Bob Mould (photo: Patric Carver)
Bay Area, what did we ever do to deserve Bob Mould? The seasoned premier foster parent of the Midwest punk scene returned to his current home, San Francisco, to play a jubilant show to adoring fans at the Fillmore. The show was part of Mould’s Sunshine Rock tour, promoting his latest album of the same name.
Like the album title suggests, Mould appears to have entered a happier chapter of his life. Although he is originally from New York, Mould has had an unshakable Minnesota stoicism about him for as long as he’s been in the public eye. “Sunshine” doesn’t completely abandon that facet of Mould’s persona, but it puts a bit of a rosy golden glow over it.
That same flow can be felt in the rejuvenation of Mould’s former projects. He played several Hüsker Dü songs, including a great version of “I Apologize.” It was great to see his vocals back to their stronger, Sugar-era power coupled with Hüsker Dü innovation and large rock sound.
The highlights of the night for me came from “A Good Idea,” and “See a Little Light.” Both showcased Mould at his most elemental, giving insight to Mould as a musician informed but not fully formed by his previous musical groupings. I’ve heard “Idea” about a thousand times, but never with the energy of last night. “Light” is often panned as too sentimental a song, but I love it. Mould throws the softies like me a bone with the charm of this song.
Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster have continued to earn their places as Mould’s backing band. Cohesive and not overshadowing, they were a very tight unit. Narducy still seems to be working on developing that characteristic Bob-Mould hunch over his instrument, but I’d give him some time. I’m sure he’ll get there.
If Mould can continue to keep this level of honesty and purity in his music making after all this time, anything is possible.