July 08, 2005
BY JEREMY D. CAMPBELL
On the eve of a potential Hurricane evacuation in New Orleans, Bob Schneider nonchalantly walked onto the Tipitina’s stage as Mr. Rogers' "Won’t You Be My Neighbor" played over the sound system. This intro served as the most wholesome moment in the King of the Austin Music Scene's show.
Schneider strapped on his red electric, which was painted with a soaring skull that could have easily been airbrushed on many an Austin van back in the 70's. He opened with an off-album track that had lyrics which might have left some
audience members feeling sexually harassed.
His rhythm-rock balladeering continued with "C'mon, Baby," a song from the second consecutive album crowned Record of the Year by the Austin Music Awards at SXSW.
Schneider soon switched gears and played an acoustic set, starting with “Round and Round" from his first album. His bass player filled in on background vocals for the submelody Schneider sampled on his record. The bassist did a nice job mimicking the album's old opera recordings by the parents of his ex-girlfriend, Sandra Bullock.
Schneider's characteristic high-energy rhyming/rhythmic vocals syncopated over ear candy-catchy melodies. Schneider never addressed the audience aside from one "Is that all you got?!?" during an applause break.
Perhaps he thought chatter would take away from the Double Live CD he was recording (and turning around for sale just minutes after the show). Or maybe the crowd of rowdy, drunken keg-kids annoyed Schneider and he was just going through the motions.
When he performed a take-your-time-and-have a-good-cry version of one his most brilliant ballads, "2002," the audience spilled beer and waved lighters in the air long after the flames had blown out. I can only imagine the musical power Schneider commands from this piece with a more appreciative audience.
Soon he returned to more off-album songs about "cocaine-iacs," someone who "farted in (his) face," and too many crack references to count. And with these tunes, the crowd went wild for Bob Schneider.
They seemed oblivious that the joke appeared to be on them as Schneider convinced the audience to mambo while he pranced around stage and whistled into the mic with a lounge lizard's style that was the epitome of cool.
I hope he sold a lot of Live at Tip’s CDs to those jokers. He deserves the money.