Things certainly have heated up as the 89X I'm With The Band V3.0 has sped into the second of 5 semi-finals this past Thursday night over at TNT's in Clinton Twp. This is the point in the contest where every little thing means a great big deal to all the bands competing for that $10,000 first prize money, and more times than not, those "little" things add up to disaster for all but the winner of the night who moves on into the Finals that will be held right here at TNT's on July 23rd. Out of over 80 bands who've signed up and competed in the contest, there were only 25 left standing at the beginning of the Semi-Finals. So that would suggest that these bands are winners already, win or lose, even if some of these bands leave you scratching your head as to why they're still in the Semi's. This week's SF Round featured (in order of online vote results, last goes first) XXX Car Ride, Mystery Key, Overtow (actually won the online vote with like 1,200 votes???), Hell Rides North, and The Night Away giving the night a definitive harder edge.
XXX Car Ride Heats Up TNT's
First up tonight was the Industrial / Electronica Rock (How's That for a combination) Band XXX Car Ride, who had finished last in the online voting. XXX Car Ride definitely screams A LOT which became quite unbearable at times during the first half of their set. It wasn't until they jumped on their more electronica (and of course the XXX Car Ride Strippers Dancers) based style of music before they offered up much of a beat/melody to any of their music leading us to conclude they should focus more on the latter. We look forward to this band developing their melodies and song structure, much like they showed in the latter half of the set, absolutely a band we will keep an eye on in the future!
Finishing second to last in the online voting was Mystery Key, who did not fare any better at the door, or on stage. Aside from having an attractive new lead singer straight from the Macombers, Mystery Key is exactly that, a mystery in any key. The mystery is why did they enter this contest, and exactly how did they end up in the Semi-Finals when they didn't win a 4 band night during weak 4 that had Dr2 wondering if the contest was canceled that night? Our question to them is "Have you ever listened to 89X!!" Their style and delivery do not fit with anything going on there. This band can probably make a good living as a cover band, playing to an over-40 crowd, but not the crowd that packs TNT's every Thursday night! The songs were generic, with little variety and absent of any resemblance of a hook, (you know, that thing that makes you want to sing along) offering up one of the most forgettable performances yet in any round. In Fact, having been witness to 15 of the 16 preliminary rounds, the wildcard round (17) and now 2 semi-finals (18 & 19), Dr2 wonders exactly what it was that makes them believe they deserve a spot in the finals? If you, or in this case, the entire band, appears to be as bored as they looked with their own un-original, karaoke-ish music, how on earth are we, or the very small group of fans that bothered to show up, be anything but bored ourselves?
Mystery Key Thought They Should Of Won- Really?
Let us digress for a moment, it amazes us that bands in this contest have NO idea what it is they need to do in order to win, so we'll spell it out for you: 1- Bring YOUR fans to YOUR show (40% of total vote), you know the ones who are willing to pay the $10 bucks to see your band because they LOVE your music. If you don't do this then we can only assume that NO ONE enjoys or even likes your music. 2- Put on the performance of your life (20% of total vote), the kind that has everyone watching your every move. (Hint- if you don't do this, then you can forget about #1) 3- Sound (30% of total vote). You have to sound good no matter what genre music you play. Boring, off key, hook-less, mish-mashed music will have everyone running for the door, including us! (Hint #2 - if you do not sound good, forget about #1). Lastly, if you can do either #2 or #3, then you will do good at #1 which then means you'll do good at #4- Online Vote (10%). Get your fans to vote for you each and every day so that you will be rewarded one of the "better" time slots, you know, the ones when the place is packed because all the good bands that succeeded in #1, #2, & #3 are playing? Whichever Band receives the highest percentage of the vote WINS! If you don't get the point, then just stay mute and quit blaming all of your inadequacies on other people, jeez! Read the OFFICIAL RULES HERE!
Overtow Won The Online Vote
On-Line vote winners Overtow managed to secure the third slot, but for a band that received almost 1,200 votes (by far one of thee largest of the contest), Dr2 wonders where all their fans were tonight? Regardless, Overtow can always be counted on to give a high-energy, performance, and tonight was no different.
They definitely gave it everything, careening through some of their best songs.
But, and not to beat a topic to death, it is hard to be your best and take a competition like this without a screaming horde of fans in front of the stage (see Hell Rides North
It is that connection with an adoring audience that makes a good set, which this was, into a memorable "event".
With some catchy hooks and strong fretwork, Overtow definitely showed that they deserved to be in the semi's.
Hell Rides North Won The Night!
Door Vote winners, Hell Rides North certainly sharpened their pencils for this lesson, squashing their competition by bringing more of THEIR fans through the door (#1) than the other 4 bands COMBINED! What an extraordinary sight to see, the entire room from stage to tables was packed shoulder to shoulder with their fans, which by the way paid the $10 each just to see these guys! With an explosive entrance, Hell Rides North took to the stage amidst a barrage of brain-melting, ear-shattering, adoration from their fans and unleashed a set that was the epitome of what I'm With The Band V3.0 is all about, hot, sweaty, loud, and ferocious music that made you feel like you were main floor at Cobo Arena, not TNT's!!
Dropping hook-laden, angst-soaked, song after song, HRN not only delivered the sound (#3), but their stage presence was amazing! We were left wondering if/when their drummer, DMF, with his explosive assault, was going to smash his drum kit to pieces! Slade (vox) had the crowd at his mercy, delivering each song with an intense ferocity, matched by the stage-roving, near-riot inciting performance of both Matt & Vince!
Hell Rides North left no doubt in anyone's mind who ruled the night, turning the room into a giant, sweat-soaked, love fest(#2)!
The Night Away Performs During The Semi-Finals
The Night Away had one tough act to follow, but by finishing second in the online vote gave themselves the final slot of the night, AND they brought a respectable crowd with them, good enough for another 2nd
place finish with the door vote. Not sure what happened, but during week 16 these guys had a HUGE crowd come out and support. A younger group with room to grow, The Night Away flourished on stage while the girls that were there all gathered up front for a late night dance party in support of their favorite band. Keep an eye on these guys.....
When it was all said and done, Hell Rides North was announced as the winner for week two of the Semi-Finals in a complete sweep of the night's voting rounds, followed by The Night Away, Overtow, XXX Car Ride and then Mystery Key. Be at TNT's this Thursday night when the 89X I'm With The Band V3.0 resumes with the 3rd Semi-Final featuring week 1 winner Lies Unknown, week 6 runner up Finding Eden, week 13 winner Robots In The Garden, week 11 runner ups DymondBak & One Divide!
Also, Catch Hell Rides North, Half Light Music along with the other finalist TBD July 23rd for the Finals of 89X's I'm With The Band V3.0 at TNT's, get there early as this place will be packed all the way to the parking lot! DetroitRockReview.com, The Only Place For Local Music News & Reviews!