The Next Great American Band: Episode 6
I was looking forward to the music tonight and, before the jump, let me tell you ... one band totally blew me away. Nah, I won't tell you what band did that. Not before the jump. But, speaking of jumps, you can bet that one band did "Jumpin' Jack Flash." You knew someone would have to, right?
I always wonder if the original artists tune in to see if their songs get mutilated. Maybe I should give Mick a call. Without further ado, I'll go through the performances in the order they sang on the show -- which is apparently not in any order of votes at all.Très Bien
I wasn't sure they'd make the cut this week, but knew if they did that the lead singer was made for some of the Stones songs. Since they're a retro-sixties garage band with a leaning towards the British Invasion style, the music tonight is almost second nature to them.
Singing "Get Off of My Cloud," they didn't really let me down. I keep thinking these guys would have been a huge hit in the 60s. I'm not sure now that the century has changed. But they're fun to watch and, although I don't think they're going to win, they entertained me. That's all I wanted from them.
John Rzeznik stuck to his Paula Abdul lines -- "loved it, amazing, fun, awesome." Sheila E. thought it was good but the guitar was a bit out of tune. Dicko thinks Michael (the front man) is natural and gifted. He called him Robolegs and declared the performance fun, sassy, and great. I don't think I'm quite as enthusiastic about the band.
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra
I don't know. This big band is really growing on me. I love to watch them perform. Tonight we found out Denver can do Donald Duck impressions. Okay, but please not while singing! They're more fun to watch than Très Bien!
I was wondering what song they'd do since the Stones tend to be a bit away from big band kind of music. I thought they chose the perfect song -- "I'm Free." I enjoyed the performance. In an odd coincidence, the commercial which aired right after their spot also featured the song. I liked Denver better than whoever did the commercial.
John loved the horns arrangement (and, oh, so did I), but accused them of being "squeaky clean." Say what? Even if they are, what difference would that make? I don't get the criticism. Sheile E. said it was the perfect song, but Dicko said it was variety good for B sides. He thinks it's their third week off pace. I disagree. I don't know if I'd run out to buy their music, but they definitely put on a great show tonight.
Oh, my. In the "secrets" they told about band members tonight, we find out that the drummer for the band was also a long-time drummer for Engelbert Humperdinck.
They chose "The Last Time" for their Stones cover. Excellent job, but I didn't expect anything less. Musicianship is certainly not an issue with the band and front man Andy still makes me melt just a little each time he looks straight in the camera. I was a bit disappointed with their performance last week, but they were solid tonight.
John said it was exactly what he wanted to hear from them tonight and that they owned the song. Sheila E. thought it was exciting and full of energy. Dicko said it was fantastic and excellent.
Well, yeah. The judges were right, but I don't think this was the best performance of the night. It was great, but not the one which blew me away.
Light of Doom
Nononono! They are not the band who blew me away! They survived another week, though. I think their performance this week was the weakest of the lot. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't enjoy being mean to little boys. I think on the purely musician level, these kids are good ... better than many years older. It's obvious that they really take it seriously and put a lot of work into the band.
That said, they sang "Jumpin' Jack Flash" tonight. Musically, I think they did decently. Vocally, it's another issue. The front boy was straining to sing in too low a key throughout the song.
John thinks they rock, but should explore using more harmony instead of a solo lead singer. Sheila E. agreed with the harmony idea and also brought up the low key singing. "Bring it up to your key," she said before adding a "you rock." Dicko thought it swung or lilted a bit more when compared to their usual fixing to invade Poland style. Um, okay.
The Clark Brothers
Okay, here's the group who did the song which blew me away. I just kind of sat in my seat and said, "Whoa." I was mesmerized and went for the ride on the journey through the song with them.
With their country sort of style, I was thinking they may do one of the ballads from the Stones. But then they have their frantic way about them, too. What did they choose? "Gimme Shelter."
I thought it was an odd choice for them, but it was absolutely amazing. When these shows talk about making a song your own, these guys wrote the book on it. Hands down, my favorite performance of the season.
It garnered a standing ovation from the judges, the first one we've seen this season if I'm not mistaken. John said it was intense, dark, and brilliant. Sheila E. asked if they pray before they perform (yes, they do). She thinks they're the band to beat. Dicko called it thrilling and fantastic and mentioned how it started out sort of quietly psychedelic and yet again turned into blind panic. Ah, but I say -- very well-crafted blind magic.
Dot Dot Dot
Ah, yes ... this means that good ol' Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 didn't make the cut this week. I was surprised they lasted as long as they did since they're a bluegrass band. They made me revisit my affection for the genre.
But Dot Dot Dot has had fairly solid performances as of late. I also think that they really seem to listen to criticism and step up each week. I don't personally think this week's performance was quite as good as the last few, but they beat out the Light of Doom with me tonight.
They chose "Let's Spend the Night Together." I'm of two minds about the performance. Something was a bit off for me and I just can't nail the problem Maybe I don't want to spend the night with front man Adam? I'm not sure.
The judges like the performance better than I did. John said they surprise him each week by getting better and better. Sheila E. said it was a good song choice, but Adam was "in and out" with his vocals. Dicko thought it was a good performance but they should have used a piano instead of the "cheesy 80s synth." I think he has a point there. He also said Adam should command attention, not act desperate for attention. All the time, it really looked like the band and Adam were almost taking notes to step it up again next week.
Oh ... and in a side note -- the band member with the three dots on his face -- it's not a tattoo. It's a Sharpie marker.
So, that was the show tonight. I think that the kiddie rockers should go next week if all is right in the world. I guess we'll see.
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