Gig Recap: Bob Is Tired (2021.08.20)

Bob Is Tired 逃走鲍伯

– Yuyintang 育音堂 2021.08.20

Bob is Tired – Or Not…?

Friday night kicked off Bob is Tired’s Yuyingtang doubleheader, two sold-out shows over one weekend to draw their successful China touring of the past months to a close. 

– Philip Hsu, Contributing Writer

Bob is Tired opens with a tightness not often seen in live acts, immediately proving that while this pop punk style of music is not necessarily my cup of tea, there’s something else in the water that is propelling this band to its current success. What starts out with very 五月天 and Jay Chou-inspired numbers devolves deliciously into something I last heard with the Brian Jonestown Mass., which is sort of shoegaze but with kick, and undoubtedly sinister. 

On the 3rd song rhythms plummet through guitar and chords, setting up psychedelic smoke plunging into null beats: The beat you think is there, but isn’t, setting up excellent dissonance and pulling the audience into the sound. Be it uptempo or a mellow, underwater pop mood, Bob is Tired puts forth a classic 迷魂/銷魂 sound which takes influences from EDM also. 

Bob is Tired’s compositions and technical skill are in many ways a cut above its competition, and the band’s musicality is strong, i.e. the composition of the notes and rhythms to produce a musical nature. However, some themes are not – clear experimentation by the artists produces music which is counterintuitive, but at times too subtle. The band’s range is described as a box of chocolates a la Forrest Gump, but that movie’s most quotable characters and lines are from Jenn-ay and Liutenant Dann (you have to say it with a Southern accent), not from the titular protagonist.

We can see the fruits of in-depth musical exploration and investment from the clear themes and ideas in the band’s song after the chocolate monologue, striking direction and vocalizations which punctuate rhythms closely and distinctly. 

With this amount of creative output and technical skill, Bob is Tired does not lack direction or ability, but could develop more concepts in its work. We’re looking forward to seeing them again and hoping they’ll extend their stay in the moment, and in the scene. 

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