Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Merge 25 Day 4: Bob Mould, Teenage Fanclub

All photos by Kevin Norris
Kicking off the second half of Saturday's big outdoor party was indie rock icon Bob Mould with Jason Narducy on bass (his second performance of Merge 25) and Jon Wurster on drums (his third performance of Merge 25.

The band hit the ground running with "The Descent," "Little Glass Pill" and the oh-so-catchy "I Don't Know You Anymore." The entire set was high energy, turned up to eleven and incredibly melodic. The band rolled through a few more songs from Mould's latest album Beauty & Ruin before jumping back to the Husker Du days for "Hardly Getting Over It."

After rocking through "Hey Mr. Grey" and the Sugar classic "If I Can't Change Your Mind," the band were joined by Margaret Cho who sang the classics "See a Little Light" and "Your Favorite Thing," the latter of which she performed for Mould's tribute show in L.A. in 2011. She sounded pretty good for a comedian and was clearly happy to be on stage even if she was a little nervous to sing with the band.

Mould closed his set with the Husker Du song "In a Free Land. It was a triumphant performance and, as far as I could tell, Narducy managed not to bleed during this set which makes it a win-win all around.

Next on the agenda was a rare set from Scottish indie pop icons Teenage Fanclub. The band opened with one of their best songs found on their 2005 Merge Records' debut Man-Made, "It's All in My Mind." The set continued on with great song after great song and at some point during the set Norman Blake noted that they'd written too many songs on their set list than they had time for.

During their limited time they managed to play some of their best songs including "Start Again," "Baby Lee," "Don't Look Back" and "The Concept." The set closed with brilliant "Sparky's Dream" and "Everything Flows." It was another of quite a few sets during the festival that I really wish could have been a bit longer. By the end of the set the side of the stage was full of Merge musicians and staff admiring the band's set including all of Ex Hex, Mac and Jon from Superchunk and others. It was great to see the camaraderie and admiration between the labelmates.

Bob Mould set list
The Descent
Little Glass Pill
I Don't Know You Anymore
Kid With Crooked Face
Nemeses Are Laughing
The War
Hardly Getting Over It
Hey Mr. Grey
If I Can't Change Your Mind
See a Little Light (w/ Margaret Cho)
Your Favorite Thing (w/ Margaret Cho)
In a Free Land

Teenage Fanclub set list
It's All in My Mind
Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything
About You
I Don't Want Control of You
Take the Long Way Round
The Past
Start Again
Don't Look Back
Baby Lee
Please Stay
The Concept
Sparky's Dream
Everything Flows

No comments: