I have been a fan of Bob Mould for about 8 years (a drop in the ocean compared to the length of his career!) but had never managed to see him live until now (not for the want of trying). Originally this show was going to be at Webster Hall but was moved (and subsequently made free) to Williamsburg Park.
To coincide with the 20th anniversary of Sugar's resplendent masterpiece, Copper Blue, Mould has been playing it in full this year, and seemingly inspired has just released his latest studio effort, Silver Age, which is very much in that power-pop style, lead single The Descent has the following promotional video:
The show was opened by Cymbals Eat Guitars, I enjoy both of their albums so it was good to see them rattle through selected cuts from both (including my favourite track, Rifle Eyesight), doubly-so because I missed their set supporting The Flaming Lips at the Troxy in London in 2009 (train delays!).
Playing as a trio (just like Sugar and Husker Du, of course), Mould is joined on bass by Jason Narducy from Telekinesis and Jon Wurster from Superchunk on drums (whose playing was particularly ferocious). They blitzed through Copper Blue with the enthusiasm and freshness of a new release.
We were then treated to a couple of cuts from Silver Age, I thought that we'd get most of the album having just witnessed a celebration of material 20 years ago, but after three new songs we were treated to a quartet of Husker Du songs, including one of my very favourites, Hardly Getting Over It.
The set was rounded off with another song from Silver Age, Keep Believing. Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn joined the band in the encore to sing Husker Du's Something I Learned Today. I have to confess I'm not really a fan of the Hold Steady and I didn't recognise him, but he performed the song as if fulfilling a life-long fantasy.
Representing almost all of the Husker Du discography, the band also ripped through early single Keep Believing before returning for a second encore and blasting out Makes No Sense At All from Flip Your Wig.
Hopefully I'll catch Bob play many more times in the future, this concert was utterly thrilling. Such is the strength of his solo material, I came out thinking about dozens of songs I'd have also loved to hear, and while the Husker Du songs felt like a treat, I was surprised how little we got from his solo material (only 4 songs from the latest album).
I also picked up both Sugar re-issues for $15 each from the merch stand and am looking forward to the live discs in particular.
(Copper Blue played in full)
The Act We Act
A Good Idea
If I Can't Change Your Mind
Man on the Moon
Round The City Square
Hardly Getting Over It*
Could You Be The One?*
Something I Learned Today*
In A Free Land*
Makes No Sense At All*
*Husker Du songs