhhh…”
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to be totally honest i was not a huge Hüsker Dü fan, perhaps because they broke up too early, or maybe because they were slightly too hard core, and if i just waited it out a few years (like some dog owners do), age will do its thing and create a perfect companion called Sugar.
i was a little sad Best Coast did a no show, because the Bobb with two B’s is to be seen at ANY venue, but it might have been for the best. in events like these where there’s one master and many followers and the master is scheduled to play the second half (with the freaking drummer from Nirvana), you know the first half is going to be only slightly tolerable, and then the master will come and show there’s really none other. (ok it’s not fair, but i guess in my opinion if you do a cover, you have to do it a different way, not the same old way, because then you’re sunk. and even Bob Mould doing a cover of his own song is genius)
a good twelve hours later, i am still disturbed by the venue. as we arrived, the ushers greeted us with a “good evening” and handed me a program with, you guessed it, Salonen on the cover. during the concert they crossed their arms and stood in front of the doors with the same blasé look they have waiting for a Messiaen piece to wind down. at intermission the crowd traipsed over the carpet (a orange-brown floral pattern designed to please Mrs. Disney, who apparently didn’t like the building’s exterior, said “she didn’t get it.”) as the ushers looked eager as ever to point the blue hairs to the bathroom. i refrained, for some odd reason, from stealing my usual cup of really bad coffee, and just watched everyone, a lot of BM lookalikes, actually, as they stood in pristine lines waiting for pay top dollar for their drinks.
thank god the two guys sitting next to me were boozed up, which made our row smell like The Smell*, and they had some good pre-concert banter regarding how many times they saw Bob, and how many times in a row they saw him, and how many times at the Roxie they saw him. they also head-banged in good way, although because this is the Concert Hall, the seats are all conjoined so the rocking was almost strong enough to knock the chest cold out of David’s nose. it was only when they pulled out their phones and started tweeting that i was really ready to start a mosh pit fight.
one thing i will say about the Concert Hall is that the acoustics are tremendous. the noise was noise, the howling was howling, and every single note engineered to perfection. plus Bob Mould + Dave Grohl + Jon Wurster is to die for. plus Bob was wearing a sticker that first appeared on his pants, then moved to his shirt, making me think it was the play list. this guy’s old for god’s sake. made me think of the Steve Reich tribute for his 70th birthday at this same wonderful venue, where some concertgoers walked out on his new piece. walked out. 70th birthday. classical music. how avant-garde can you be on your 70th birthday? avant-garde enough i suppose.
*i wanted to link to the The Smell, pretty much the last place i saw a non classical music concert, but i’ll post the google page instead. The Smell is in true form as always.