Bob Schneider, live at Antones, 2002
Bob Schneider… always an electrifying live show…
Bob Schneider is, quite possibly, one of my favourite singer-songwriters of the last decade. The man’s writing is… prolific, to say the least. In fact, I recall reading an interview with him once, where the interviewer asked him how it was possible to produce – consistently – so many hit tunes. To which Bob replied something to the effect that, if you’re in the habit of writing at least two songs a day, every day, you’re bound to strike it lucky occasionally.
While that answer is typical of Schneider, trying to shrug off the accolades with an easy smile, it really is needless modesty that underplays the brilliance of Schneider’s poetic, hauntingly beautiful songs. He truly is – in my eyes, at least – nothing less than a lyrical genius.
Anyone who has heard more than one song of his will be impressed with his versatility; some songs are witty, whimsical and naughty; stuffed with double-entendres and straight-forward raunchiness… most often these are the songs that come about as a result of his playing with his sometime band, “The Scabs”.
Other times, the songs are remorseful; chilling; unsettling; winsome and things of pure, unsullied beauty. It’s when Bob enters his more contemplative mode that he truly shines, for me. Really, it’s perfection.
This set, a show from December of 2002 at Antone’s in Schneider’s hometown of Austin, Texas, is perhaps one of my favourites of the many live shows I have of his. There’s a nice interplay between the flippant songs, and the more serious fare that makes for a nice entry point to Bob’s music. And the fact that he’s playing with long-time collaborator, Mitch Watkins, only sweetens the deal. It’s a long set, at 33 songs, so make sure you’re comfortable.
If nothing else, please make sure you listen to the track “Queen UK”. Please. As someone who used to play in a band, it breaks my heart every time I hear it.
The only thing that could have made the set better, for me? Including “King of the World”, “Tokyo” or “Gold in the Sunset” in the setlist. Still, you can’t have everything I suppose…
Listen. Love. Support.
Bob Schneider & Mitch Watkins, Live at Antone’s, 7 December 2002
2.) Horses and Ponies
4.) Round and Round
5.) Queen UK
6.) Down The Dark Stairs
7.) Cornflakes and Sodium Pentathol
8.) Pencil Me In
9.) Somewhere Over The Rainbow
11.) Captain Kirk
12.) The Other Side
14.) Devil Was My Only Son
16.) Metal and Steel
17.) Cashville, TN
18.) Let It Go
19.) Losing You
20.) “One in ten chance”
22.) Big Blue Sea
25.) Sideshow Tornado
26.) All I Want For Christmas Is My Methadone
28.) World Exploded Into Love
29.) Good Life
30.) If I Only Had A Brain
31.) Jimmy The Trucker
32.) Spend Some Time
33.) C’mon Baby