Blues and rock mixed with showmanship
Bob Log III bringing his one-man-slide-guitar-band party to the Lyric Room
By Chris Rugowski
For those who know or have seen Bob Log III perform, they are aware of the musical mayhem that is a Bob Log III show – filled with constant innovation, originality and fun.
For those that aren’t – buckle up.
A product of the Arizona desert, Bob Log III has diligently traveled the globe since 1996 – often described as a sonic showman who has to be seen to be believed.
His return to the Lyric Room, 233 N. Broadway, June 11, will be the first time he’s been back to the area in quite some time and he promises his show won’t disappoint.
What is a Bob Log III show like?
Veterans, you know what to expect; first timers are in for a treat.
“You’ve got to hear the music,” Log said. “You can sit on me. I’ll ride on top of you in a boat and you can drink Prosecco out of an inflatable duck that’s my tour manager… you’ve got to experience the show.”
Log’s unique one-man band blues punk guitar dance party includes distorted vocals that come through a telephone installed into the jet pilot helmet he dons onstage.
Log simultaneously plays guitar and sings, while accompanying himself on kick drum, foot triggered cymbal/tambourine combo and a myriad of other pedal-prompted electronic percussion.
Show attendees can also expect to see multiple stage props, from a giant duck to balloons to an inflatable raft, just for starters.
Log is an active participant of the show’s on-stage antics.
He’s got a lot going on all at once – interacting with the crowd, making jokes and bringing audience participation to a whole new level.
During performances, he will often call audience members on stage to sit on his knee while he plays.
“The goal at the end of the night is to have a giant puddle of beer on the floor, and at the end of the show have everyone sweaty, wet and ultimately make sure we had a party,” Log said.
Log credits his original inspiration to play guitar to AC/DC, and more specifically Angus Young.
“I had this picture of Angus on my wall, he was playing guitar and he was so sweaty, with all this snot coming out of his nose and it was all over his face,” Log said. “But he had no time to wipe it off because he was in the middle of playing his guitar. And that’s all I wanted to be.”
Though much focus is put on Log’s guitar skills and on-stage antics, he said he spends more time on his lyrics than anything else.
“Fun words, and words in general, are important, especially if I’m going to make a song that I’m going to sing every night for 25 years,” he said.
Log said his main focus is making the show as fun as possible, entertaining and leaving the audience remembering the songs.
Bob Log III has been playing his brand of party music for the last 25 years, with roughly 150-280 shows a year.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, however, Bob Log III said his shows were reduced to five in 2020, and four in 2021.
He said things have picked up in 2022 and is currently on tour through July.
Log said he loves Green Bay, has known Exclusive Company manager Tom Smith since the ’90s and has fond memories of the city and the times he’s played here.
As a way of keeping his songwriting skills sharp during the pandemic, Bob Log III said he went into the birthday songs market.
What he thought was going to be 20 songs or less, turned into 400-plus, with some of those tunes making it into his live performances.
Opening for Bob Log III will be Reverend Meantooth and Spencer Smet.
“(Log) plays a show in all the right ways, it’s campy, but not too campy, and it’s gimmicky, but not too gimmicky,” Tom Jordan, aka “Reverend Meantooth” said. “Log knows how to work the gimmick because he realizes he is the gimmick and he embraces that. “In my opinion, he’s one of the best One-Man-Band guys.”
Jordan said he has played with Bob Log III numerous times with 20 Watt Tombstone, but never as a solo act.
He said many people know him from 20 Watt Tombstone.
He said Reverend Meantooth, however, is a little different and taps into a dark, bluesy side with an emphasis on the emotional side of things.
“The solo stuff is more fire and brimstone good versus evil, Old Testament style,” Jordan said.
As Reverend Meantooth, he said he sings a mean blues song, using a slide from time to time, and has a mix of original and cover songs.
Based out of Wausau, Jordan has been a full-time touring musician for the better part of the last decade, and said he is no stranger to the road, and what it means to be a creative type, both on- and off-stage.
“I feel like you shouldn’t have constraints on art,” he said. “The worst problem I’ve ever had, musically, was when I tried to contain music into a category, into a specific sound. If you write a riff, you shouldn’t disregard the riff just because it’s different. I have two different styles of writing and maybe they don’t work with each other, but rather than discard it and not use it, I’ve chosen to use it in a different avenue with the solo stuff.”
Also preparing the stage prior to Bob Log III is local musician Spencer Smet.
Known for its own brand of garage-rock, Smet’s live band features Jack Kispert on drums, Jake Phelps on keys and Eric Coppersmith on bass.
All-in-all, this show promises to be a night attendees won’t soon forget.
The show kicks off at 8:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7:30.
Tickets are $12 in advance (available at Keggers Bar, Exclusive Company-Green Bay, Rock ‘n’ Roll Land or on Eventbrite) or $14 at the door.
Chris Rugowski is a photojournalist from Green Bay, who mainly focuses on event photography, with an emphasis on bands and music.