Written by Samuel Barker
Aug 17, 2002 at 08:00 PM
ImageWhen Bobby Bare, Jr. came through in December, his band was undergoing some crucial changes. Three members of the band had quit due to Bare recording a solo record on Bloodshot and his new members barely knew a full set worth of material. It was a rough mix for the new look.

Now, nearly 8 months after that performance, Bare had released his solo effort, Young Criminals Starvation League and the band had learned more of Bare’s older songs. Things looked like they coming back in place for Bare and the rest of Bare, Jr.

Opening the set with True Story, which is an offbeat rant by Bare, you could feel the energy returning to the set, which lacked from the December performance, which seemed like a look into the band’s rehearsal space.

The first song from Young Criminals Starvation League that made its way into the set was Be Around. With the full live band, the song, like most played on this night from the album, took on a whole new life as a rock song rather than folksy Alt. Country.

Torn was the only song that did not fit into the new format well. The sped up rock version seemed hurried and felt like it was just getting pushed out of the way. It lost the whimsical, relaxed feel from the album, which made the song.

Of course the set also contained sets from Bare, Jr.’s rock albums. These songs fit well with the restructured new songs. Last December that Bare and guitarist Kevin Teel performed the new songs as a duet, which gave the set a feeling of having an intermission. With this format, the music flowed well and the set never lost its appeal.

Those in attendance appreciated classics such as Why Do I Need A Job and the band’s pseudo-hit, You Blew Me Off, however it took taunting from Bare and a cover of the Cars’ Best Friend’s Girlfriend to get everyone on their feet.

After laying it all out, the audience, who were now up and willing to participate called for more, which Bare and company were happy to give them.

Bobby Bare and Kevin Teel took the stage alone and played Mehan, which came across just as strong in person as on album. This was definitely a shining moment in the set. Teel’s guitar with Bare’s harmonica and pained vocals brought the song to life.

After hearing calls for even more songs, the full band came on stage for one last song, Why Won’t You Love Me. As the band tore through the song, it was not hard to see how much this band has grown and gelled since their initial road test in December.