Beautiful Melodies Telling you Terrible Things Vol. 90's Nostalgia
Act ONE: Marcy Playground - Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, sounding more like the version of himself that sells 70's and 80's CD sets for TimeLife on infomercials, over-sold every band he introduced (that's every band, he was sort of MC of the night) but he did mention before Marcy came out that those who show up early enough to catch the opening band are "the best type of rock n roll fans." I give that credit, it's true. Marcy wasn't the worst act of the night, and for that I feel bad for them. They had their gear basically just barely put on stage in front of Lit's already set up gear, they had no major introduction or band flag, and the venue was maybe a third-full at this point. Their self-titled album is their best work, and thus that's why the couple of new tunes they played didn't do a whole lot for me, mainly for them it was "Sex and Candy" and "Poppies" that held their set up. It seemed the other stuff they played (later records) just doesn't have that same vibe. The lead singer has obviously changed his look and put one some weight since their 90's heyday, but then again, you can't live on music videos about wet dreams forever.
Highlight of the Night: "Sex and Candy" is their best song from their radio days, and it still is. The real highlight is when they played their mile-high-club song "Up and Down"and Lady Hawk goes "Okay, what's worse, this or "Dead or Alive on the 405?"" Good call. 2.75/5
Some rock-n-rollers get older and still try to play Lothario with the ladies.
Some just...don't try anymore. At all.
Act TWO: Lit - Okay, rock-n-roll concert 101: When you're 2nd in on a 5-act show, you're not exactly who 90% of the audience is there to see, so don't act like you're blessing us with your presence. First, they drop a huge "Lit" band flag over the stage, and then an overly-long lights go out, play a clip from Blues Brothers, then go into guitar feedback intro to you guys coming out. Then definitely don't play two songs, then leave the stage, let it go dark, play another movie clip and do an overly long guitar feedback intro into a second entrance. Also, when you're like 45, don't dress like a 20-year old 90's version of Sid Vicious and then take your shirt off. Also, stepping onto the drum set and taking shots of Jager only to spit it into the air ala Triple H from WWE makes me want to punch you in the face. Want the positives? Naw, let's get back to the negatives: When one of the few songs you introduce gets the "well heres one off the American Pie 2 soundtrack for ya'!" you're not impressing anyone. No one. I lied actually, a lot of mid-30's drunk babes were really into this band. I suppose it took them back to Woodstock '99.
Highlight of the Night: Their best song is "My Own Worst Enemy," and the album it was on, A Place in the Sun is their best work. For whatever reason, some bands don't understand when they get a sound the radio goes for, and then they go in some kind of different direction while the radio play doesn't follow. Anyhow, for the half of their set that came from the album, that was their best songs, and as I said, "My Own Worst Enemy" was their highlight. Really, the fact they made such a big deal of their entrance is what was the put off. Once again, as Lady Hawk put it: "Hopefully there's a mirror backstage, because you know he wants to masturbate to himself because that's the closest he's gonna get to screwing himself, which is what he wants most out of life." 1.5/5
Does he realize how stupid he looks at this point in his life?
Well, obviously it's not quite stupid enough because he's heading over to take a shot of Jager and spit it out Tripe H style...KILLER!! PUNK ROCK BABY!!
|Lit gets a huge backdrop sign, the Gin Blossoms? Nada. Yeah, that makes sense...|
Highlight of the Night: The crowd really ate up "'Til I Hear it from You," their hit single from the Empire Records soundtrack, and when the band is going strong and the crowd is into it, it makes for a great experience. I'll never tire of hearing "Hey Jealousy" live though...I was hoping for Doug Hopkins' "Dream with You" to make an appearance, being Robin mentioned it in the recent Rolling Stones interview, but their brisk set was hard to complain over. The final highlight? The always hilarious shots Lady Hawk gets of lead/rhythm guitarist Scott Johnson, that guy thinks he's God's gift to man, and it makes for hilarious photography... 4/5
Ahh, Scotty Johnson.
Making the rest of us who didn't make it in rock n' roll feel a whole let less worse about it.
Highlight of the Night: The highlight came when during the last song, "Fly," McGrath headed about halfway back into the audience and started choosing fans to help sing a verse or chorus. At one point telling a girl's boyfriend "she's mine tonight!" McGrath more often than not comes off as a bit of a douche, but in that lovable douche way, not the you want to punch his lights out douche way. 3.5/5
Mark prepares for legal crucification over his cheap trick of stealing Cheap Trick's logo...
Highlight of the Night: After leaving the stage, half the audience strolling out, "Blister in the Sun" playing on the PA system, Art comes back out, for what seemed impromptu but could have been just set up that way, encore. He brings up on stage 15 or so of the hottest girls he can find in the front two rows, including his own wife, and has them dance on-stage as they do their cover of "Jenny" (867-5309) which they released on a covers album some years back. The best part was there was a girl who wasn't dancing, he gave her a chance to start, she didn't, so he kicked her off the stage. Even going as far as having security come and get off when she didn't initially take him serious, just awesome. The show would get a higher score if it wasn't for the microphone issues, and I must say, I would have loved to see this band circa 1996-1998. Overall a 3.75/5
Art Alexakis: Living the 50 Year Old's Dream
Four+ hours in, it was over and we were off to Denny's to enjoy mediocre service and cold coffee. A highlight of the night all unto itself....
Tuneful of Sugar: For those who find sarcastic words and pretty pictures to not be enough...