The Next Great American Band: season finale
Tonight's show not only featured the three finalist bands; it also took us for a trip down memory lane, featured performances by the Jeff Bird, Northmont, Goo Goo Dolls and Sheila E., and boasted what I thought was a very enjoyable Christmas medley with the top seven bands from the show.
The winner? Oh, no. Not before the jump!
With so much going on tonight, I think they could have gone for a 90 minute format or perhaps even stretched it out to two hours. It just seemed a bit jammed yet oddly disjointed tonight. Mind you, I enjoyed the show, but it seems they tried to do too much within the hour. It's as if they had all these great ideas and performances in mind and jumped from one to the next. And, of course, they also had to announce the winning band of the season.In the end, it all came across as a bit haphazard to me. But it could just be me.
If you think back to the beginning of the season, the audition show, there was a band which was given two shots to make the show and they fell short. I recall really enjoying the front man for the band, but the judges thought they didn't seem like they had it together. I thought they were decent at the time. Yes, it was Northmont. Well, they had their third chance with a performance tonight added and abetted by a Sixwire guitarist, Austin Clark and his dobro, and the DMHO horn sections. A good performance, but I'm wondering what it is with this band and the show. Either have them on the show or don't, but unless they make the cut for the show, enough.
Jeff Bird and his band sang a song about the rigors of the competition. We also saw judges John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls) and Shela E. do their thing. Thankfully, we didn't see judge Dicko do his thing. I'm not quite sure what his thing is, but I'm fairly certain I'm better off not knowing.
The Clark Brothers sang a gospel song, not any real surprise, but once again they were possessed. When they sing gospel, I end up being a true believer hallelujah!
"You Are Still the Same" was the song performed, yet I'm not sure I'm the same whenever I watch these guys. I've seen many bands over the years, ones who truly show their love of performing, but there's something special about the Clark Brothers.
Their passion, conviction, and talent have ruled throughout the competition. They didn't fail me tonight.
Next up for the finalists was Sixwire. I feel the band is a solid band, very talented, and commercially marketable. But I don't get the excitement from them that I do from the Clark Brothers. I'm not mesmerized by them. Um, well. I get a bit mesmerized when front man Andy looks directly into the camera. There's something about those baby blues which takes me in.
They sang "The Last Time" by the Rolling Stones, as with the Clark Brothers, it was a song previously performed on the show.
I don't know if Sixwire will ever hit the huge big time, but they definitely should be able to support themselves with the band. They're very good live and I think they surely could develop a fan following.
I believe one thing working against the band is their emergence on the national scene at their age. For me, it's not a huge deal. I'm in their age bracket. However, for breaking nationally, it seems the younger bands have an edge. Older performers (you know ... ancient, like in their forties, dude) have a staying power, but not necessarily a great chance of jumping in at that stage. I'm not saying that's a good thing. I don't think it is. But I think it's a problem I've seen mentioned by lots of commenters.
Then it was up to Denver and the Mile High Orchestra to perform. In this band, it's a mix of ages. With their music and the big band style, age isn't quite as definitive as it is with a pure rock band or a smaller group.
They once again sang "Vehicle" by the Ides of March. I enjoyed their cover of the song the first time they did it and I enjoyed it this time around, too.
What I didn't enjoy is the fact that right after their performance they were rather bluntly told they were out of the running for the win.
Huh? I didn't expect them to win and I did expect it to be between Sixwire and the Clark Brothers at the end. But I didn't expect them to be almost blindsided not knowing the announcement would come immediately after finishing the song. Yikes! Kinda rude, methinks.
But it happened and was over. The show went onto something I found lots of fun -- the top seven bands were brought back with members of all backing them up and it was into a wild Christmas medley. Yep, Light of Doom, Très Bien, Dot Dot Dot, and Cliff Wagner and Old #7 joined the three finalist bands. It looked like the bands were having fun playing with each other, the audience was having a ball, and I was bopping my head a bit and smiling a lot. Maybe I'm just a sucker for holiday medleys, I don't know.
I thought it very fitting that Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 did "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," didn't you?
When it came down to the announcement between Sixwire and the Clark Brothers for the win, I knew as I knew for weeks which band would take the show. Yes, it was the Clark Brothers. Although so many bands featured have talent, there's a unique quality to them and an unbridled passion for the music. I thought for a moment that they might faint, but they survived the announcement. Now we'll just have to see what becomes of them down the road.
All in all, I was quite pleased with this first season of the show. I really enjoyed the diversity of the bands. Although I think it put some bands at a bit of a disadvantage as fans of some genres aren't likely to be watching a show mistakenly believed to be a rock competition. I think we saw a bit of the Sanjaya Syndrome with the Light of Doom, but the show really delved into an excellent mix of ages and musical genres.
The show made me re-explore some of the bluegrass I have in my collection (thanks, Cliff!) and bring out some of my 80s vinyl (thanks Dots). And, more important, I'm going to see what the Clark Brothers do with their win.
But I'm still not sure what Dicko is all about.
|Yes, they're tremendous!||367 (66.6%)|
|No, Light of Doom should have won it all.||44 (8.0%)|
|DMHO was robbed!||48 (8.7%)|
|No, Sixwire rules!||92 (16.7%)|