Published Nov 01, 2005For his long-awaited return to touring a full-fledged rock band after a seven-year hiatus, alt-rock icon Bob Mould promised to revisit material that hadn't been played in such a setting since it was released. That meant for the first time since the '80s we'd be hearing some of Mould's Hüsker Dü songs, as well as some Sugar songs, not played live in ten years, in addition to his solo material. For 90 minutes, Mould, backed by Fugazi's Brendan Canty on drums, bassist Jason Narducy and keyboardist Richard Morel, did nothing but play music and rock out. He didn't even miss a beat when he gobbed a mouthful of water on a few over-excited pogoers who had earlier sprayed the stage with beer. The opening triple-threat salvo came in the form of the first three songs from the first Sugar album before dropping a bunch of tracks from his most recent solo disc, Body of Song, and "See a Little Light" from his 1988 solo debut. Then came the trip down memory lane so many had been eager for. Such Hüsker Dü gems as "Hardly Getting Over It," "Celebrated Summer," "I Apologize" and "Chartered Trips" sounded no less vital and energetic as they did 20 or so years ago. It's a testament to the strength of his songwriting that material written over the last two-plus decades still sounds fresh, and it's a testament to his strength as a performer that he can still play them with the same intensity he did back in the day. It's a feat seldom pulled off by grown-up punk rockers. After years of solo acoustic tours and a foray into the world of electronic dance music, Mould clearly not only still wants to rock, but remembers exactly how to.