Rock Star: INXS 8/09/05 Recap: The Passion of the Ty
G’day, mates! Welcome back to Rock Star: INXS. It seems so long since I last saw everyone! In the extra day between shows, J.D. has gotten a new hairstyle, Brandon has gotten a new wardrobe, and Marty has gotten a brand new addition to his bag of tricks, but more on these later.
Brooke walks out, elegantly vested in a mini-mini-skirt that seems to be made out of tinsel, and welcomes us to tonight’s performances. Her applause is louder than usual—yes sir. “Tonight, as an added bonus,” she says, “we will get to see the early voting results for the first time ever!” Are you wondering what this means, too? I’ll save you the confusion—it means absolutely nothing. Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
All That is Old Becomes New Again
Suzie will be kicking us off with her take on R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” a beautiful and much-loved piece. She’s taking a risk by doing her own arrangement, which will apparently be a capella in the intro. Well, it’s not a capella, as a single, ringing guitar line accompanies Suzie and the backing vocals of the house band, but it is stunning. As the song revs up, Suzie’s vocals become more impassioned, and the band is positively thunderous. It’s ace!
Dave applauds Suzie for her risky move of re-arranging because it turned out to be a brilliant move. “That was just insane!” he declares. Garry says it was her best yet (adding that she owes J.D. for his help with the arrangement), and Kirk sums it up by saying, “That was just a dream . . . and I don’t want to wake up.”
Can MiG top that brilliant opener? Tonight he’s performing the song that no one wanted, “All Right Now” by Free. If you’re not familiar with this one, think of “Slow Ride” by Foghat and you won’t be too far off. . . . MiG’s vocals are quite pristine, as usual, and he’s got the ‘70s rock star look down pat. Overall, it’s a pretty true-to-form, by-the-numbers cover. It didn’t change my life, but it was very nice.
Dave says that MiG and the song suited one another perfectly, but he’d like to see MiG stop taking the leftovers and fight for his top song choice next time. Fight! Kirk says that he used to play that song in one of his early bands with Tim Farriss, and he wishes that MiG had been there to sing it instead of himself. Tim enjoyed the performance, but would like to see MiG try some different types of songs. Perhaps a ballad? Dave agrees, stating that MiG has made us rock; it’s time to make us weep. Isn’t that just the story of life?
Today’s Show is Brought to You by the Letter “P.” “P” is for Passion.
J.D.’s turn onstage reveals his new prison-haircut. Unfortunately, he’s not wearing an orange jumpsuit, but he is singing Seal’s “Crazy,” which could easily turn into a crime. J.D.’s performance is all right . . . his voice sounds nice enough, but to me, it’s complexly un-thrilling. Meh. J.D. needs some Red Bull or something. The song’s called “Crazy,” and he doesn’t even flip out and light himself on fire. Or maybe he did in rehearsal, and this is the resulting hairstyle.
Dave, for whatever reason, says that J.D. did a “really good job.” Tim concurs, calling it “generally great.” However, he urges J.D. to watch his pitching in places.
J.D. could have performed Nirvana’s “Come as You Are,” but that honor instead goes to Jessica. The easily-recognizable, watery guitar riff opens the song, and I notice that it’s a half-step higher than the original version, for those of you who enjoy useless information. However, I stopped listening critically when Jessica opened her mouth, and I wish I could have stopped listening altogether. Good Lord! She’s squawking and sliding everywhere but on the correct pitches and generally demolishing a fantastic song. As she sings the chorus line, “And I swear that I don’t have a gun,” it becomes instantly apparent that she’ll need one to defend herself after this dismal showing.
Dave, displaying his great talent for opening a critique cheerfully, commends Jessica for her leather outfit tonight. Yay leather! Now then. “You fought very hard for this song, I hear,” says Dave. “Why?” Jessica answers that she thought it fit her nicely, or something like that. You don’t expect me to quote her directly after that tripe, do you? Well, Dave didn’t feel any passion from her performance, and Garry was also left cold. Jessica counters that she felt passionate about the song, and really felt it, etcetera. Jon concludes, pointing out that if she feels passionate but it doesn’t come through at all, [the listeners] can’t help that.
