Notes on a Bobs concert, 11/12/11

  • I was lucky enough to score a front-row-center ticket to The Bobs (@bobsbestofbreed) performing at Wolf Trap this past weekend.

     I didn't do anything special or illegal to get it -- I just checked the website when I was reminded of the concert by the Bobs' email newsletter, and lo and behold the seat I was presented with was the best seat in the house. I can only think someone who had the prime seats had to return them, or something strange like that. Thanks, unintentional anonymous benefactor!

  • Having scored an amazing ticket, I of course somehow misplaced it. Luckily the Wolf Trap Box Office person I spoke to on concert day was very helpful and printed a fresh ticket for me to pick up once I provided a blood sample and a confirmation number.

  • This was an unusual Bobs concert, in that it was a passing-the-torch moment: Amy Bob Engelhardt's last gig with the group and Angie Bob Doctor's second-ever Bobs concert.

  • Angie Bob and Dan Bob Schumacher have a CD of duets out, He Said, She Said which is just the two of them singing fascinating, complex arrangements (by Richard Bob Greene) which fill in just enough notes to feel like a song is 'all there'. This is hard to do in the best of circumstances, and even harder to reproduce reliably in a live setting. But the two of them performed a few of their tracks as the 'opening act' for the Bobs, and it was impressive.

  • Amy Bob was as good as ever in her farewell gig (i.e. very good). "Sandwich Man" was probably my favorite Amy song of the night.

  • Matthew Bob Stull has been with the group for all of its 30 years. I had the opportunity to find him after the show and tell him what I have always appreciated about his performances, namely his complete, matter-of-fact commitment to whatever profoundly goofy shit is happening on stage. (He laughed.) Having done some goofy shit on stage myself, I know how hard that can be, but he succeeds at it all the time without going over the top. If I have a challenging task to do on a stage, I will actually sometimes consider: How would Matthew Bob do this?

  • How was the new member? Angie Bob is clearly a very skilled singer, but in contrast to Matthew Bob's practiced ease with weird material, she seemed a bit tentative a good part of the time. This frankly isn't surprising: some of the material is truly, deeply odd, plus she's having to learn a deep catalog of songs for live performance and it's hard to ramp up quickly.

      In hindsight I'm really glad I saw her duets with Dan Bob first, because she really shone there. That tells me she's not wrong for the job, she probably just needs a bit more time to settle in.

  • It's worth mentioning that each lady Bob who has been in the group has had a very different sensibility in terms of exactly what kind of odd songs they seem to enjoy singing, and often it's hard to imagine other lady Bobs really digging each others' stranger material. (Lori Bob Rivera's "Vapor Carioca" leaps to mind, and I'm not sure any other human can ever do justice to "Fluffy's Master Plan for World Domination" besides Amy Bob.)

    All that to say: I'm looking forward to hearing Angie Bob do her own weird tracks on the next album.

  • Richard Bob's "Disappointment Pants" is one of my favorite tracks. They sing it noticeably faster live, which I think takes something away. Trivia: Last time I saw them (2008) they dedicated the song to Eliot Spitzer, which was perfect.

  • Cream's "White Room" is still a kickass closer, with Dan Bob doing most of the kicking.

  • Public service announcement: there are some still-fairly-new cover tunes available on including Queen's "Bicycle Race" and "Synchronicity" by the Police. Worth a listen.

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This page contains a single entry by Steve Bogart published on November 14, 2011 11:56 PM.

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