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VAN Reviews

The Bobs
Da Vinci’s Notebook
Vance Gilbert

January 6, 2001, 7:30pm
The Bottom Line, New York
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Reviewed by Dan Rosenbaum
Web posted January 8, 2001

The Bobs’ (Mostly) A Cappella Comedy Show was a showcase revue assembled mostly for attendees of a “fine arts presenters” convention – a concert for people who book concerts. If ever a band ever needed to make a big and quick impression on a new audience, this was the time.

All three acts delivered. The material on stage was the surest of the sure fire: the biggest crowd pleasers, the funniest well-honed bits, and the best of the new stuff. No 20-minute vocal percussion solos tonight, just an abundance of penis jokes, always good for a laugh.

The Bobs, not always the most disciplined performers, were on their best behavior -- quick to pick up pitches, with a minimum of cross-chatter and fuss. Their set started with “Helmet,” a full-voiced song in a major key that let the excellent sound system settle in quickly. Highlights included “Mr. Duality,” and a number of songs from their new CD “Coaster”: a vocalese version of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan,” “She Made Me Name You Earl,” and a madrigal cover of “Light My Fire.” The closer was “Purple Haze,” with the customarily amazing vocal guitar of Joe Bob Finetti.

Da Vinci’s Notebook comes across as sort of The Bobs’s kid brothers. To say that their performance style continues to mature is not to suggest that their lyrics have abandoned their trademarked rudeness and humor. “Title of the Song” is as knowing a rip at boy bands as you are apt to hear, and “Secret Asian Man