Setlist: Bob Mould Band — Berklee Performance Center, Boston MA, 24 Sep 1998

Moving Trucks
Taking Everything
First Drag Of The Day
I Hate Alternative Rock
Stand Guard
Fort Knox, King Solomon
Art Crisis
Anymore Time Between
Eternally Fried
Brasilia Crossed With Trenton
Roll Over And Die
Reflecting Pool
Deep Karma Canyon

Hanging Tree

Lonely Afternoon
See A Little Light

Bob Mould -- guitar, vocals
Michael Cerveris -- rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jim Wilson -- bass, backing vocals
Matt Hammon -- drums

Thanks to Mark Weygandt, from whose website (now defunct) this information was retrieved, along with the informal show reviews and comments below, which were originally posted to the Sugar internet mailing list:


From: negoci

Here's the setlist and a few brief comments, followed by more review 

Moving Trucks
Taking Everything
First Drag of the Day - (Excellent pseudo-funky rhythms here from Jim and 
I Hate Alternative Rock
Stand Guard
Fort Knox, King Solomon - (Nice short Bob solo.)
Wanted Was - (Powerful singing by Bob, who was in great voice.)
Anymore Time Between - (Incredibly emotional rendition, with great 
contrast between the quiet and the loud portions of the song.)
Skintrade - (Sounded better than the last time I heard it, less mushy.)
Eternally Fried - (More focussed and less ambient than previously, but 
still very powerful.)
Brasilia Crossed with Trenton - (Great feel, with Bob switching from 
mellow to loud with great effectiveness.)
Roll Over and Die - (Another great full band version of a song from 
the "Bob Mould is Bob Mould" disc.  I could listen to this band play 
this song forever, and this version again reminded me why.)
Reflecting Pool - Insert smoking Bob solo here!
Deep Karma Canyon

Encore 1:
Hanging Tree - Superbly emotional guitar playing here by Bob, with 
a bit less screaming.

Encore 2:
Lonely Afternoon - Excellent sounding version of this; nice song 
to hear in the encore.
See a Little Light

Two words best describe this show for me --- emotion and contrast.  
I was amazed by the constantly shifting tones of the evening.  These 
shifts were both sonic, from the somber quiet of "Eternally Fried" to 
the in-your-face volume of "IHAR", and emotional, from the upbeat tone 
of "Reflecting Pool" to the fury of "Hanging Tree".  The emotions were 
varied but always rang true, and they were supported by music that 
varied but was always powerful and somehow `right'.  

On to some more pragmatic notes, then.  I'd never been to the Berklee 
Center before, but it's a nice facility, well maintained and 
attractive with its wood paneling.  The lighting seemed well handled, 
and the sound....  I didn't really expect better sound than I had earlier 
heard at the pretty solid Columbus Ohio show.  Still, I somehow got it.
Bob's vocals were higher in the mix, and the levels on his guitar 
seemed to increase as the night went on.  Drums and bass stayed 
clearly audible throughout, and the overall quality of the audio 
seemed both a bit quieter and a bit less mushy than in Columbus.  
(My ears stopped ringing 30 minutes after the show, instead of 2 
hours after!)  Of course, my location about 25 feet from Bob's side 
of the stage may have helped.

Before the show, the group of people behind me noticed the Stay 
Puft (Puffed? Pufted?) Marshmallow Man standing on the monitors.  Of 
course, not yet being clued in on the secret meaning of the Man by 
*certain people*, I couldn't enlighten them. :)

In general, the Berklee's crowd was reasonably restrained.  Applause 
was loud and fervent, but otherwise the crowd mostly held its approval
to head bobbing and such until the end of the show, when they erupted 
more thoroughly.  No mosh pit debates centering around *this* show - 
there was no pit, and no place for one.  During Bob's quieter and more 
intense moments, the crowd rewarded him with a nearly complete quiet 
attention.  I don't think I've ever heard an audience at a `loud' 
show fall so completely silent at the arrival of a low key emotional 
climax.  And Bob was full of those this evening....

An amusing incident also occurred during the show.  The Berklee Center 
has seats, so reasonably enough, the audience sat in them.  Even when
the show started.  This lasted until around the fifth song.  At that 
point, a tall slightly deranged looking man proceeded to stand up and 
rush to the edge of the stage.  He was promptly hassled by the Berklee 
staff, who had been politely removing anyone standing out in the aisles 
since the beginning.  The wild man began to alternate between 
applauding, arguing with the Berklee staff, and attempting to enlist 
Bob's help.  Bob seemed to ignore all of this, although he did flash 
a silly grin toward the end of the affair.  Appropriately enough, the 
soundtrack for this was "Stand Guard".  I'll leave you to make up 
the silly puns.

