It's day two of Roots N Blues, Southern Culture on the Skids is on the Missouri Lottery stage, the local go-go dancing duo Hella Go-Go is dancing along in their shining white boots, but what catches my eye is a man in the crowd.
He stands to my immediate right, sporting an oversized suit jacket, cool shades and shaggy hair. And some serious dance moves.
Little did I know that "this guy" was Beatle Bob, a Missouri native who has become an icon simply by dancing at concerts.
The Origins of Beatle Bob
They don't call him "Beatle Bob" for his mop top – it was a nun who christened him.
Back when he was in sixth grade attending Catholic school in St. Louis, Bob was sneakily reading a Beatles magazine behind his textbook when the nun noticed.
"I thought I was getting away with it," Bob says. "She raced down the aisle, snatched the magazine out of my hand and in front of the whole class said, 'That'll be enough of that, Beatle Bob.' And the nickname stuck."
As far as the dancing, it began in 1975 at a St. Louis club called Mississippi Nights, where rock musician Dwight Twilley was performing. Bob was there with his good friend Paul, who was, Bob says, a "real reserved guy."
Despite Paul's shyness, and much to Bob's surprise, Paul suddenly jumped on stage and started solo dancing.
"I was like, 'Man, Paul's so reserved,'" Bob says. "I said, 'If he can do it, I can do it.'" The rest is history.
The Legacy of the Bob
When he's not working as a St. Louis community DJ and cable host, Beatle Bob travels all over the country emceeing festivals and dancing alongside bands.
At Roots N Blues, he graced the stage with Deke Dickerson and performed as "the greatest wrestler in the world" with Southern Culture on the Skids, dancing and stage-fighting and yelling, "Viva Columbia, Missouri!" During the performance, one woman in the crowd exclaimed she's been seeing Bob since she was 12 years old. He's also taken his moves to festivals like Lollapalooza in Chicago and Bonnaroo in Tennessee.
Bob's great love is lesser-known acts. In his work as a journalist, he makes a point to focus on musicians who haven't yet reached stardom. The man is all about the music, and encourages people to look beyond what's playing on the Top 40 stations.
"Everyone knows about the arena acts," Bob says. "I'm not knocking those guys, but let's talk about the bands that play in the 300-400 seat clubs. Go out, and even when there's not a festival, support those lesser-known clubs that book original music."
Beatle Bob has been groovin' into people's hearts for over four decades, and shows no signs of retiring his dancing shoes.