Monday, June 23, 2003
Leave it to Danger Bob to unite The White Stripes, Avril Lavigne, a See 'n Say and the band's own trademark humor into a wonderful harmony last weekend.
The second leg of the band's farewell tour -- two years removed from the first leg -- started Friday at The Hurricane in Kansas City, Mo. Despite a remarkably small crowd for such a beloved local band, Danger Bob played as if the venue were packed, taking little time to rekindle their on-stage chemistry. It was obvious from the first chord that the friendship between singer Karl Michelbach and guitarist Andy Morton -- as well as bassist Jason Lovell and drummer Kenny Gall -- had deteriorated little from the band's heyday, if at all.
Even with a few forgotten lyrics and some musical mistakes, including Michelbach accidentally stepping on Morton's guitar pedal while dancing, the hourlong set was a welcome return from a band that hadn't released an album in four years. Danger Bob even kept the set current, using a verse from The White Stripes' latest single "Seven Nation Army" as a segue into "Dynamo," Morton's ode to Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller.
Other more recent parts of the set included a "Danger B.O.B." poster with Gall imitating Andrew W.K.'s famous bloody-nose mug shot, a cover of Fountain of Wayne's "Survival Car" and "Love Like That," originally written for Michelbach's more recent band Tiny Dot Syndrome.
Those features were included in Saturday's show at The Bottleneck, which included a fine opening set by "very special guest" Reggie and the Full Effect. Danger Bob added another partial cover, seamlessly moving from "Frogsat Love" into the chorus of Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi."
The silliness of the set showed up again later with "Chickens in My Backyard," during which Michelbach forgot a verse from the song he had written, though he did get one of the loudest cheers of the evening after using a See 'n Say during the song.
As with most Danger Bob shows, crowd interaction was an important part of the evening. From fans filling in for Michelbach when he again forgot lyrics to the audience singing an entire verse of "Biltmore East" -- twice -- the band and crowd played off each other to near perfection.
Those in the audience were repaid with old favorites such as "Tenely Albright Day," "Graduation Day" and "Molly Spots," and rarely played songs such as "These Tears" and, for just the second time ever live, "Cranberry Moira." Danger Bob even threw an unrecorded song that Morton considers one of his best, "Photo," into the 35-song show.
One of the highlights of the band's two-day return to stage was its new book, "Incredidumb: From Wannabes to Has-Beens -- The Danger Bob Story" which included lyrics, background stories for songs and notes from each band member about one another.
Though the book is a wonderful keepsake of the band members' recollections of their seven years together, it can't compete with the memories of the fans at the two shows, who can only hope they don't have to wait another two years to see one of the area's best bands on stage.