Eventually, the man was escorted away.  Then about a minute later, 
in some sort of twisted and belated nod at the man's dedication to 
civil disobedience, the audience finally stood, and remained standing 
the rest of the night. I've no idea whether the wild man got to remain
in the venue to savor his apparent victory.

When Bob was asked at the start of the show why the venue had changed
from the Avalon to the Berklee, he replied jokingly that he thought 
they were having a fashion show there instead.  Later, near the show's 
closing, Bob thanked the audience for coming there, and for not going 
to the fashion show.  He also said that he liked it there in the 
Berklee Center, and that it was "a good show".

Understatement of the decade, Bob.  It was an outstanding show. 
Thanks.  Again.


From: Cliff Evans

I'm sure someone will be along shortly with set lists and a more coherent
impression of the whole thing, but I just got home and want to throw some
stuff out there while it was still fresh...

...having it at the Berklee Performance Center was weird. The acoustics were
good, but it's a seated theater-type venue, so everyone was sitting down.
Which made me feel bad for Varnaline. Overall, they weren't bad. Not
earth-shattering, but not only were they fighting the crowd, but also the
whole being-seated thing. I thought the one number they did acoustically was
nice, as were the last two with the keyboards. I wasn't wild about them, but I
still felt for them., being seated for *Bob* was nuts. I can understand why it happened, I
started to stand up when he came out, but nobody else around me followed suit,
and I didn't want to block anyone's view. But still, it looked a little absurd
when he was up there jumping around and everyone's sitting there. In a funny
way, the loudmouth who rushed the stage and got booted might have been
responsible for getting everyone on their feet. I honestly don't think the
ushers they had (ushers?!) were at all prepared for this type of show.

...was it just me, or were the guitars low in the mix? It could have been my
cheap foam earplugs, but I thought the bass and drums were kinda loud.
Musically, I thought the show was top-drawer, with the highlight, IMO, being
"Anymore Time Between" (I almost cried) and then the way it erupted into
"Skintrade," which sounded damn good, clearer and harder than the record.
"Brasilia Crossed With Trenton" and "Hanging Tree" were also great, and I
think that's what did it for me. Considering Bob seems to just blast
everything when he plays live electric, I thought the dynamics were amazing.
The quiet parts were pristine, hell, there *were* quiet parts! and there was a
real ebb and surge at work there that I hadn't seen in his live shows before
any of the other times I saw him. I'd have to rank this as the best one yet.
And after the crowd loosened up, so did Bob. I'm glad we got bothe encores,
and I hope to hear "Anymore"/"Skintrade" on the live album. That's all I have
to say, I'm still wired.


From: queen of carrot flowers

I'll be reviewing this for Consumable probably, so you're going to want to
know what I thought, right?  Well, I was glad to see Bob come out and do a
lot of songs he doesn't get a chance to play acoustically.  The band also
added a nice fill to Bob's sound...usually when I see him with just the
12-string, I'm more blown away by the passion he poured into his music than
into the music itself, which can pass like a blur in some situations.  He
redefined the alternate track "Eternally Fried" well, and helped to better
define the songs on Hubcap, which always seemed like a tricky, enigmatic
little album that did more to help him understand his own sound than it did
to open it up for the fans.  Generally the tunes from that album were
better fleshed-out, and they sounded better in a more vital environment.

Bob was a much more active presence on stage than he usually is, though his
nervous pacing seemed to fit the songs well.  At many points he seemed to
be throttling his guitar as if he was trying to fight with it to get the
best sound out of it, which made me glad I wasn't the guitar.

As for Varnaline...unless Bob got Syd Straw to open for him, pretty much
any band aside from his early wish for Neutral Milk Hotel would have been a
disappointment.  (Then again, getting NMH would have probably resulted in a
nervous breakdown from these parts, so it all evens out.)  I came in late
due to the fact that in some ways I stole my tickets (this is a fairly long
story that I may incorporate into the review), and caught the end of their
set.  Eh.  They sounded like the Greatful Dead with indie cred.

The venue was weird.  I've seen a few shows at the Berklee Performance
Center, most of which were "sit-down affairs" (Richard Thompson on my 19th
birthday, Tori Amos before anyone knew who she was, etc.), and seeing an
artist whose performing style was a bit more active seemed to rile the
ushers, who yelled at everyone to sit down at first.  However, with the aid
of some really weird guy who thought he was auditioning for _Jesus Christ
Superstar_, the establishment finally loosened up and let us rise and
rejoice the music in a more upstanding position.  (Of course, they
intervened with the gesticulating individual, perhaps escorting him to the
nearest mental hospital.)


