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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ain't got nobody I can call my shorty

May 10, 2008

Diesel, Pittsburgh

Bob Schneider is known for rowdy, rocking performances, but he began his latest Pittsburgh show with three quiet piano tunes, culminating with the poignant "Changing Your Mind."

"This concludes the Billy Joel portion of the show," said Schneider, before breaking out the guitar. For the next two hours, Schneider showed why is he one of the most under-appreciated singer-songwriters around, tearing through older songs from his extensive catalog and tracks from his latest DIY effort, When the Sun Breaks Down on the Moon.

Schneider moved from guitar to trumpet to melodica through the course of the show, and even reconnected with his rap roots for the only-slightly-ironic rap songs "Mudhouse" and "Ready Let's Roll," before closing with sing-along rockers "Ass Knocker" and "Tarantula."

Schneider's crowd-pleasing live show is the kind that would win over new fans in a festival setting, which is why it's frustrating that he's mostly absent from the festival circuit. Surely he could get on the lower portion of the bill at Bonnaroo, no? He has at least signed on for this summer's Wakarusa and Mile High Music Festivals - perhaps that will be the first step toward earning himself more the widespread recognition he deserves.