OWTK Kid's Concert Reviews / So Much Time So Little To Do

Justin Roberts Show Review

OutWithTheKids.com was fortunate enough to be part of the crowd at World Cafe Live this past weekend for a rare Sunday morning kid’s show. The famed Peanut Butter and Jams series is usually held on Saturdays at WCL but when Justin Roberts needs a Sunday gig, accommodations can (and should) be made. The show, surprisingly enough, was not completely sold out. Roberts (and Liam Davis) filled the place last Autumn and with the full band in tow this time around I was certain they’d be turning sad little children away at the door. It was, after all, the band’s (known as the Not Ready For Naptime Players) first ever gig in Philly. Maybe the Pro Football Sunday slot kept some folks away (even though the Eagles were in Roberts’ hometown of Chicago for a Sunday night game).

The band played 12 songs spanning 5 different records (see set list below) lasting for a touch over 50 minutes which is standard at these kiddie shows. I personally think the tots can handle a bit more of the rock, say an hour and 15 minutes or so, but nonetheless they all seem to halt at the 45-50 minute mark.

The band sounded tight, as always, and Justin’s vocals stellar. I have only one complaint and it’s the same beef I always have at JR shows. My problem? The over-use of audience instructions (dance moves, hand motions, etc). It takes a lot of the spontaneity out of the experience and it’s rare that the thing itself holds the attention of the kids for the entire song (or even through the end of the first chorus). If it makes sense for the song, like on “Imaginary Rhino” or “Willy Was A Whale” then OK but not every song needs it’s own scripted movement.

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players Set List from Philadelphia, PA on Sunday September 28th, 2008:
Old Pajamas
Pop Fly
Our Imaginary Rhino
She’s a Yellow Reflector
Henrietta’s Hair
Willy Was A Whale
My Brother Did It
Giant Sized Butterflies
Way Out
Stay At Home Dad
The Backyard Superkid
I Chalk

If you don’t remember how much we love “Pop Fly”, go ahead and re-read the OWTK review of The Greatest Children’s Record Ever Made.

If you have the chance to catch JR on tour don’t even think twice about plopping down the cash for tickets. Whether as a duo with Liam or with the full band, it’s a show you will not want to miss seeing with (or without!) your kids. Roberts is simply the best thing going on the kiddie circuit right now (yes, better than Dan Zanes, better than They Might Be Giants, better than any other children’s act playing live today).

Justin Roberts’ 20% off shop sale ends today! Buy stuff and support great independent kid’s music!

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial