On November 18th, 2012 we got to experience the rock awesomeness that is Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players. The concert was held in the Smithwick Theater on the Foothills College campus in Los Altos, CA as a fundraiser for the Mountain View Parents’ Nursery School. The concert has been a tradition with the school for the past several years. Needless to say, there were some serious fans in the audience.
This was our first Justin Roberts concert and it was outstanding, to say the least. Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players are seasoned professionals when it comes to entertaining hip kids and their parents. Roberts, Grammy nominee and award-winning icon in the family music world doesn’t captivates the crowd within seconds by introducing a slew of movements to be acted out during the chorus of each song.
The band opened with “I Chalk,” from the 2008 release Meltdown, which had the audience swaying their arms during the “Whoa Whoa” part of the chorus. By the second song, “She’s A Yellow Reflector,” the slim bit of space in front of the stage became a serious dance party, jam packed with kids jumping and gyrating while reciting each word of their favorite songs in time with Roberts.
The 5-piece band was alive with energetic power pop and the rich set of bold colors rotating in the background seemed amplify the experience that much more. Big Dave (aka David Winer – trumpet/keyboard/percussion) wore his big shoes and brought out his friend Little Dave who sung a ditty about citrus fruit. There were also appearances by Willy the Whale (Liam Davis – guitarist, keyboards, vocals, producer) and Tim (Gerald Dowd – drums/vocals) who did a great job entertaining the crowd with some freestyle rapping (video below).
Roberts ran through songs from most of his albums, including two from his highly anticipated 2013 release and two that were Facebook requests. The set ended with “Trick Or Treat,” one of our favorites from the Grammy nominated album Jungle Gym. Fans were treated to an encore with songs from Pop Fly including “From Scratch,” a song in honor of Roberts’ grandmother, and “Stay-At-Home Dad. The latter of which featured a seriously metal solo by Liam with assistance from Little Dave to the tune of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” Overall the entire experience deserves an A++ and we can’t wait for the entire crew to return next year!
All songs can be sampled and purchased from Justin Roberts’ site.
Below are videos from the show as well as a song list (which excludes the 2 songs played from Justin’s upcoming 2013 release, Recess).
Gym Class Parachute (Gym Class Parachute)
Doctor, Doctor (Way Out)
Trick Or Treat (Jungle Gym)
Opener – I chalk (Meltdown)
She’s a Yellow Reflector (Pop Fly)
Henrietta’s hair (Pop Fly)
Nothing on you (Lullaby)
Gym Class Parachute (Jungle Gym)
Doctor, Doctor (Way Out)
Pop Fly (Pop Fly)
Fire Drill (Jungle Gym)
Willy Was A Whale (Yellow Bus)
Closed with Trick or Treat (Jungle Gym)
Encore with 2 songs – From Scratch (Pop Fly) and Stay-At-Home Dad (Pop Fly)