With Lennonesque glasses, modified modern mop-top haircut, and boyish looks belying his forty-something age, Roberts looks a little like a cross between Lennon and McCartney and seems to have inherited a blended variation of their songwriter genes too. His songs combine Paul's sweet with John's salty and are filled with clever rhymes and fast-paced wordplay, all delivered understandably--no throat-shredding vocals from Roberts--but often set to a heavy backbeat backup. To quote from the early era of rock, "It's got a good beat, you can dance to it." And dance they do, in the rows, aisles, and mosh pits everywhere he goes.
Roberts is now touring in support of his new Grammy-nominated album, Lullaby, so expect a slightly higher ratio of soft soothers to raucous rockers than you might have gotten used to at his previous shows. But not to worry, I doubt Roberts and NR4NP will lull you or your tykes to snooze during their show--more likely it'll be after the concert that you'll be ready for a nap.
[Originally published in March, 2013.]