Concert Review: Crowd bobs along with Austin favorite

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    It was impossible not to dance at Bob Schneider’s crowd-pleasing, non-stop, jamming show at the Aardvark Friday night.A fixture in the Austin music scene, Schneider returned to Fort Worth as part of a tour showcasing his newest album “The Californian,” the most rock-n-roll version of Schneider to date.

    His music can best be described as a combination of alternative, folk, country, funk and beat-bop with self-confessional lyrics that display emotions ranging from love to heartbreak, to sex and partying and to loneliness and substance abuse.

    Majority of the songs that Schneider and his band rocked out to are from “The Californian,” including the CD’s title track “Holding In The World” and one of the slower ballads on the album “Flowerparts.”

    “We always like playing in Fort Worth,” Schneider said after the show. “The crowd is really raw, and they always know the words.”

    In addition to performing his newer songs, the band took liberty with some older tracks by playing a hip-hop version of the slow sing-a-long song “God Is My Friend” from the 2004 album “I’m Good Now.” Schneider and his band ended the show with an extended version of the 2001 jazzy funk song “Bullets.”

    Schneider submitted to the crowd’s demands to play his 2000 hit “Tarantula,” a fast paced salsa-esque song, which was originally written and performed under Schneider’s 1997 band – The Scabs. Crowd members sang the lyrics at the top of their lungs when Schneider held the mic out to the audience during the chorus.

    Schneider taught crowd members the phrase “arrr” and demonstrated how to thrust a pirate-hooked finger in the air while the band played the slightly inappropriate, intentionally off-key song “The Sons of Ralph.” Although Schneider and his band worked up as much of a sweat performing as the packed crowd did dancing, the quartet mustered up enough energy to answer the crowd’s chant for an encore.

    They sauntered back on stage shortly after they left, and without saying a word, jumped into my personal favorite track from the new album “Everything I Have Means Nothing To Me Now,” a mix of rock-n-roll and blues accompanied with a heavy bass riff.

    Friday night’s show was just as eclectic and fun as Schneider’s music itself. Judging by the sweaty smiling crowd who left the club Saturday morning, his fans loved it all.