Setlist: Bob Mould — Guthrie Theatre; Minneapolis MN, 17 Feb 1997

Wishing Well
Needle Hits E
Hear Me Calling
Hoover Dam
Your Favorite Thing
See A Little Light
Can't Help You Any More
Lonely Afternoon
New #1
Vaporub
If I Can't Change Your Mind
High Fidelity
No Reservations
Hardly Getting Over It
Hanging Tree
Eternally Fried
Brasilia Crossed With Trenton
Roll Over And Die
Celebrated Summer
Poison Years

Egøverride*
I Apologize*
Makes No Sense At All*

Too Far Down
Thumbtack

Solo acoustic show except (*) solo electric

Thanks to Mark Weygandt, from whose website (now defunct) this information was retrieved, along with the informal show reviews and comments below, which were originally posted to the Sugar internet mailing list:

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From: "LEE, KEITH" 

Just a few observations of the show last night:

* Bob played at the Guthrie Theater, credited for starting the 
regional American theater movement. The stage is a "thrust stage", 
which means the stage is surrounded on three sides by the audience, 
and the seats climb very high to the back. The acoustics are, not 
surprisingly, incredible. Even though the place seats hundreds of 
people (probably over 1,000) it's a very intimate venue. Consequently, 
the show had a very intimate feel.

* This is the first show I have seen BM outside of First Avenue, and I 
must say I was not disappointed. The guitar mix was a little low, but 
all that did was give his voice a place to shine. Despite fighting a 
cold and taking several songs to get warmed up, his voice commanded 
the show and his lyrics got center stage.

* Minneapolis is well-known for obnoxious catcalls from audiences, but 
Bob dealt with them very graciously. One guy yelled out, "what string 
did you break" and he replied "D- and the first of probably many 
tonight". Same guy: "Is that an Ovation?" Bob: "No, a Yamaha, had it 
for 10 years- it's treated me well". Same nervous reaction to his joke 
line about going back to the closet to help sell the next album, but 
not surprising since the audience was overwhelmingly white guys in 
their mid 20s with their dates. (Well, the tickets weren't exactly 
cheap either).

* Electric encore set- the guitar sounded completely washed, but 
probably because the guitar mix was low, and it was a "high fidelity" 
setup (vs. the rock the house setup of the Mainroom at First Ave.)

* Bob seemed very frantic in the first half of the set, filling up all 
available space with his singing and flailing strumming. At some 
point, though, he calmed down and played very intimate if not 
downright quiet sections (Brasilia being a major high point). 
Stunning, stunning, stunning. His second encore (intense Too Far Down, 
spare Thumbtack) was probably his finest performance since Workbook.

* The crowd couldn't believe that Bob played for 2 hours, almost 
completely straight through. Bob was on fire, and the crowd loved it. 
He got a standing ovation after his regular set as well as after both 
encores.

Great show!

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From: "Chris Wheaton" 

Just some thoughts on the Guthrie Presidents Day show:

In the 20+ times I have seen him, Bob has never looked better.  The songs
were great and the atmosphere was outstanding.  I have never seen a show at
the Guthrie and would love to see more.  Matt Wilson was the best I have
seen him since TRIP broke up.  Great choice of songs and very personable
with the crowd.  It's so great to hear DESCENDER live...an amazing song. 
Bob looked a tad bit uncomfortable at first, I think it was because the
audience was sitting and a bit removed from the stage.  By the time he hit
HEAR ME CALLING he was in fine form.  From the opener (WISHING WELL) when
he broke a string he was unusually talkative.  Speaking openly with the
crowd about his instrument, his sexuality and how it was nice to be in MPLS
in the winter where it nice and warm (we have had some good weather
compared to that of New York).  Some comments concerning going back into
the closet to sell more records.  He got some pretty big laughs from that
one.  It was great to hear the BLACK SHEETS stuff again live.  It's been
since 1990 for me.  F[deleted]or a little while I was young again.  The new stuff
was incredible especially NEW#1 and HIGH FIDELITY.  He had also made some
jokes about forgetting some of the words and that he would be looking at
the sheet during the song but that wouldn't mean he was any less passionate
about the content.  He played the set for what seemed like forever.  Man,
when he plays that damn guitar all the problems go away and all is right
with the world.  He took a small break and returned for the first encore. 
After not getting the 12 string tuned the way he would have liked he went
with the fender.  Great feedback and distortion for EGOVERIDE, I APOLOGIZE,
and MAKES NO SENSE.  Another break and back with the 12 string - he went
into great versions of TOO FAR DOWN and THUMBTACK.  All in all - just
incredible.  Best he has ever been.  I hope that in the future he would
consider playing the Guthrie again.  I didn't tape the show but may know of
someone who did.  If I get a copy I let you all know, you really need to
hear this one.  You could have put the mic in the toilet and it would have
sounded great - amazing sound.

-----------------------------------------

From: Eileen Walsh 

Has anyone mentioned the set at the Guthrie (it's a theatre, it should be
noteworthy, right?).  It was pretty basic, a "solid" wall of black brick or
concrete block looking suspiciously like First Ave, with a regular door
under a lit-up sign that read, "TO STAGE DOOR."  Then Bob walks out (not
through that door, actually) with two guitars in cases.  Quite the
itinerant-songman look.  Bob's first comment upon looking around was that
"Now *everybody's* sitting down!" Unusual for all, but it sure made it
easier to enjoy a two-hour show - almost three hours, counting the very nice
Matt Wilson performance.  Wilson really warmed up a crowd that might have
been unsure about this new venue.  Lots of serious music from him, but also
belly laughs with him.  The fun and seriousness just ratcheted up a few
dozen notches when Bob took over the stage.  

