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Bob Mould - live at Tramps, July 16, 1996

In a show thrown together at the last minute for the Macintosh New York Music Festival, Bob Mould played a gig that was basically acoustic but could hardly be called unplugged. Accompanied by an electric bassist who, like Mould, remained seated throughout the sadly brief 70 minute show, the man reaffirmed his position as one of the high priests of alternative rock, even if he hates it. How many other rockers have remained pretty consistently at the absolute peak of their craft for a dozen years?

A walking definition of integrity, Mould seemed exceedingly enthusiastic to be there, despite the self-deprecating admission that he’d only been rehearsing for two weeks. He ripped right into his declaration of inDüpendence, "Wishing Well," and then gave a guided tour of most of the phases of his career, excepting the early hardcore stuff. New tunes from his new eponymous album like "Fort Knox, King Solomon," and "Roll Over And Die" more than held their own in the company of other stellar solo material, with no fewer than four songs from Workbook represented. Sugar fixes included an "Explode And Make Up" that could easily have induced tears of rage and an eminently singalongable "Your Favorite Thing." Hüsker was, in fact, done, including a long and brutally bare "Hardly Getting Over It," a song so made for this setting it would have been a felony not to perform it. After closing out with two electric encores, Bob told the audience, "See you in September." We’ll be there.