I don't know if I'd call myself a Sugar fan, exactly, but I've always liked Bob Mould. From those Husker Du tapes a friend copied for me in high school, to "Copper Blue," which always seemed to be playing on my freshman roommate's stereo in my dorm, Mould has always been nice background music for me.
The trend of bands playing one album in concert, beginning to end, is pretty fun. I certainly enjoyed it when the Pixies came to the Eagles Ballroom and performed "Doolittle." And tonight, I soaked in Mould's version of "Copper Blue" at the U.S. Cellular Stage at Summerfest.
In preparing for this show, I listed to "Copper Blue" from beginning to end, which, I think was the first time I did that since those days back in the dorm. I really do like Mould's unique voice, but I found the music on the CD to be very trebly and more repetitive than I remembered.
Live, it was obviously just as repetitive, but the treble wasn't such a problem. The show was, thankfully, extremely loud.
"Copper Blue" was Sugar's first album, back in 1992. So, sure, the music sounds a little dated, but who among us isn't? Mould is now 51, head shaved with a gray beard. But he still looks pretty cool.
Energy wasn't a problem, either. Mould didn't even pause to speak to the sparse, mellow crowd until he finished playing each song, in order, from "Copper Blue." The sound was notably more rocking than the album.
It's interesting that Mould chose to recreate an album from a band that only spawned three years. But it was influential, too, and the audience came to life for "If I Can't Change Your Mind."
Fortunately, Mould didn't stop at just 10 tracks. "I haven't been in Milwaukee in a while," he said, after the world's longest fireworks display wrapped up. He threw in some new work from his solo career and his upcoming fall album, as well as some Husker Du tunes like "Chartered Trips," and "Celebrated Summer," and "Makes No Sense At All" during his encore.
It all came at a great time for me, too. As I get ready for my 20th high school reunion, Sugar sounded plenty sweet, 20 years later. On a hot, steamy night at Summerfest, the thick, post-punk sounds of Mould felt oh so good.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Aug. 19, 2015
An unseasonably cool and windy August night didn't stop NEWaukee's Night Market from heating up Wednesday evening. Rather, the crowd bundled up and took in the local vendors, food trucks, dancers and marshmallow making.
Published Aug. 13, 2015
Laura Langemo doesn't take herself too seriously. In fact, the FOX 6 Wakeup News reporter says her goal is to make viewers laugh a little while going through their morning routine, and to that extent, she's willing to try just about anything for a great story.
Published Aug. 12, 2015
The Wisconsin State Fair is great on so many levels, but as an infomercial enthusiast (read: sucker), I have a particular fondness for the zillions of oddball products sold in the Exposition Center. I could spend all day browsing and watching the pitchmen do their thing.
Published Aug. 11, 2015
I was afraid Wisconsin State Fair might sell some "Stars and Bars" stuff this year, but my concerns have been put to rest: according to Kristi Chuckel, Communications and Marketing Manager, you won't find any Confederate flag merch at the fair.
Published July 29, 2015
If you've never heard of floating and sensory deprivation tanks, let us answer this question for you: it's not a form of torture. Rather, some consider it the ultimate form of relaxation, injury recovery and meditation, and it's coming to Milwaukee very soon.
Published July 28, 2015
When you've visited the same place well over 20 times, sometimes you have to look at it a different way. Whether that means taking a bird's eye view from the treetops, or a fisheye perspective from just a atop the water, Wisconsin's crowing jewel that is Door County still looks spectacular from any angle. Even if it's one you have bend a little to see just right.
Published July 15, 2015
Though Liz Lincoln, who writes under the nom de plume of Eliza Madison, just published her first erotic novella, the Milwaukee writer isn't new to penning books about romance. "I've been writing romance forever, really," says Lincoln, who debuted "Fast, Fresh & Hot" this summer on Amazon. " I wrote romance stories when I was in middle school."
Published July 12, 2015
A decade ago, I took a spin around the Milwaukee Mile in a special two-seat IndyCar. I did it again this morning, and it was even better.
Published July 8, 2015
While I only passively care about what happens on the court, I nonetheless passionately, urgently and desperately request Milwaukee and Wisconsin to get its act together and build the Bucks a new arena before it's too late. Just like I preached in the mid '90s when the Brewers were semi-genuinely eying Charlotte as their new home, I'll say it again: Build it now.
Published July 3, 2015
It's a long-standing tradition at Summerfest - and at plenty of other festivals - to use radio station DJs to introduce a headlining band. It may seem like a five-minute formality, but as usual, there's a back story to most of what the public sees while standing on the Summerfest bleachers.