Rock Star Supernova's existence is a testament to power of TV.
COLUMN: MUSIC REVIEW
WORCESTER _ The fact that roughly 4,000 people shuffled into The DCU Center last night to witness Rock Star Supernova speaks to the power of television, as there really is no other way to explain the interest in this generic hard rock troupe other than the fact that it was built over the course of an "American Idol"-style audience-participation reality TV program.
And the fact that most of the people stuck around for a mind-numbingly dull set by the band speaks to the power of really cool lights and an overwhelming sound system; musically, Rock Star Supernova went nowhere, but sure looked good in the process.
Rock Star Supernova consists of Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, onetime Guns N' Roses guitar player Gilby Clarke, ex-Black Crowes bass player Johnny Colt (filling in for original Supernova pick Jason Newsted of Metallica fame who allegedly injured his shoulder prior to the start of the tour), and singer Lukas Rossi, the great unknown chosen via the TV contest aired during the summer.
There is no denying that each member of Rock Star Supernova is a talented musician. But a rock band is more than a collection of competent players. A rock band worth any attention at all takes its collective talent and creates something bigger than the sum of its parts. Listen to any record made by one of the bands from which Rock Star Supernova's celebs sprung and you will feel the alchemy that transforms raw talent into memorable performances.
It is almost unfair to call Rock Star Supernova a crappy band since there was no time for this group to actually become a band. Rossi won the contest, stepped into an album of ready-made material, and quickly shoved off to tour theaters and arenas, as the headliner no less. You could not think of a more perfect recipe to create a lousy band.
Rock Star Supernova's debut tour was as much a shill job for the TV series as it was a rock concert. Two singers - Dilana and Toby Rand - who placed behind Rossi in the competition opened the show, as did Panic Channel, a band that includes Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, who is the host of the Rock Star TV show. Southboro native Storm Large, another also-ran in the TV contest was pointed out in the audience.
The TV show's losers were actually bigger winners on stage. With less pressure to impress and a more manageable amount of time fill, Dilana and Rand, whom sang with his band Juke Kartel, each had a more natural presence and could flaunt their talents without the unrealistic expectation of carrying the show.
Panic Channel is rather a waste of Navarro's mind-snapping talents. And the way Panic Channel turned AC/DC's near-perfect rock anthem "Highway to Hell" into a wooden thud revealed just how weak the band is overall.
Yet Panic Channel still had more going for it than Rock Star Supernova did. Rossi wasn't sure if he was supposed to be a bad boy glam artiste, and ended up fusing the two personas into one awkward, twitchy character.
Rossi's celebrity band mates did little to bail him out, applying routine licks and banter to equally cookie cutter-produced material. No cliche went untouched as the band plodded through songs from its self-titled album, and requisite cover tunes to pad the set - which in this case involved Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" and The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" - were delivered without a lick of imagination.
The only glimmer of hope from Rock Star Supernova came when Rossi sang "Headspin," a song he wrote before ever hooking up with Lee, Clarke, and Newsted. For that moment, something genuine came off the stage. But it really seemed like too little too late to keep this Supernova burning.
CUTLINE: WORCESTER - Lukas Rossi of Rock Star Supernova performs at the DCU Center last night. The band, which was born on reality TV, includes musicians from Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue and Metallica.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff/CHRISTINE PETERSON
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|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Jan 29, 2007|
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