Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Notes – Fast Lane, The Grenadines, Blaze of Glory at The Harbor

Fast Lane (June 24) – I’ve thought of the Eagles as a rather laid back group, but this tribute band seemed at times to be laying down. I didn’t mind that they leaned mostly toward the country side of The Eagles’ repertoire, but that most every song was played and sung lethargically, as if the group was just going through the motions. And the fact that none of the singers sounded like any of the Eagles would not have bothered me if they had not drawn attention to “featured” players only when that person was going to sing lead. (Last I noticed, The Eagles has some good musicians.) The group mulled around so much between numbers, they could have easily fit two or three more songs into the set.
When Fast Lane played something more upbeat, the substituted volume for energy.  Really! They just played louder.
Otherwise, the group played credible versions of Eagles hits and songs from the solo efforts of Don Henley and Joe Walsh (sorry, no Glenn Frey). The crowd liked them a bit more than I did, and called them back for an encore.
A band that really earned their encore was The Grenadines who played the Harbor on July 1. As they say on their website: they play a mixture of “the best blues, classic & contemporary rock.” I was impressed by the sound. Almost all the songs went together as if written for this band and the energy stayed high through the set. They were professional, but never lost their rock and roll edge. I’d say that so far this summer, this is one of the best bands the City of Rockwall has brought out. I very much hope to see them again.
When one goes to see a Bon Jovi tribute band, one does run the risk of hearing a lot of Bon Jovi songs. I am not a fan, but I went to see Blaze of Glory with people who are, and I would have to say that most of the crowd at the Harbor on July 15 were also fans. I don’t think they were disappointed. The group played all the hits and fan favorites, doing the rock star poses and performing as if they were the actual group. The lead singer, in fact, called the guitar player Richie Sambora more often than he referred to the guy’s real name (Roy Lee Nelson).Photo0397
As I said, I’m not a fan, so some of this “experience,” was a bit painful for me. However, the crowd ate it up, and why not? These guys are pretty good. There may have been a thousand females, aged between 12 and 50, who were singing along and hoisting beers and dancing. I suspect a danger in working as a tribute band is that if you miss the mark, you might get booed off the  stage. There was no danger of that happening here. Solid energy and sound made it worthwhile, even for guys like me.

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