Concert Review

Bob Log III Only Kinda Blue

See more shots in our Bob Log III slide show.

I'm not usually much for gimmick bands, but when Phoenix's paltry post-holiday concert calender has us planning to review Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Reel Big Fish within a week, options are limited. And so it was that I found myself at Bob Log III's show at The Rhythm Room on Sunday night.

Log is a Tucson-based one-man band who plays gritty blues while wearing a motorcycle helmet and skin-tight unitard. Log has a unique, though painfully consistent, sound, created by using his feet to play a drum and cymbal while he sings into a telephone attached to his helmet that distorts his vocals. He's known for his shows, which frequently feature nudity ("boob Scotch" he calls one bit, wherein he invites ladies from the crowd come up and stir his drink with their ta-ta's) and lots of dancing.

A fairly large crowd (sizable contingents of frat-boy types -- presumably there for the boobs -- and what Robbie Fulks would call "Roots Rock Weirdos." Click the link if you haven't heard the song before) at the Rhythm Room certainly did plenty of dancing -- at least for the first five songs or so, after which they started heading to the bar in shifts, the novelty seemingly worn off. For me, the bloom had been off for four and a half songs by that point.

After a seemingly unending set by Mammoth, AZ's Al Foul (doors opened at 7:30, he was still playing at 9:45), we got a little taste of things to come with a burlesque show (be sure to click the slide show) that proved much more entertaining than what came before of after it.

After the break (always entertaining: watching some chick in a bear suit and tutu trying to fix a mechanical horse that appears to be made of an old piece of exercise equipment) Bob and his valet took the stage. Bob's valet (the chick in the bear suit) bounced around on the horse-cycle while Bob played a set of songs that scarcely differed from one offering to the next.

"I have one small announcement: this song has no reason to exist at all," he said at one point, and I didn't disagree. Still, Bob had the audience in a frenzy, and had I been a few beers deep, I could imagine myself getting a little more in to the show. Aside from one exhibitionist who didn't exhibit anything, but couldn't seem to take the hint that she was supposed to get off the damn stage and let the pretty lady (formerly of the bear suit) work her magic on that mechanical horse, there wasn't anything too terribly annoying about it. When it comes to gimmick bands, that's about the best you're going to get from me. --Martin Cizmar

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Bob Log III at The Rhythm Room.

Better Than: The Video Nasties.

Personal Bias: I'm really not into the gimmick thing.

Random Detail: Again, to Courtney, the blond chick in the red shirt: propor etiquette dictates that you get off the stage within a minute or two.

Further Listening: "Roots Rock Weirdos."

By the Way: The dude who started the chant for one more song from Al Foul made a lifelong enemy tonight.

One More Thing: Check out the slide show. It's like getting all $10 worth of show in a fraction of the time it took to actually watch it.

Photos by Jonathan McNamara

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar