Captured! By Robots
"You've got to go see this show," she says. "It's right up your alley."
"Gadgets and noise."
And it was in this way that I was introduced to Captured! By Robots. And last week they played here in Atlanta.
I say "they" which is incorrect. "They" refers to one human, JBot, and his array of animatronic musicians. Wired up to a central computer and controlled via footswitch, the robots shuck and jive, light up, speak, and of course play their instruments.
GTRBOT is an engineering masterpiece. The thing is presumably tuned to 5ths, and the solenoids slam bars down across all the strings while another solenoid moves a strumming finger back and forth.
DRUMBOT is not quite as impressive as GTRBOT, but still pretty cool. I find this one pretty creepy. He and AutomaTom make the rhythm section.
There are a couple other characters, and then the Headless Hornsmen who this time were wearing paper cutouts of messrs Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld.
JBot himself is pretty entertaining. He keeps talking and stays in character, the music is reasonably interesting, and the visuals are incomparable. Last night it was every bit as nice as last time, but last night there was a bonus.
Around the middle of the set, some asshole in the crowd flicked a cigarette and hit JBot on the side of his mask. J stopped the song, picked up the cigarette, and hopped right off the stage and walked right up to the guy, and said something along the lines of:
"This is my JOB, asshole. This is how I make a living. Would you like it if I flicked cigarettes at you while you worked? Do you have any idea how completely uncool that is?" He then proceeded to have the guy thrown out, got back up on stage and continued the show.
Before the incident, I couldn't stop smiling.
After the incident, I couldn't stop laughing.
JBot is a rock god.
I am his willing slave.
I have been Captured!
Captured! By Robots!!