Complaining that his box of CDs never arrived via mail, Bob Mould quipped to the Dakota crowd Tuesday night, "I have nothing to sell but my soul." Some detractors might suggest he had sold out his punk-rock roots a bit by choosing to play the posh supper club (his first time there). Indeed, it felt a little weird watching the Husker Du howler performing amid women in cocktail dresses and waiters carrying steaks. However, with solo shows being more his mainstay nowadays -- and, let's face it, his crowd now is mostly of the age where it won't fight a cushy seat -- the booking made sense. And it turned out to be a pretty terrific set for that intimate, listener-oriented room.
Mould opted to kick off his fall tour at the Dakota, so his voice was in great shape and his mood seemed even better. He waxed a little nostalgic, saying, "I was young, and I think I always took my 11 years for granted here. It's a great place to live." He also talked a lot about his autobiography due out early next year: "I included all the things I didn't want to have to write about, but I had to or else it wouldn't be a great movie." One of his first musical jobs since finishing the book was recording with the Foo Fighters in Los Angeles, whose frontman Dave Grohl has long stated his love for the Huskers. "Butch Vig produced, and it was all done analog and very old-school," he boasted. Mould then tried to play one of the Foos' songs on guitar but abruptly stopped, quipping "I think that chord is actually one of mine."
The rest of the set was more familiar, with the 2009 songs "Life and Times," 'The Breach" and especially "I'm Sorry Baby, You Can't Stand in My Light Anymore" standing up to and fitting right in with the classics. "No Reservations" was the only semi-surprise among the older stuff (and a welcome one). Here's the whole set list: Wishing Well / Hear Me Calling / Hoover Dam / See a Little Light / No Reservations / Hardly Getting Over It / Sinners & Their Repentances / I'm Sorry Baby, But You Can't Stand in My Light Anymore / Life and Times / The Breach / Paralyzed / Again & Again / Circles / Your Favorite Thing / I Apologize / Chartered Trips / Celebrated Summer ENCORE: If I Can't Change Your Mind / Makes No Sense at All