SUPER BOB LIVE – House of Bricks, Des Moines, IA – November 16, 2013

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IMG_6816Located in Des Moines, Iowa’s East Village, House of Bricks (HOB), is a small restaurant/bar/music venue that often features up and coming bands. It’s easy to book the room if the night is open, and it’s located in the heart of downtown where ample foot traffic is a bonus. HOB has gained the reputation as a metal venue, but you’ll find a mix of musicians from various genres performing there.

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, HOB welcomed SUPER bob, with Omaha-based national touring act Screaming for Silence (S4S). S4S is a Des Moines favorite. Their vocalist is from the area and they’ve seen some notable success in touring nationally, opening for acts like My Darkest Days, Stone Sour, Seether, BUSH, 12 Stones, Prospect Hill and Eye Empire. Regional acts Switchblade Saturdays and Mistaken for Halos opened the show.

If you’ve not yet heard of SUPER bob, it’s probably because they are fairly new on the scene. They’ve played around their home base Washington, D.C. since as early as 2005 while gradually extending their reach to other areas in the last few years. They’ve shared the stage with Sevendust, Nonpoint, Hed PE, Trapt, Framing Hanley and others. Buzz over the band has erupted. At this show, the common conversation overheard was, “have you seen SUPER bob before?” and if the response was “no,” the resounding reply was, “oh, these guys are awesome. You’re going to love them.”

From the minute they stepped on stage they had the audience’s attention, and they held it until the end of the show. Their show was explosive and mesmerizing, visually intoxicating. Vocalist Matt Santoro was rock star flashy.  He came onto the stage in a long fur coat and sang into a bejeweled microphone. His multi-colored long dreadlocks had been pulled into a pony tail when he walked around the venue before the show. But once on stage, the dreads were down and swinging around as he jumped back and forth, and up and down. Guitarist Adam Smith was a bit Rob Zombie-ish looking with his reddish dreads and his grimacing scowls. But he knew how to have fun too, thrusting his pelvis and his guitar towards the audience. Bassist Drew Recny had the sides of his head shaved with one side featuring an intricate skull tattoo. At times the light shone directly on it. While Recny, Smith and Santoro held your attention with their high energy movements, the crowd’s eyes were also drawn to drummer Chris Faircloth who showcased his unique style of stick tricks.

IMG_6600SUPER bob’s sound is a little bit Korn, little bit Limp Bizkit, rock rap style, but they make it their own. They played a solid selection of songs from all their albums including the tracks Cali, Popstar, Superfly (the most recent single) and a cover of LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It.

The show was a little less about the music. While SUPER bob has some solid songs with catchy lyrics, not all of their songs are worth pressing repeat on your CD player. But their appearance and stage presence was mystically layered, exuding raw rock star with a hint to the amount of time and effort they must take in polishing their performance. A show is as much about the appearance and the aura as it is about the music. In a touring band, having a stellar stage presence PLUS tightly composed music will win you the highest accolades.

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