The thought of missing Bob Mould playing Sugar’s Copper Blue never entered my mind. At the time I ordered the ticket I hadn’t even heard Bob’s new album, Silver Age, but over the past few weeks I’ve been listening to it non-stop in the car, and wow, it’s the best thing since 1996’s Bob Mould album. Listening to both together was pretty fantastic.
The show can be summarized as loud, energetic, frenetic and kinda mesmerizing.
The band came out, Bob smiled, waved, put on his guitar and proceeded to tear through the entire Copper Blue album without talking or taking a break. Just hearing him start in on ‘The Act We Act’ honestly gave me goose-bumps, and a sinister grin started to appear on my face. Like, “yeah that’s right, I’m seeing this and my friends in other cities aren’t”. I’d seen Bob play his solo work before, but never really expected to experience a timeless Sugar album played in front of me. It was done with precision, and emotion… he sounded just as mad on ‘The Slim’ as he did recording it 20 years ago (fuck, 20??). Screaming and spitting out the lyrics over the surprisingly loud guitar work.
Then with an awesome ‘Man On The Moon’ the album ended, cheers erupted. He sure played the hell out of it. He smiled, said “hi” to the crowd, introduced the band (Jason Narducy/bass, Jon Wurster/drums), said a few more words and BOOM, off into Silver Age we went! Again no breaks, played the whole thing with only seconds between songs. There was even more speed and intensity for this album, but that’s when it hit me, this album is closer to his punk days than anything he’s done since his Hüsker Dü days. I didn’t really get that during the 2 weeks of non-stop of listening, but seeing it performed made it quite clear. He was jumping around drenched with sweat, screaming lyrics at the mike, it was great. He then played a few songs for the encore, and honestly I couldn’t make them out, so I’m thinking they were Hüsker Dü songs since that’s the one catalog I’m not fully fluent in.
I remember listening to an interview with him on a bonus disc for The Last Dog And Pony Show where he essentially said that he wasn’t going to tour anymore after that album because seeing a 50 year-old man jumping around on stage would be silly. I’m very glad he rethought that. Only 4 stops left on this tour, get out to see him if you can.