Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bob Schneider Heats Up New York

Bob Schneider: November 15 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Once again I found myself in the lower regions of New York City's East side. This time, it was to see the charismatic Bob Schneider. It seems every time I go to the Bowery it's raining! This was a show that was worth getting wet for though.

The show kicked off with the talented Amie Miriello. I wasn't familiar with her work prior to the show. The lady can sing. She's a very personable entertainer and I really enjoyed her set. My favorite of the night from her set was the wonderful "Hey."

So, I got myself up front, against the stage, right there under Bob. This isn't a bad place to be. Nope, not at all. Other than a slight neck ache from looking up and a blinding headache from the brutal assault of the lights on my congested head it was a great place to be. Colds and flashing lights don't mix ... just so you know. I told myself I was reserving what little voice I had in case he played "Tarantula," which he did. I did attempt to 'la, la, la' during "Getting Better" prior to that though. If you were near and heard what sounded like an off-key frog, that was me! All hope for my poor throat was gone with "Assknocker" and "Mudhouse." Some songs you just can't resist singing along to.

I'm not sure how to describe one Bob Schneider. He's a bit of a jack of all trades type of musician. He's a storyteller with a wicked sense of humor. He's a multi-instrumentalist. He effortlessly exudes charm. You know what to expect (a bit of the unexpected) while at the same time he keeps you off balance just enough to completely blow your mind at each turn. One moment he's the guy you want to toss back drinks with, the next you want to hug him and give him a bowl of soup. And if you're one to go all weak kneed and girlie, he offers opportunity to do that too. It's said, that once you see him live, you're forever hooked. I have no doubts that that's true.

Schneider who during the course of the night played guitar, keyboard, harmonica, the trumpet and a cymbal was joined by Jeff Plankenhorn (guitar), Harmoni Kelly (bass) and Conrad Choucroun (drums). They were just as talented and entertaining as their leader. This is a group of people who covered just about every musical base possible and made it all fit without making you wonder "what the hell?" Where else are you going to get the 'rap song,' "Bullets," and the sultry "Slower Dear" (which I was very happy to hear) in one show?

Schneider's shows aren't just concerts. They're experiences with audience participation. I had a great time in spite of having a horrible cold. I would gladly go out in the rain and sound like an off key frog again for Mr. Schneider. Does that mean I'm hooked?

I was loaded up on cold medicine and didn't take setlist notes. But, to the best of my memory, the below is what was played ... obviously not in this order. I know I'm forgetting a few ...

Set List (Updated)
  • When The Sun Breaks Down On The Moon
  • Game Plan
  • Metal & Steel
  • Blue Mountain
  • Changing Your Mind (w/Amie Miriello)
  • Realness Of Space
  • Bullets
  • Cheaper
  • The Californian
  • 40 Dogs & Cigarettes
  • Gold In The Sunset
  • Trash
  • Getting Better
  • Ready, Let's Roll
  • Big Blue Sea
  • Sun Hurts My Eyes
  • Captain Kirk
  • Tarantula
  • Snakebucket
  • Slower Dear
  • Country Club
  • Mudhouse / Heart Holds Diamonds
  • Assknocker
I still swear I heard "Looking At The People" and "Greg The Gangster" ... perhaps I was more loaded up on cold medicine than I thought or the voices in my head were doing their own show or I was wishful thinking!

The Band
All Photos: © L.R. Adams