Saturday night, sipping away at a Miller Highlife and trying to save the perfect vantage point I somehow landed on the balcony of Neumos. Of course any time such events come into perect alignment something has got to go wrong, and this time it ws getting through the opening band… as it usually is. It was almost enjough to make me release my deathgrip on the railing. Once clear of the melancholy that Tim Sealy brought to the stage, things fell back into place.
Enter Bobby Bare Jr. normally touring with his band The Young Criminal Starvation League, but tonight being backed by Ghostfinger. BB Jr. is known for his alt-country songs about dysfunctional situations and relationships, and even though I’ve previously been dazzled by Bobby’s catchy lyrics and sticky hooks, I gotta tell you, I wasn’t feeling it. Bobby shuffled his “Croc”-clad feet onto the stage, barely picking them up, head hung low. First glance would lead you to believe this set was to follow in the footsteps of the last.
Then the music began.
This was not your typical Bobby Bare show. Jangley crowd favorites like Valentine, Girlfriend were suddenly turned up to 11. Typical riffs got lit on fire and rocketed out on the audience by Ghostfingers guitarist Richie Kirkpatric and Van Campbell beat the livin shit out of his kit. These guys had brought out the big guns.
Eventually, Bobby removed his Crocs and the sentiment was evidently catchy. One minute, Kirkpatric was a rock star, then he was a NAKED rockstar, well all except for a little pair of “man-panties” as Bobby called them. Apparently not very shy, Richie maintained through the more relaxed songs requiring a sit down slide, all the while emulating a very Zappa-esque style. Bobby, apparently fed up, suddenly left the stage, abandoning the partially naked band to fend for itself – only to return with a fresh 6-pack of Carona. Crisis averted. Please let us continue to rock.
Although naked slide is a bit tough to swallow, the overall set was top notch. Maybe it was the initial taste of sour tht made it so sweet but man, I’m glad I hung around.