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Bob Mould with Cymbals Eat Guitars - Union Transfer (Philadelphia) - September 11, 2012

15 September 2012

Of the many times that I have seen Bob Mould play with a band since returning to full-on, live, electric rock and roll in 2005 with the tour for Body of Song, this was perhaps the show I was looking forward to the most since that 2005 show I saw at Irving Plaza? Why? His recently released Silver Age is smoking hot, his best solo work ever and his best album since Sugar‘s 1994 sophomore release File Under Easy Listening. How appropriate then that he had already sold out of almost every copy of Silver Age in both vinyl and CD (only 1 of the latter was left after a triumphant show at the Williamsburg Waterfront several days before along with shows in Boston and DC) AND that he was selling the recent reissues of Sugar’s back catalog as well.

This show was billed as a Copper Blue and Silver Age show. What this meant was that the set opened with Copper Blue played from start to finish. I’ll be honest here. I’ve recently realized that I’m not a big fan of full album shows only because as great as the album in question may be, you already know what’s coming next. With that said, this was clearly one of the best ones I’ve seen for the following reasons. First off, it looked like Mould was having the time of his life in stage. I’ve never, I mean never, seen him smile so much during a given show. Also, how can I complain when it was guaranteed that we got utter classics like “Changes” and the overlooked, absolute ripper “Fortune Teller”? The rest of the album was played really well also with bassist Jason Narducy singing sweet backup vocals in all the right places and monster drummer Jon Wurster playing as intensely as the last time we saw him with Superchunk back in 2010.

This was just the first half of the show, though! After briefly stopping to introduce the band, the Silver Age portion of the show began and it was even better than the Copper Blue portion. Not only did they play the five best tunes from Silver Age, but we also got “Circles”, the great opening track from Body of Song as well as several Hüsker Dü classics. As the encore ended with the classic “Makes No Sense At All”, we left exhausted but utterly blown away by the absolutely great show we had just seen.

As for openers Cymbals Eat Guitars, the less said the better, honestly. I’m sure they had fans, but they do nothing for me.

Bob Mould’s setlist can be found here.