If I can respond: 
at 12:10 PM 2/18/97, Keith wrote:
>Just a few observations of the show last night:
>
>*the Guthrie Theater [snip] seats hundreds of people (probably over 1,000)

1,309 to be exact.  I asked.  3 standing ovations!  He earned them, too.  He
just didn't stop.  Of course, we weren't exactly willing to let him stop,
either.  Unusual in Minnesota, if the natives don't mind me saying so.
Usually at the Guthrie you see people gathering their things and preparing
to sprint at the first hint of the final scene, like students 5 minutes
before the end of a bad class.  Not so with Bob.

>*[snip] his voice commanded 
>the show and his lyrics got center stage.

Yes, what a treat.  I brought a friend who does not know much of Bob's music
and was pleased that he could make out the lyrics enough to get the quality
of poetry and voice as well as guitar.  Bob acknowledged the difference
(after the electric encore, when he came back with the Yamaha), saying
something about knowing we're used to more blood, sweat, and tears but that
this was fun - in fact, he said several times that he was  having fun - he
truly rocked.  True, the electric sound level was lower than in bar shows
but lots of BS&T came through in other ways.  I didn't mind, not at all
(still a good line).

>* Minneapolis is well-known for obnoxious catcalls from audiences, but 

Hey, they were fun.  What about when someone asked for "Standing in the
Rain" and Bob said somebody had offered him $25 the previous night to play
it, and someone else called out, "$50!"  At one point when people were
calling out lots of titles but none of it was intelligible, and someone else
waited until it quieted down and then called out "rewowreour" or some other
purposefully garbled sound, and everyone including Bob cracked up again.  Or
a moment of absolute silence - when does that ever happen at First Ave? -
and someone quietly and politely said, "Would you play 'Changes?' which
everyone heard and cracked up about because it was so...I don't know...
conversational (in a room of 1300).  Talk about feeling intimate. These are
not hugely memorable moments, perhaps, but it was comfortable fun.  The only
obnoxious thing I heard were the two guys in the center section who kept
talking to each other like they were sitting in front of a TV. Hard to
mistake the Guthrie for a bar scene, guys. 

>Bob dealt with them very graciously. One guy yelled out, "what string 
>did you break" and he replied "D- and the first of probably many 
>tonight". 

Actually, he said "wound D," if it matters to anyone.

Same nervous reaction to his joke 
line about going back to the closet to help sell the next album, but not 
surprising since the audience was overwhelmingly white guys in 
their mid 20s with their dates. (Well, the tickets weren't exactly 
cheap either).

Yep, overwhelmingly white, 20 and 30ish (surprise), somewhat more men than
women (ah, more f*u*e*l for the discussion about who goes to what kind of
venue?) but I didn't get that it was a *nervous* reaction.  The whole event
was extremely comfortable, good-humored, and well-received including that
idea about Bob going back into the closet (that's a great idea for artwork,
whoever wrote about it - shoes, etc!)  As someone who knows lots of people
of the (relatively) young age that predominated at the show, I'll bet you
that lots more older folks than younger men and women are nervous about
sexual orientation issues, if that was the point being made above.  Think
about it, the ones who were *there* were mostly Bob's age and younger.  I
think it likely that, if there was any hesitation in response, it was
because some folks were puzzling about the reference to a Spin article they
knew nothing about (even listmembers have been asking today, so it's not as
common knowledge as Bob seemed to think).  Time moves on, yesterday's news,
etc. Clearly, he's right about the possible publicity advantage to
recloseting.  I think it's hilarious.  

High Fidelity is a gem, by the way.  Right up there with Thumbtack as a
sweet, slow, almost melancholy acoustic.  Maybe I'm wrong but I think it's
not completely directed at a "you" from what I could hear - at least there
were rhetorical references to "me" ("am I the only one who hasn't...").
It's different.  I couldn't follow much of Vapo-Rub.  New#1 was a treat, as
was Bob's thought that he might keep that title for it.

-------------------------------------

From: "Patrick J. Hanna" 

-This place cried out for Jason & Alison to be opening.  Not to take anything
away from the opener (Why can't I remember his name?), but, God, would they
have sounded fantastic here!

-The opener (Someone please send me his name.  This is bugging me.), the guy
from Trip Shakespeare, was fun.  Not the best musician, in my opinion, but
really endearing.  Funny as hell.  I've already adopted his move that will be
sweeping the nation any day now.

-Bob sounded incredible.  A really warm sound that just filled up the theater.
 Given the intimacy (Is it smart of me to use that word on this list?) of the
theater, I think Bob could have held back a little, quieting things down and
making it an even more moody show.  Still, I can understand his urge to just
sing his heart out with the acoustics being as good as they were.

-"Vapo Rub" struck a chord with me tonight.  Bob mentioned he wasn't sure if
this one would stick.  Yeah, keep it Bob.

-"Hi Fidelity" sounded particularly good in the theater.


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