From: Bishop, Scott

Some impressions of last night:

1) Nice to meet some of listers I know only by addresses and names.
(Unfortunately, they are now able to attach my ugly mug to my name and
address when they read my message.  So it goes.)  I was only able to
hang with a few of you at the Pour House for a few minutes, but I
enjoyed.  Maybe we'll cross paths in Beantown sometime, kind of like
Spenser and Hawk.

2) I thought Bob's guitar was plenty loud, but Michael's became
inaudible to me after a couple of songs, if I even heard it at all.  I
didn't think Michael sang enough harmonies either; he's a great singer,
and while there are lots of places where Bob sang different melodies to
his vocal lines, there were other places he could have jumped in.  The
guy has a great voice and it works well with Bob's gruffer timbre.

3) I believe the song listed in the post on the setlist as "Wanted Was"
is actually "Art Crisis."  The Hubcap material came off nicely in a full
band.  IHAR got a little nod to Bob's punk past as Matt  copped the beat
to New Day Rising for the end of every verse.

4) I thought Bob's rhythm section was good but indistinct.  Particularly
Matt Hammon, who can sound like Anton Fier or Malcolm Travis.  Jim
Wilson is very capable, but if you looked at him in isolation without
knowing what or with whom he was playing, you'd have guessed that he was
playing with Varnaline, not Bob Mould.  And is it me, or does Jim look
like he woke up 15 minutes before taking the stage?

5)  I liked Varnaline.  I hear a definite influence from The Band, which
is a good thing in my book.  Some of the songs tended to have real
familiar chord changes, but a good sense of writing and arrangement
saved them.  Good stuff.  I think the one problem they face at a Bob
Mould show is that their pacing tends to lose people, because
everything's the medium to slow tempo.  Ironically, it was the whole
middle stretch of the show, where things slowed down (from Anymore Time
Between to Brasilia) that was most powerful, and the measure of that was
that when it got real quiet all you could hear was the band.  That's
respect for the artist, folks, and I've never seen it shown to that
degree at any show before.  I was impressed.

6) Definitely not as loud as the Black Sheets or Sugar tours, but, like
George Lucas, Mr. Mould is beyond worrying about breaking records.  Good
show, and I don't think anyone on the list who's planning to see him
will be disappointed, if last night is a yard stick.  But I'm looking
forward to the next thing Bob does-- now that he's put some part of his
past behind him, he's got some fresh pages to scrawl on.  It'll be
interesting how he writes that part of the book.


From: Patrick Taylor

I can add some of my impressions...

1)  The Berklee is the wierdest place I have ever seen a band play.
Before Bob started to play , I felt like I was waiting for a fourth
grade Christmas play to start...It is like an auditorium or something.

2.) Bob was at his best during his Workbook numbers.  He slipped into
"the zone" (you know when he sings certain songs, it seems
like he just forgets that the audience is even there, and just goes
absolutely nuts with the rolly eyes and bellowing screams) during Brasilia
and Lonely Afternoon. Wow.

3.) I gained a new appreciation for the Hubcap songs.  Some had never
grabbed me until last night.

4.)  I missed the BSOR tour, so who was happier to hear Stand Guard
(One of my all time favorites) and Hanging Tree?  NO ONE !

5.)  I feel compelled to go out and buy a strat this weekend after hearing
the sound of Bob's axe. He has the holy grail of guitar sounds.

6.)  The girl I went with knew nothing of Bob beforehand, but she got
emotionally involved in the songs that got quiet enough to hear the
amplifier buzz. (Lots of arm squeezing).

7.)  I am really digging the Bob Mould-Fall '98 fashion line of
clothes.  Gotta get to the GAP!


From: Ken W

I thought last night's show was phenominal; like night and day compared
to the Northampton show, where Bob just seemed out of it.  Noho had no
Brasilia and no See a Little Light.  Brasilia was just wonderful last


From: McNulty, Mike

Their have been a couple of very good reviews of the Boston show so far, so
(rather than reiterate) here's a couple of quick notes about last night:

1)  Bob and Michael were joking around at the start about a "fashion show"
at Avalon -- but the story is actually legit.  Avalon double-booked the hall
and bumped Bob for a fashion show.  And because of the late notice, Berklee
was the only place available to play last night.

