And we thought Ryan Seacrest was a tease…
I’m really glad that I taped “The Next Great American Band” Friday, because if I had tried to watch it live, I probably wouldn’t have made it through…
Instead of announcing the two eliminated bands at the beginning of the show, each safe band was called out one by one to perform, with a commercial break between each band (except for one).
I don’t know who went through more torture—the bands waiting or us watching.
Why FOX would allow a show as low-rated as “Band” to do another two-hour episode is beyond me. I say we declare Sixwire the winner now and put the show out of its misery…
And I think John Rzeznik would support that because he seems to be tired of the whole thing already. He opened the show with a poorly chosen joke comparing the booing audience to the people who called for Christ to be crucified. Then, several times he chastised the audience for booing. And by the end of the night, he was just trying to move it along as quickly as possible.
And Dicko once again seemed confused about the point of the show. After telling The Muggs last week that you didn’t have to have a great singer to be a good band, he told them this week that it was time to get a singer. Go figure…
So, without further ado, here is my recap of the performances as the bands did an original, followed by a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin…
Sixwire: “Gotta Get Away” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”
The sound mix seemed a little off on the original, but it was another classic country song with syncopated lyrics and harmonies very similar to Rascal Flatts. I was concerned that “Sun” was a bad choice, but lead singer Andy is a better singer than I gave him credit for. All three judges loved it, with Dicko saying they were “such a bonus” for the competition. I think Simon Fuller should sign them immediately. A+
Tres Bien: “How I Feel” and “Love Lies Bleeding”
They had a good retro-funk sound, but at times it was a little off. The second song suffered from the frontman being out of breath, but it was still fairly solid. John and Sheila loved them, but Dicko cautioned them to focus on their musicianship. B
Franklin Bridge: “Love’s Fool” and “Philadelphia Freedom”
The band said in their taped piece that they were bridging the gap between R&B and rock. I think they need to put down a little more pavement on the R&B side as the first song was just too much rock. They totally abandoned the chorus to play guitars and the drummer shouting, “Jump” in the middle of it didn’t help matters. “Philadelphia” should have been their chance to knock it out of the park, but it was a mess. And the judges agreed with me, with Sheila telling them less is more and John going after the fans with “Don’t boo my a--.” C
The Clark Brothers: “Country Time” and “Country Comfort”
The original was a simple country/bluegrass song they handled well, but “Comfort” suffered a little from nerves. All three judges liked them a lot with Dicko saying he was “stoked” they were still in the competition. As am I. A
Light of Doom: “Light of Doom” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”
The original suffered from a lack of lyrics. “Saturday” was an excellent choice but the Axl Rose impersonation didn’t quite sell it. John and Sheila liked them, while Dicko said they still felt like a gimmick. However, everyone had their shirts on, which was a huge improvement. C+
Dot Dot Dot: “Stay” and “Your Song”
The original had a bit of an Erasure feel (which is a good thing) and “Song” was a fantastic arrangement with its tempo change from ballad to rock—although Adam’s voice was not totally up to the task. However, I thought it was a complete improvement over last week, and John agreed. But Sheila and Dicko criticized Adam for not toning it down enough. I’m afraid if they make it next week they’ll be totally boring. B
Cliff Wagner and the Old No. 7: “The Little White Chapel on the Strip” and “Honky Cat”
Cliff unnecessarily dedicated the first one to Britney Spears and her first husband, but it was a cute bluegrass number. I’m not familiar with “Cat” but they handled it well, even though Cliff didn’t seem all that confident with it. All three judges liked them, with Dicko saying he didn’t know rednecks could be so much fun. B+
The Muggs: “Should’ve Learned My Lesson” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”
I think lead singer Danny took the judges’ advice to embrace the fact that he can’t sing, because it seemed like his mic was turned down. But that lack of singing ability forced the band to rock out “Blues,” which made it a bit of a mess. John liked the original, but thought “Blues” was a bad choice (which I guess answered the question of who has song choice), Sheila said they need to lower the key of their songs, and Dicko said they had gone backwards. Danny’s response was to boo the judges. D
Rocket: “Future Ex-Boyfriend” and “Rocket Man”
The original showed that the background singers are actually better than lead singer Lauren, who continued to struggle. “Rocket” was a great arrangement, but Lauren’s voice killed it. She just doesn’t hold out the ends of the phrases enough. John said her problem was a lack of conviction, Sheila called the vocals horrific and Dicko said she needed vocal coaching. Lauren responded by saying she is who she is. C (Mostly for the “Rocket” arrangement)
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra: “All Night” and “I’m Still Standing”
The original featured a chorus of “let’s dance” but Denver was as stiff as a board while singing it. “Standing” was a fantastic choice, but they decided to change the tempo, making it sound like lounge muzak. My guess is they couldn’t go with the more dynamic arrangement because it would showcase Denver’s lack of charisma. John and Sheila liked it, but Dicko agreed with me about the tempo of “Standing.” B-
So that left The Hatch and The Likes of You out of the competition. The Likes of You responded positively, saying they would press on as a band, but Shawn, the lead singer of The Hatch took the opportunity to take a shot at the show. When Dominic asked for his reaction, he said, “I’d like to say that America has spoken, but I don’t really think that’s the case. I think it’s more like 300 people in Nebraska have spoken.” Dominic ignored the dig and moved right on…
Next week, eight bands will perform the music of Billy Joel. And FINALLY, the show will be cut to an hour…
What did you guys think? Do you agree with me that Sixwire should be the winner? Post a comment or send me an e-mail at email@example.com
P.S. It was my plan to have pictures of all the bands, but Blogger wouldn't cooperate.