Rock Star: Supernova 7/18 Recap – Look at Me! I’m Tommy Lee! and Other Fun Rhymes
Welcome back to the latest installment of Rockstar: Supernova! Last week, we bid Chris and his crimping iron a fond, if controversial, adieu, and it seems that we have a great set of songs with which to rock out tonight! Although, you know that something has gone very awry in the world when Dave Navarro is keeping us “appropriate” for primetime TV, as Brooke states.
Speaking of the songs, this week’s online MSN show revealed that there was nearly blood drawn during the song selection process. Will the energy of the performances measure up to the feuds? I doubt that it matters to Tommy, who takes the opportunity to extol the virtues of catfights and bar-room brawls. We all know that Tommy was very close to a famous celebrity catfight . . . Axl Rose and Vince Neil. So, listen to the man. He’s an expert, and did we mention a dirty, tough rock star? Whatever.
Poor Kurt Must Get Tired of Spinning
Our first performer is Patrice, who fought tooth and nail with Jill for The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” It’s one of my favorite Beatles songs, so I can see why the battle was so “passionate,” and I quite enjoy Patrice’s take on it. She mixes her words up just a bit in the beginning, but she was on her toes and the casual ear would never be able to tell. Another nice touch to the performance was how downright “musical” her screaming was, rather than leading an assault against the world’s collective eardrums. Yes. When you can scream musically . . . you’re the real deal.
Tommy agrees that the song was worth fighting for and gives her the “horns up.” I hope it ends there. Dave thought that Patrice’s smiles were a bit too cute, but it was, otherwise, dope. Jason praises her for being so comfortable onstage and getting the crowd into it.
Next up is Josh, who simply grabbed his song, Nirvana’s “Come as You Are,” and ran off with it, sparking the song war which ensued. Josh says that he’s tired of being Mister Nice Guy, and I’ll say . . . since he proceeds to turn Nirvana into adult contemporary radio! He performs acoustically, nasally, and suckily, relying on his signature “soulful” vocals, attempting to throw in some growl in the higher lines but not really succeeding. Aside from sounding like a muted nose flute, he smiles far too much and even threw in a little wink. *sigh* I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t enjoy it.
Dave, in a momentary lapse of reason, calls it “terrific,” but reminds Josh that Supernova is going to play at Wembley, not a coffeehouse. Or NPR. Gilby says that Josh has represented himself very well, and now he’d like to see a representation of Josh in Supernova. So . . . don’t suck. Finally, Dave adds that he should bring the intensity of the song selection fight to his performance, and Josh promises to do so next time. IF THERE IS A NEXT TIME.
Okay, here’s Storm. This should put everyone in a better mood. She performs The Cars’ “Just What I Needed,” and the song suits her perfectly, in my opinion. She’s still pretty theatrical with her facial expressions, but it works well with the whole New Wave image. Her bodily expressions, on the other hand, were evoking cabaret, and I doubt that this is very troubling for the dudes that are watching.
Yep, Tommy is too knocked out—he needs a minute to think. Dave thinks that it’s night and day from last week, where she was accused of being “Cats”-level of dramatic. Jason comments on her being “so professional,” and Tommy finally gets his thoughts together: “I want to see more of you.” Storm responds by saying she has six letters for him . . . “Google.” Whoa! What was that JR-shaped flash that knocked me down to get to the computer!?
Quotes of the Enlightened
Suddenly appearing in typically dramatic fashion, with arms outstretched, is Lukas. He took the last song that nobody wanted, The Rolling Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” just to prove that he could do it. He’s also chosen to dramatically re-vamp it, adding a robotic guitar riff and a Marilyn Manson-esque drum loop beneath the live drums. I love it, personally, although Lukas’ vocals are sometimes on the verge of being buried beneath the thick layers of sound. He works the stage with great panache, throwing in a plié at absolutely no extra cost. All the goth girls go especially wild, as they’re way down in this . . . subbacultcha.
Dave immediately notes that Lukas’ stage presence comes off as being arrogant . . . *dramatic pause* . . . and it’s AWESOME! Oh, Dave, what a card. Tommy says that Lukas continues to raise the bar and he, Tommy, is pulling up a barstool. Gilby tops off the praise by saying, “If we did a Stones cover, that’s what it would sound like!” According to Paul Mirkovich in the online show, Gilby is the world’s biggest Stones fan, so that is high praise, indeed.
Now it’s Jill’s turn to take the stage, and she ended up with Free’s “All Right Now” after the Helter Skirmish. After that ordeal, she was very much projecting a “whatever—I didn’t even need that song” sort of attitude, so let’s see if she was right! I’ve never been particularly fond of this song, and Jill, back to her old tricks, doesn’t do much to change my mind. It’s mostly loud, but she mixes it up in the end, making it an okay performance.
Dave, who calls her a “little screamer,” says this was much better than last week. As if that’s tough to top. Gilby says that bits of it were oversung, but, for the first time, he could imagine her fronting the band.
Now, Tommy, beginning a streak of unrivaled cleverness, says that he’s all right now. Oy.
Can Ryan Star do anything memorable this week? Do you remember who he is? Well, ready or not, he’s dressed in black and ready to take on CCR’s “Fortunate Son,” so let’s see. Ryan does a “very okay” job of the song, and he seems to be channeling all the political rage of Riot Act-era Pearl Jam a few years too late. It doesn’t do much for me, anyway. If he wants a revolution, well, you know, he can count me out.
Tommy says that it’s established that Ryan can sing, but he fears that Ryan had duct tape on his shoes, as he barely moved through the whole song. Gilby comments that he just looks uncomfortable and asks, “Are you having any fun at all?” Ryan replies that people say they “never see him smile,” so he takes the opportunity to flash a big ol’ cheesy grin at the camera. “Aww, look at that,” smirks Dave. Off the stage with you, Ryan!
