Monday, November 05, 2007

What is this, the O.C. prom scene?

Last week, the boys from the LA band Rooney stopped by the agency here to play a little acoustic set. It was pleasant enough and cool if nothing else to have a rock band stop by on a Monday afternoon. But I gotta admit, I didn’t realize at the time how not-my-taste these guys were. I mean, Wisconsin’s got nothing on them. Each song they played here was introduced with an idea for what type of product or service it might be a good song for. “This next one would be great for a wireless company. It’s called ‘Calling all the world’.” Whatever you wanna do I guess. But that doesn’t feel too rock and roll to me.

So, fast forward to Friday night when we went to see the Polyphonic Spree who were being supported by Rooney and the early-Beatlesque Chicago outfit, The Redwalls. Sadly, the Redwalls opened and were done by the time we even got there.

Then Rooney proceeded to come on and turn the room into something resembling a gigantic fondue pot. Every song involved some sort of cheesetastic introduction (“you better love me or leave me” for the song “love me or leave me”, etc.), an open-shirted and totally overdone guitar solo, and lyrics about being a boyfriend or losing a girlfriend or being a boyfriend or losing a girlfriend or other boyfriend-girlfriend related troubles you haven’t had since you were 16. You get the idea. It really became comical after a while. A good band I suppose, just not my taste by like a mile.

I suppose the fact that the venue was requiring like multiple forms of ID to get a wristband that even then only allowed you to buy one drink at a time should have been a tip-off as to the underage crowd in attendance. But I don’t think any of us there realized how many of the people were total O.C. and Laguna Beach fans until Rooney mercifully stopped after like an hour and half of playing and the place frikkin’ cleared out. Literally half the kids left. Which was nice, but weird.

Which got us to talking about who dreamed up that bill? Let’s take a semi-avant garde band from Texas and pair them with a smart young band from Chicago and then put a totally overproduced teen pop act between them. I remember saying Rooney were the kind of band I’d be pumped if my sixteen year-old daughter was a big fan of. They even covered the safest song ever, “My little runaway.” You've probably heard it—my little run-run-run-run-runaway!!!!!! Puh-lease. Why not cover “Mrs. Brown, you have a lovely daughter” while you’re up there? Uggh.

The Spree were good as ever in their new black uniforms and still sported the white robes for the encore/second set which included their stellar cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium”. But thanks to Rooney they got an incredibly late start and I gotta admit we even ended up leaving a little early. But a solid show nonetheless. And they spared no expense on the confetti canons that seemed to go off every other song.

[Editor’s Note: All of the above comments should totally be viewed through the filter of “this is coming from a guy who just saw what is shaping up to be an easily ‘top five all-time’ concert last weekend in Daft Punk.”]

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