2)  I've seen "Anymore Time Between" three times on this tour now and the
crowd response has been absolutely tremendous each time. The crowd *hush*
when he drops down almost to a whisper has been a show-stopper in all three
shows.  And when Bob quieted down in the middle of "Brasilia" last night,
the crowd once again shut up and let the moment happen; Bob responded by
blasting through the rest of the song.  It was a great (and surprising)
thing to see.  "Hanging Tree" was good again, but paled in comparison to the
Northampton version, which was absolutely brilliant.  I'm enjoying the
hubcap stuff a lot more now that I've heard it live.

3)  Bob really liked the venue, musically.  He seemed anxious to get on the
road last night to get back to NY but was accommodating enough to chat for a
bit.  Both he and Michael (a genuinely good person, by the way) commented
that they could hear the music much better onstage here than at previous
stops, and Bob seemed genuinely happy with the sound and acoustics of the


From: Mark Pasdo

Great show.  Absolutely wonderful.  My first ever Bob show and it far
surpassed what I anticipated.  Of course, I thought the seating sucked.  I
was totally ready to start a mosh pit but how could I with the seats?  So,
I have some random thoughts of the night.

-- Bob looked great.  He alone had more energy than any band I've ever seen
in my life.  With the possible exception of my 5th grade concert band, but
that's because the entire brass section was on crack.

-- Bob and I were coincidentally wearing the same outfit.  I guess it's
true what they say about great minds: I don't have one.  But at least I
know how to dress.

-- What was the deal with the rest of the band wearing black?  With the
black curtain, they looked like a bunch of floating heads.  Was that the
idea?  Make these schlemps (no offense to them, but relative to bob) blend
into the background so Bob could stand out more?  Also when Bob was bopping
all over the place, these guys seemed rather inert.  I definitely didn't
get the feel that this was a band.  But then again, it really isn't.

Again, it was a great concert.  I didn't wear ear plugs and my ears aren't
ringing.  Though they do feel like somebody stuffed cottonballs in them.
Hey wait!  Somebody DID stuff cottonballs in them!  No wonder.  Well, I'm
sad to see this chapter of Bob's life come to an end, but I'm anxiously
awaiting the opening of the next one.


From: cg

Absolutely excellent.   Clear tight sound, intense playing and nice
harmonies between the guitarist and drummer.  "Northern Lights" was
especially cool, though it reminds me of that '70s rock classic "Southern
Cross".  I unhesitatingly bought their new CD "Sweet Life" and recommend
it, though it's more mellow than their Boston performance would lead you to

Bob Mould:
Intense as always, much looser than Sugar.  Melodies and guitar solos were
largely forsaken for Bob's blaring, take-no-prisoners guitar sound.  It's a
brilliant, awe-inspiring sound but it wore a bit thin after a while.  I
knew something was wrong when it took me halfway through "Deep Karma
Canyon" to recognize the song.

On the plus side, the heavyhanded approach was perfect for "First Drag of
the Day" and "Hanging Tree".  "Stand Guard" was absolutely ferocious.  And
the rare quiet parts - such as in "Anymore Time Between" and "Eternally
Fried" - were magical.

I had hoped Bob would take advantage of the second guitarist to add some
colorful arrangements to the songs.  No such luck.  In hindsight, it was
bit silly to expect that out someone who's always been the dominant
guitarist in his bands.  I doubt that Bob even likes the kind of interplay
you hear in dual-guitar bands like Sonic Youth or Strangefolk.

Overall it was a great show for what it was-- a loud, garage-band-style
rock concert.  The new record has a lot more variety and subtlety and I
suppose it gave me the wrong expectations.  I'm looking forward to Bob's
next tour, and now I don't feel so bad about his retirement from the "dog
and pony show" of loud rock touring.  You know what they say about old dogs
and new tricks...


From: micro

Good God, did everyone see the same show I did in Boston? I expected this 
message board to be stuffed with wild praise today. I've seen Bob a bunch of 
times over the years and this was hands down, far and away the best- sounding 
and most inspired performance yet. The whole seating thing was a minor drawback, 
but I didn't get the feeling Bob cared much. He was clearly pleased with the 
acoustics, and remarked at one point, "I like this show; this is a good one." 
He also had a pretty big (for him) smile on his face each time he left the stage.

If it's true he's never touring electric again, I can live with it. Short of 
some insane orgy of rare old material that gets the whole place moshing, I 
don't see how it gets much better than last night. Hell, I think he sang 
"Brasilia" from another dimension. Thanks Bob! And please hurry with the live 

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