Tuesday, September 18
At 51, Bob Mould isn't fucking around. Rather than quieting down in middle age, Mould has>"/>
Tuesday, September 18 Showbox Market
Tuesday, September 18
At 51, Bob Mould isn't fucking around. Rather than quieting down in middle age, Mould has kept a high profile the past few years, releasing a memoir, touring with the Foo Fighters and issuing Silver Age, his best record in 20 years. And his set Tuesday night at the Showbox Market was as fiery and energetic as he's ever been, and proof that the former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman remains a vital force in underground rock.
Mould's agenda was twofold Tuesday night: Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sugar's Copper Blue by playing it in its entirety, which he did, front to back, comprising the show's first half. "That was 20 years ago and shit," Mould said, finally addressing the crowd upon the album's completion. "Still sounds good to me." And it did. The record is a power-pop classic, a blend of punk rock muscle and candy apple melodies that hasn't lost any of its heft in the two decades since it was first released. The second half of the show featured songs predominantly from Silver Age, an LP which finds the bespectacled and bearded Mould turning up the distortion and the hooks, a sort of older, wiser take on Copper Blue that hits just as hard. "Never too old to contain my rage," he sang on the album's title track. "A silver age, a silver age."
Like Hüsker Dü and Sugar, Mould's current band is a power trio, with Jason Narducy of Verbow on bass and drummer Jon Wurster of Superchunk and the Mountain Goats, who were the perfect spine to Mould's bending and bowing, and who seemed to be as excited to be playing selections from Mould's catalog as the audience was to hear them. The band's energy was high and their focus tight for the entirety of their 90-minute set.
"Before I forget," Mould said as he returned for the encore, "vote yes on 74," the referendum that would allow same-sex marriage in Washington State. The band then kicked into a pair of Hüsker Dü classics, "Celebrated Summer" from 1984's New Day Rising and "Makes No Sense at All" from the band's 1985 LP Flip Your Wig, which sent the crowd on the Showbox floor into a bouncing frenzy. When his bandmates left the stage, and when the feedback had died out, Mould put his guitar down and walked to center stage, standing there for a few moments with the crowd still roaring, taking it all in and smiling slightly before offering a final thumb's up, proof that Mould is enjoying his second act as much as his audience. A silver age indeed.