First of all, I gotta say...and I know you feel m: It's really nice to see such a talented bunch of performers...and although a little heavy on the guys, a pretty diverse bunch.
< p>The show kicked off with a Group Number: All six groups singing Green Day's "21 Guns". Pretty impressive to pull of an acapella number with that many people across that big a stage.
First, a rock hit, then a "guilty pleasure" song.
1. The Backbeats
Kicked off with Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" (I thought the next round was the guilty pleasure round?) Featuring the second female soloist...who just isn't as good. It was really rushed and loud. I get not wanting to do another emotional number, but this became all noise.
Then they were guilt-ridden by The B52's "Love Shack". It was a very faithful rendition, with all the fun that implies. And they did a great job of incorporating a lot of intricacy into the arrangement. Much better impression on me with this one.
2. Street Corner Symphony
Kicked off with Radiohead's "Creep". The lead singer tried a little too hard to sound like Thom Yorke, and didn't have the chops for it. I thought this was their weakest performance to date...even to the point that the harmonies didn't always gel. But good dynamics.
Then they tackled Dexy's Midnight Runners's "Come On, Eileen". And on this: they did a great job. Lots of dynamics. Lots of tempo changes. Showed off their range, showed off their falsettos, showed off, really, everything you can do with a voice. Great job.
3. Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town
Kicked off with The Rolling Stones's "Satisfaction". Their best yet...liked to hear that roughness in his voice and see him pull the Elvis moves.
Then they tackled The Commodore's "I'm Easy". Does that even qualify as a guilty pleasure? Nice, nice smooth work.
4. On the Rocks
Kicked off with Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (Another guilty pleasure masquerading as a rock song?) Nice rhythm section work. Felt the most like emulating a rock song.
Then they tackled Mister Mister's "Kyrie". A guilty pleasure of mine, to be honest :) I thought they did a great job. Strong strong chordal harmonies, and a great use of dynamics and pulling away the middle to leave bare harmonies over a running bass. Great lead vocal too.
5. Groove For Thought
Kicked off with David Bowie's "Changes". And OK, I never knew Up With People did a cover of this tune?! I mean, this was nicely done, but oh so easy listening...which wasn't really the challenge was it? The verse was also too low for their lead. And the lead fell oddly apart almost at the end. This performance kind of sealed their doom, IMHO.
Then they tried to redeem themselves with Hall & Oates' "You Make My Dreams Come True". And I think that they did. Especially because they made sure to turn the beat around and funk up the bridge. That was just the break from the smooth jazz rut they were falling into that they needed.
Kicked off with The Police's "Every Breath You Take", which is not a truly rockin' song, and their arrangement certainly didn't make it any rockier. It was the not-too-hard-to-imagine-doo-wop version of the song. Which didn't capture the essence of the song at all. Which would have been fine until the bridge was completely weird, or completely off. I didn't like it at all.
They closed the show with Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way". Nice work, although frankly I was looking for a bit more from the building break. This was their weakest night yet...which still sounds pretty sweet.
In the end, like I said, Groove for Thought sealed their doom with the most obvious problem performance. In a strong field, you gotta not make the obvious mistakes!
They're gone, and it was the right call.
Didn't you think so?
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