Schrik and Shemageggy
Ah, Jordis. Regale us with your beautiful sonnets after that horrid digression, will you, my dear? She’s performing Eric Clapton’s “Layla,” one of the greatest songs of all time. If you don’t agree, I will fight you. How could this go wrong? Well, there must be something in the air tonight, and it isn’t fragrant. Jordis’ vocals sound rather lethargic, and she’s singing Layla—E.C.’s epic tale of unrequited love—with a smile. What!? She also flubs the words several times. Not even the house band can really save this one, because you really can’t properly emulate Slowhand’s guitar playing. I saw him live once, and this song blew my face off. Tonight’s rendition also blew my face off, but not in a good way.
Not much to say to this one, but Dave notes that it wasn’t her strongest effort. No joke! Kirk also says that it wasn’t her best, but she probably shouldn’t worry about having to sing an INXS song anytime soon. Well, it just goes to show that even the mighty Jordis is human. J.D., come here. I need your tattoos for a second. If you missed Sunday’s show, you won’t get this. So go check out my other recap. Hee!
Now it’s Brandon’s turn, and he will be performing The Rolling Stones’ “It’s All Over Now.” Now, it seems Brandon has gone dumpster-diving for his new wardrobe, which includes, but is not limited to:
A fedora hat with a peacock feather.
A giant, ‘70s leftover bead bracelet.
Other very bohemian, very ugly articles of clothing which give the overall impression of someone you might find singing—on the street—but you’d run away.
Brandon says that this performance would bring him out of the bottom three and pull out “the whole shemageggy.” Well, he doesn’t disappoint. Brandon always sounds great with bluesy, “southern rock” material, and he dances the Calhoun two-step, to boot. Is he right for INXS? I don’t know, but we’ve found a new frontman for the Allman Bros. Band.
Dave praises Brandon for his performance and, indeed, always excelling at the bluesy stuff, but will it work for INXS? Garry loves the stones and Brandon, but will it work for INXS? Kirk enjoyed it, but is Brandon diverse enough for INXS? That’s the real trick to this show, isn’t it?
Marty’s ready to rock with The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” and he’s chosen to do it solo and acoustic! Marty bravely takes the stage sans house band and lays into his beautiful blue acoustic, belting out the song in a manner that I honestly prefer over the original. Everyone’s attention is riveted, and J.D. looks a bit sick for not thinking of something like this first. The crowd goes wild as he finishes with a final, strummed chord. Well done, Marty!
Dave is tickled pink, lauding Marty for his awesome performance. “You may not have hit all the notes, but that’s not what being a rock star is all about.” It’s about blowing people away, and that’s exactly what Marty did, all by his lonesome. Tim and Jon similarly gush.
He’s a tough act to follow, but it’s Deanna’s job to do so, and she’s covering The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Running.” Deanna’s looking lovely in a cheongsam-esque top, and she’s back in her element with the Doobies. (That just doesn’t sound right, does it?) Anyway, she’s back to her powerful belting, and she is assisted with some great back-up vocals from the always-great house band. She wraps things up with a crashing finale of soulful wailing. Deanna’s back!
Great vocals, great look, great everything, says Dave. He goes on and on, probably just bedazzled by the cheongsam. Tim says that it was great, even though she oversang a couple parts of the song. “Sorry, I got excited!” laughs Deanna. Kirk, meanwhile, is thinking ahead of bigger and better things (and not in the manner of Dave’s leers). How about an all-acoustic week, where everyone’s voices could just be out there and raw? The contestants suddenly look very fearful.
“Redemption Found,” or . . . This is How it’s Done, Kids.
Finally, it’s Ty’s turn to close us out with Bob Marley’s glorious “No Woman No Cry.” All night, we’ve been talking about passion, and Ty, from the first mellifluous line he sings, has it in excess. Reggae music has always been closely associated with soul and honest emotion, and this, coupled with Ty’s polished vocals, well . . . it’s like a match made in musical heaven. Everyone is on their feet, and Suzie’s in tears by the second verse. Glorious!
Dave affirms that Ty has been redeemed, and in this performance, he had passion, rather than just portraying passion. Garry agrees, stating that this was the nost soulful performance on the show yet.
And that’s it! Isn’t it nice to end on a high note every now and then? Oh, wait, we get to find out who the bottom three is, right now, based on the three votes that might have gotten in: Jessica, Brandon, and Deanna. Isn’t that fascinating? Now, destiny beckons, and we’ll see you tomorrow to find out who the real bottom three will be.
No nasty E-mails, no cry. Mantenna@fansofrealitytv.com