Bob Riffs

/Robert Marshall

About Robert Marshall

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So far has created 38 blog entries.

Lucinda Williams

March 7th, 2015|

Who goes to a Lucinda Williams concert to hear how loud her band can be? Neither my friend nor I, so I guess you’d say we were disappointed in her show at the Lobero last night (3/6/15). She got off to a bad start, waiting 35 minutes to take the stage after the 40-minute set […]

Three Women Folkies

February 21st, 2015|

Three middle-aged female singer-songwriters brought their low-energy show to the Lobero last night (2/20/15) to the pleasure of the less-than-capacity crowd of nice-looking, middle-aged ex-hippies and relationship types. Eliza Gilkyson had the best voice – pure and with just enough character; Mary Gauthier had spiky hair and attitude, in both her comments and her lyrics; […]

Patti Smith

January 28th, 2015|

Continuing my tour of legendary rock goddesses I went to see Patti Smith and Her Band at the Lobero last night (1/27/15). Arriving 20 minutes before show time at the box office I was able to snag the one seat available in the orchestra, a late release in the handicap-accessible row, H31. Not only was […]

Chrissie Hynde

December 9th, 2014|

I wouldn’t dare try to rank Greatest Male Rock’n’Roll Singers – how to compare Elvis Presley to Mick Jagger, Van Morrison to Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen to Robert Plant, Little Richard, Frankie Valli, et al. – yet the question of Greatest Female Rock Singer jumped to mind as I watched Chrissie Hynde bring down the […]

Bryan Ferry

April 20th, 2014|

I experienced one of those transcendent musical moments at the Santa Barbara Bowl Saturday (4/19/14): toward the end of a flawless concert Bryan Ferry segued from the hypnotic “Avalon” into the all-out, high-energy rock of “Love Is the Drug.” The three ladies and one man standing in front of me started bouncing uncontrollably, and we […]

The Soulless Midtown Men

April 10th, 2014|

The Midtown Men are four actors from the original cast of Jersey Boys, which they reminded the audience in the program and every time they talked. If you’re good, I’ve found, you don’t have to tell people you’re good; when that is the only thing you can talk about, then perhaps you aren’t. On the […]

Avetts at the Bowl

October 14th, 2013|

Just as I discovered Dawes, hearing “Time Spent in Los Angeles” on The Current, I became aware of the Avett Brothers when that station played “I And Love And You.” Other songs followed; I came to recognize the sound and the distinct lyrics. Both bands seemed worthy followers of Wilco in that particular genre of […]

The Concert for 12.12.12

February 11th, 2013|

The “greatest rock lineup ever assembled” was, above all, a study in rock star aging. It also made you realize, if you ever forgot, what a great decade for rock the ‘70s were. Forty years later, when important people wanted to raise millions and millions of dollars for storm relief, where did they go but […]

Song of the Year

October 19th, 2012|

Announcing a new category: Song of the Year. The first winner, for 2011, is Dawes, A Little Bit of Everything. For 2007, if I’d started this sooner, it would be Plain White T’s, Hey There Delilah. Also retrospectively, for 2009, the honor goes to Michael Franti & Spearhead, Say Hey (I Love You). I’ll fill […]

Fiona Apple

July 18th, 2012|

The single highlight of Monday night’s (July 16, 2012) Fiona Apple concert at the Orpheum came in the opening act, when Fiona’s lead guitarist, Blake Mills, performed ‘Sleepwalk,’ one of the great instrumentals in rock history. He gussied it up some with his wonderfully expressive guitar, but the song’s essence remained the same. The memories […]