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On a cool and windy Sunday night, Crobot's dirty, groove-rock poured out of the newly redesigned legendary Asbury Lanes into the streets of Asbury Park, NJ. The Pennsylvania quartet, created by vocalist Brandon Yeagley and guitarist Chris Bishop in the summer of 2011, was in town to showcase their latest release - Motherbrain.  Crobot has had great success in the past eight years (including breaking the top 16 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart) and their latest is clearly another step in the right direction, proving that heavy, funky, rock and roll is not dead, but and alive and kicking in the Garden State.  Better yet, this show was literally the first time I had ever seen or heard Crobot (aside from some pre-show research), and was excited for my real-world baptism as a 'Beardo' on Sunday night.

Crobot kicked off the show with "Legend of the Spaceborne Killer", and what immediately stood out was the band's incredible on-stage presence.  You could tell right away that these guys loved playing with one another by the intense energy they each brought to the stage.  Add in face-melting guitar riffs, thunderous bass and drums, and Brandon's extraordinary vocals, and you had all the ingredients required for a true rock and roll party.  Although tight as a band, it was clear that each member brought their own unique style to the stage, and collectively brought the crowd on a journey through time and space.  Brandon's rock-star persona was on full display throughout the evening highlighted by his dancing, attire, and of course his incredible voice.  The band seemed to feed off that energy, with Eddie and Chris running around the stage, Chris jumping off amplifiers and spinning his guitar around his body, and Dan always laying down that perfect beat to keep the party going. But none of Crobot's on-stage antics took away from the excellent musicianship of the band as they collectively set fire to Asbury Lanes.

As this show was billed as a record release party for the band's fourth album Motherbrain, it was great to hear a few words from Brandon Yeagley and his thoughts on the record:  “I think it’s a much darker record, musically, lyrically, and thematically. It’s some of the heaviest material we’ve ever done, but it’s also some of the funkiest. We’re widening the Crobot spectrum even more. It’s the catchiest too. It’s less about wizards and dragons and more about everyday turmoil and the struggles of life. Corey made it digestible and appealing for not just dudes with beards or chicks with dicks.” 

The boys played many songs off the new album including "Burn" and "Keep Me Down", and I must say these songs were simply unbelievable.  In addition, Crobot mystified the crowd with an incredible cover of Soundgarden's "Outshined".  I'm a huge Soundgarden fan and am sure Chris Cornell would have been proud of their rendition - it was truly one for the ages.

Near the end of the show, you could tell Yeagley was having fun and took an impromptu shot at The Jonas Brothers  (who were spotted in Asbury Park earlier in the day taping a performance for the MTV VMA awards)"Did you see the Jonas Brothers today?" The crowd then responded with a mixture of silence, some murmurs, and a few boos. Yeagley then asked, "Why?"  Crobot then proceeded to tease a little Led Zeppelin for the Jonas Brothers which immediately fired the raucous crowd right back up.  I liked that, a little humor at a rock show - it was just what the doctor ordered.

Asbury Lanes has gone thru some changes recently and is newly renovated.  It has a bar, diner, bowling alley, and stage perfectly set up for any concert goer to enjoy rock and roll from any location in the house. On Sunday night, the Crobot faithful were able to get a beer, grab some food, and bowl a few games while at the same time enjoying their favorite rock and roll band. This was a perfect spot for Crobot to shine in NJ and it was a show I won't soon forget.

At the end of the day, Crobot's show on Sunday night was special and their album Motherbrain is straight up rock and roll at it's finest.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking to get loud and rowdy and suggest you catch the band while they are on tour in a town near you.  I'm now a Crobot believer (and this is coming from someone who had zero exposure to the band prior to this show).  Crobot is the real deal.  They are fresh, entertaining and they deliver on all-cylinders!

Matthew Lang

Photojournalist - New Jersey

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