How technical can you get with a group of a capella vocalists? Well, more than you might think! The Bobs, aside from being excellent vocalists, are also very technically knowledgeable regarding their craft. They take it seriously, and use Beyerdynamic microphones for their vocals. I believe they use TGX-580 and TGX-480 mikes. Joe Bob (the "drummer") also uses Shure SM-58's for some of specialties he does. For example, he plays "drums" by stomping on the floor (kick) and beating the heck out of his thighs (snare and toms). He also uses an effects box to perform distortion guitar.
They move around on stage a lot, and are never in the same position twice, so one monitor mix across 4 wedges was all they needed.
Sound check consisted of getting levels and EQ right for each performer individually, and then together as a group. Everything went smoothly here after we switched microphones for Amy Bob.
Usually at IMAC, we tend to play CD's of upcoming performances before shows. This can occasionally be the first time I have heard a group that I will be working with. For several weeks before The Bobs, we were playing their music. This was not my first exposure to The Bobs, but it was actually the first time I really got to hear a lot of their music at once. I was looking forward to this show for many weeks because of that. Besides, I wanted to see how they found all these people named Bob. So, when Matt Bob, Amy Bob, Joe Bob, and Richard Bob showed up, I was thrilled and delighted.
If you've never seen The Bobs in a live concert situation, it can be very tough to describe. It's not just singing! They are a total performance that has to be seen to be truly enjoyed. Their songs are everywhere from witty to hilarious to touching, and they give you a "complete package" by filling in between songs with stories and other humor. Their voices blend perfectly, and each voice is a magnificent instrument. The harmonies were incredible, and it really doesn't take long to forget about the fact that there aren't a bunch of pluckers, strummers, plinkers, and whompers on stage.
The audience enjoyed this show almost as much as I did, and sometimes it was tough to decide whether they got more laughter and applause for their songs or their stories. One of the very nice things about The Bobs is that they seemed to be having as good a time as the audience. They were very gracious, and spent lots of time after the show signing autographs and talking to audience members.
The Bobs' wacky sense of humor is really evident in their performance, but that doesn't detract at all from the excellent quality of their music. If you want to have a fun evening seeing a show, find out where The Bobs are performing and go see them. Buy their CD's and listen carefully. At the very least, check out their website at The Bobs Home Page.
Amy Bob, Richard Bob, Matt Bob, and Joe Bob on stage at IMAC
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