Rock n’ Roll Injuries
Phil is up next with Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” but as he readies to take the stage, Jason Newstead stands up and announces that he feels like playin’ a little bass tonight. As the crowd goes wild, the band tears into a heavy, sludgy take on the song, and Phil kicks his performance into high gear, resulting in the best we’ve ever seen of him. The finest moment, however, may have been when Phil strode across the stage to interact with Jason, only to be whomped in the face by the headbanging Supernova. (Supernover? Supernovist? Supernovaer?) Impressively, Phil doesn’t run away from Jason after the Zidane act and continues to rock the song alongside him in a dirty, swirling, beautifully ugly performance.
Dave loves the intensity, advising Phil to not keep that energy in reserve anymore. Tommy loved it, also advising him to keep cranking up that knob (the “Make Phil Rock” knob). “I will,” replies Phil, in his typical insouciant manner. Finally, Jason, who spends a minute jumping around like a six-year-old tanked up on Kool-Aid because he “made the band,” commends Phil for the fun performance and good stage vibe.
After last week’s “Born to be Mild” comment, can Dana follow Phil’s act without embarrassment? Well, Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” is hardly the heaviest thing around, but she’s ready to give it a shot. Dude! That guy’s guitar is totally talking! Dana sings well, but her voice is far too smooth for this song, and, probably, this group. While she tries to manufacture some anthemic energy, the whole affair comes off as rather enervated. Trust me, I know my Bon Jovi. I own the Crush Tour DVD. But . . . you don’t really need to share that information with anyone. Really.
Tommy says that she’s hot and can sing, but it seemed like a Celine Dion extravaganza. Gilby “just doesn’t see it, man,” to which Dana replies, “I’ll show you, Gilby Clarke.” Dave has the final say with, “Yeah? Show us!” Aaaaaand gauntlet slap!
Toby has apparently won the heart of every woman in the free world, but what will he do with Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train”? I’ve never heard this song, so to my un-jaded ears, it sounds good, if a little vanilla. It must not be really revelatory, as Dave seems to be curling up in his chair for a nice nap. I am, however, impressed to finally see someone who understands the concept of moving the microphone away from the mouth during belted notes. Yes!
Dave, who already wanted to see more stage presence from the Tobester, isn’t so much impressed with that song selection. Toby defends his choice, saying that he wanted to share his tender side and promises more ragged rock next week. IF THERE IS A NEXT WEEK! Oh, and Tommy wants to be frightened by Toby. Grrr. Rock and Roll.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, live from Roswell, it’s Maaaaagni! Oh, but seriously. He looks like an alien with those sunglasses and that big ol’ noggin. Either an alien or a blind egg. Anyway, he’s doing the Stone Temple Pilots’ “Plush,” which was a big favorite of mine back in the day. For me, the vocals aren’t up to par, but he’s not terrible. He gets a “very okay.”
Tommy, on the other hand, has one word for him . . . MAGNI-FICENT. Oh, we’ve got a comedian here, people! Doesn’t it make you long for the days of his just dropping the microphone? Gilby adds that, while he doubted Magni’s stage presence at first, Magni has been killing it ever since.
Angels and Demons and Performance Art
Since her extraterrestrial mantle has clearly been stolen, Zayra has chosen to perform an orchestrally-informed version of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.” I want so badly to like this. The house band is stunning, Zayra is giving her all, and she’s verily choking up with emotion in the process, but the poor girl’s pitch is all over the place. Watching her, I was pretty well-convinced of the performance’s merit, but if I looked away, it sounded awful.
Dave and Gilby both thought that Zayra probably deserved to go in the last elimination, but both were swayed by this performance, with Gilby calling it “awesome.” Tommy, ever erudite, describes it as “very yummy.”
Jenny was nearly in the bottom three last week, but she’s back with her take on Incubus’ “Drive.” This is a side note, but I’ve never liked Incubus—they’re simply another bland frat boy band, who simply turned up the volume to “medium.” Sure, it’s easy to look tough when you’re in the same record collection as Jack freakin’ Johnson. Why did you pick this as a song choice, Supernova? You must be punished. No groupies for the remainder of the month.
Oh, right. Jenny. She’s brandishing an acoustic guitar whose waist size is significantly grander than our Canadian rocker, and the performance is rather bland. Not that the song offers much room to do anything, but it ends up like Joni Mitchell and Beck got into a car crash. Tragically, there were no survivors.
Dave thinks it was good, but wants to see her take more risks. Jenny’s song selections have been getting progressively safer. Gilby thinks the whole affair was a bit Lillith Fair, and he would rather see Ozzfest. Raaaaaaghggh!
Finally, we have Dilana to close out the evening, and, with all hope, bring the rock with The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” Bounding out in a twisted, multi-colored mass of hair and (much more subtly) gothic dress, I don’t think she’ll disappoint. After working with the voice coach in the online episode, I can already hear her starting to work in her upper register, which sounds fantastic. Her version of the song is positively feral, filled with aggressive vocal yelps, and though she is jumping around all over the place, her voice never falters! Pretty incredible.
Dave says that every night he waits for the “one” performance that leaves you breathless, and this was it! Gilby tells her to enjoy her moment, and Tommy gives us his final nugget for the night: “Hi Dilana. I wanna.” She appears too petrified to respond.
And there’s the show! The opening stages of voting reveal Jenny, Ryan, and Dana as the bottom three, but anything could happen. Who will perform tomorrow? What songs will be chosen? How will Tommy make a fool out of himself? What will Dilanna do to amaze us next? Take up yodeling? Join me tomorrow to find out the answers to all these questions and more!
Good night. I love you. Mantenna@fansofrealitytv.com