Bob Mould is all sunshine rock, sugar and sweetness

Bob Mould at the Rickshaw Theatre, 4/7/19

Bob Mould fired through 40 years of his rock guitar anthology last Sunday at the nearly sold-out Rickshaw Theatre. It’s interesting to note the career twists and turns of the man whose guitar-pop has inspired little outfits like Pixies, amongst others.

Mould carted out gems from every chapter including half a dozen Hüsker Du classics like “I Apologize” and show closer “Makes No Sense At All,” early solo favourites like “See a Little Light,” and a heavy serving from his 2019 release Sunshine Rock.

Some may find Mould’s angry take on things not exactly uplifting. The new album is a surprising departure. Recorded in his new home, Berlin, the record is amongst his most uplifting in years. The nomadic 12-string warrior has made homes in Minneapolis, New York, Austin, Washington D.C. and who the hell knows where else. Visitors to Berlin are not always inspired, and given the state of the world, sunny pop songs might not be the result one would expect. But fans were treated to some shiny pop tunes on this Vancouver night. A new highlight was “Thirty Dozen Roses,” which was as tight as anything in his oeuvre.

For a man who clearly has a penchant for change, his current lineup featuring bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster has outlasted both 1980’s trailblazers Hüsker Du and early 90’s juggernaut Sugar.

Sugar tracks seem to resonate most with Mould crowds, and last night was no different as memory lane was revisited through favourites “A Good Idea,” “Hoover Dam” and chart topper “If I Can’t Change Your Mind.”

Mould famously told the press that he was done with touring post-Sugar over 20 years ago. Fortunately for those in attendance on Sunday that is clearly not the case as it appears there will be more to come. He may not have the vocal clarity that he possessed early in his career, but his guitar sounds as great as ever.

If Mould is on your ‘must-see’ list, it is certainly worth seeing him next time he’s in town. Lucky for his fans, Mould changed his mind years ago and looks committed to continuing to bring the songs to the people.