The Next Great American Band: Top 8

I didn’t mind the audition phase of LGAB cut down to one episode, but now that the bands are competing, I wish the show were stretched out a bit. Next week is the Top 6? I hardly know these bands.

Despite the speeded up competition, the contestants are managing to improve their game every single week.

The show would really benefit from a live elimination show. I’ve been eagerly posting elimination spoilers, and will continue to do so. But, it really kills the suspense knowing who is staying and who is going ahead of time.

This week’s video packages feature band members talking about the difficulties of their lives as struggling musicians. Well, there are some that struggle more than others. Light of Doom have given up that extra video game-playing time to be a band, while Franklin Bridge have had to rely on a string of crappy day jobs to keep themselves going. You get the picture.

The show is cut back to an hour this week. Each band performs one song, a Billy Joel cover. The best performances are from the bands who manage to put an interesting twist on some very familiar tunes.

Franklin Bridge – “Big Shot” – The band managed to keep the essence of   “Big Shot” intact, while giving the song a hard-driving rock edge. They kept the arrangement simple, like the judges suggested last week, keeping the instrumentals down to a short, but sweet guitar solo. The judges were pleased that the band took their advice. Sheila E further advised them to “stay humble.” Could she be referring to their crack last week about the ladies loving them? Could be. I expect these guys to stick around next week.

Cliff Wagner and the Ole’ #7 – “You May be Right” – I’ve been kinda bored with these guys so far, but I liked the way they changed up this song–even if the judges didn’t. “You May be Right” is a bouncy pop tune. The band slowed the tempo down, turning it into honky tonk. The slide guitar and mandolin work added much to the arrangement. Nice job.

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra – “Tell Her About It” – Right at the point that the camera cut to Denver’s wife having a baby in a hospital–she gave birth two days before the taping–my video crapped out. I’ll edit in a review if I manage to find a video of their performance…Sawry!

Dot Dot Dot – “Pressure” – The band finally impressed the judges with their synth-heavy arrangement of “Pressure.” The lead singer dialed it back even more than last week. The result–it allowed the rest of the band to shine. The arrangement and performance was tight. I think these guys have crossed a hurdle in this competition. Good for them.

Sixwire – “She’s Always a Woman” – Eh. The arrangement did nothing new with the song. It was generic, but competent. However, the lead vocal was delivered with genuine emotion that saved the performance from being a total snooze. I still expect these guys to win the whole thing…or come close.

Tres Bien – “Movin’ Out” – Oh no! This could be the end of my beloved Tres Bien! Their turgid, uninspired arrangement of a Billy Joel song that’s pretty meh to begin with didn’t impress the judges. They got the worst reviews of the night. The lead singer sounded terrible. Billy Joel tunes don’t translate well to a loosey-goosey garage band treatment. Dicko gives them a thumbs down and a raspberry. Bye guys. Sniff…

The Clark Brothers – “She’s Got a Way” – The brother’s treatment of “She’s Got a Way” featured a lovely arrangement, intense vocal and and finished with an awesome instrumental section. They play with conviction and ease, and I expect their quiet confidence will keep them in the game until the end, with Sixwire and Franklin Bridge rounding out the final three.

With three bands left–Light of Doom, Rocket and The Muggs–it’s elimination time…

Eliminated tonight…

Rocket and The Muggs

Dicko said their elimination was due to “death by lead singer.” The guitarist from the Muggs laughed and gave a thumbs down. I read in one of the Detroit papers that they mocked Dicko’s suggestion that they find a fourth member to front the band by pretending to advertise for a lead singer on their My Space page.

Light of Doom – “The Stranger” – Reader Caffiend, attended the taping Wednesday and sat behind the parents. She said they seemed nice and encouraging and not at all like pushy stage parents. Ok, I’ll stop calling them famewhores. Having said that, the kids did a pretty decent cover of “The Stranger.” The band’s immature sounding lead singer still left a lot to be desired, but the band rocked hard. I still hate to see kids trying to perform like grown-ups, though, so they are still my pick to be sent home next. Not that they’ll be sent home. That would be, Tres Bien! and Cliff Wagner and the Ole’ #7

Next week–the songs of Lieber and Stoller.

About mj santilli 34538 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!