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Bob Mould perform’s Sugar’s Copper Blue- Showbox, Seattle, WA 9/18/12 (Concert Review)

Tuesday night, Bob Mould played up a amazing set of Sugar’s seminal 1992 album Copper Blue in its entirety along with cuts from his latest record Silver Age…

Bob Mould has never been the type of artist to look back… But in the last few years, he surprised longtime fans releasing an autobiography that was several years in the making along with a renewed interest in his nineties work with indie rock, power trio Sugar.

Mould’s work with Sugar, specifically the Copper Blue album, has been some of his most recently popular work and in the last few years it hasn’t been uncommon to hear some of that material performed in his live sets. That said, it was still a bit surprising when it was announced that he would tour performing the ’92 album in its entirety.

Mould’s profile hasn’t been higher than it is right now since the early nineties. A mutual admiration with and opening dates for Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters certainly hasn’t hurt but even moreso, that relationship seems to have also rekindled Mould’s passion for the guitar. The new Silver Age album is one of his more rocking and critically acclaimed affairs in some time.

I’ve seen Bob Mould solo and with band several times but what I love about the idea for this tour is his ability to look back without pandering, exposing his audience to solid new work in addition to a revisit of the Sugar material and more.

The night kicked things off with Copper Blue side one, track one, “The Act we Act.” From there, Mould and company (Verbow alum and Split Single frontman Jason Narducy on bass/backing vocals and Superchunk’s Jon Wurster on drums) plowed through the album with nary a pause, giving it new life in the process.

What struck me immediately was just how much fun Mould seemed to be having. He bounced across the stage like someone half his age throughout the night and bared quite the grin as he repeatedly moved to his right to jam with Narducy.

To say this band has gelled is an understatement as each member had their moment to shine. For Wurster, that moment was on the Sugar ballad “If I Can’t Change Your Mind,”
which he transformed from mere ballad retread to anthemic punk anthem with his propulsive drumming.

The Copper Blue set was good. “The Slim” followed “Hoover Dam” and while not one of my favorite album tracks, it certainly allowed Mould’s vastly underrated guitar playing to shine.

Powering through that album in forty-five minutes left plenty of time in the eighty-five minute set for material both new and older. Three straight from Silver Age kicked off with “Star Machine” and saw Mould at his most animated of the night.” The crowd and the band was left breathless.

“Thank You Seattle!!” said Mould as the show drew to a close. The packed club was full of smiles and ringing ears, Bob, welcome back!!