As far as indie-rock novelties go, it's hard to top Captured! By Robots. The outrageous act consists of a lone human named JBOT and his robot captors, which include, among others, GTRBOT 666 and DRMBOT 0110. And when we say “robots,” we're seriously talking fully functional musical mechanoids that strum, toot and beat themselves to make live music onstage. The show uses pre-programmed, pneumatic-driven animatronics for the complex musical performances, plus a system of ventriloquist puppetry for live interaction with the audience.
Originally just an obnoxious speed-metal band, C!BR have evolved into lowbrow, high-tech performance art with a series of satirically themed tours. Recent years have yielded a “Get Fit With C!BR” aerobic workout tour, a “Ten Commandments” rock opera, and JBOT's most ambitious and effective tour idea, “Get Married by C!BR.” For the latter tour, JBOT got himself legally ordained so he could perform actual weddings at rock clubs. He and his robots performed cover tunes as the wedding reception band. In part because so much of the fun is how the music is generated, the “Get Married” tour proved C!BR to be particularly entertaining as a cover band.
JBOT and his mechanical miscreants are once again pulling out the cover tunes for the latest “Get Motivated by C!BR” tour, a send-up of “life coach” motivational seminars. In his official statement for this tour, JBOT says, “Times are tough these days. Have you lost your job, lost your home, or lost your way? Are you sick and tired of being down in the dumps? Do you need some inspiration to help you get back on track? Are you ready for Success? It's ready for you!”
That said, Cleveland's nationally infamous unemployment percentages, home foreclosures and general urban malaise could all be resolved when the band plays the Grog Shop at 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show. —Michael David Toth