Published Apr 01, 2006Since he last performed in Winnipeg with Hüsker Dü in 1984, Bob Mould has resembled a popular phantom: enthusiastically talked about by the city?s music fans but rarely seen. His return made the apparition a reality and clearly conveyed the depth of his songwriting talents. Mould?s set focused heavily on his solo material, ranging from "Paralyzed? from his most recent record, Body of Song, to "Wishing Well? from his first solo disc, Workbook. Despite lacking a backing band, Mould played with consistent energy, rarely pausing between songs, launching himself at the microphone. Over the course of the evening, both his voice and guitar playing sounded in strong, muscular form. Towards the last half of his set, Mould dug deeper into his back catalogue, revisiting Hüsker Dü and Sugar tunes, grabbing more enthusiastic responses from the audience. "Needle Hits E? and "Hardly Getting Over It? sounded as rich stripped down to only voice and guitar as they did recorded with full bands. Mould increased the volume significantly towards the end of his set, putting away his acoustic guitar and pulling out the Fender Strat from his days with Sugar. Near the conclusion of the night, Mould tore into a version of "Celebrated Summer? that drew wild applause from fans who had been waiting many years to hear it performed live. Called back for a quick encore, he played solid versions of "If I Can't Change Your Mind? and "Makes No Sense at All,? ending a set that skilfully explored the breadth of Mould?s long musical career.