Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Slash and Burn

I'm gonna assume that if you watched and listend to Idol tonight, you REALLY don't need me to point out who Slashed it up for Rock Week and who just burned out. But since I'm a master of the obvious, I'll go ahead and be as subtle as a sledgehammer nailing it home.

In my high school years and a bit beyond, I had the good fortune of being pals with a dude who had an amazing set of pipes. So we'd have a grand time going out to watch him and his bands play the local bars. One of the things we'd love is when he'd break out the Robert Plant and do it justice. Everyone was playing Led Zeppelin in the bars, but only this guy could really hit those notes and kill it and bring the house down. It made you want to get nuts and maybe even go a little GGW (in a youthful, innocent way, without the nasty Joe Francis connotations) and flash the stage in appreciation. Just, you know -- rock out!


Tonight, if Adam Lambert didn't make you at least want to flash the rock sign and yell "WHOO!" back at him, then you're either dead, deaf, or just plain dumb. "Whole Lotta Love" was missing the Bonham-bashing drums and Jimmy Page slide, and maybe those obscenely tight dungarees that Plant wore in "Song Remains the Same," but the wild vocal range remains the same as Adam gave this song a whole lotta Lambert. If I was in the "mosh pit" right then, and if the bloom of my rose hadn't already wilted enough to require Playtex support, and if it wasn't for that advanced age of mine which would've made the whole thing sickly-scuzzy instead of just silly and sleazy, I'd have climbed up on Cowell's shoulders and flashed the fucker in appreciation for that performance. I would've! But I am, admittedly, older and I don't act like that anymore. But I did give the devil sign and stick out my tongue, just as Adam did when they were giving out his number.

Sweet Child o' Mine
Allison, also, managed to Slash it up. He steered her right in her choice of "Cry Baby," even if the idiot judges didn't get it. She didn't top Adam, but she sure as shit didn't make the whole Rock Week seem silly and didn't make the presence and mentoring of Slash seem even more preposterous. Girl should stay.

And their duet? Last year, Carly and Michael Johns started this duet trend during the finale show with "The Letter." But A&A raised the bar with "Slow Ride" -- having fun and complementing each other and just making the whole thing seem...cool.


While he was pretty gracious in letting Kris play his guitar, it was a nice symbolic signal of things to come when Slash then repossessed his guitar, telling Kris he couldn't keep it. Understandable. In all fairness, Kris's version of "Come Together" wasn't really bad. In fact, it was better than I thought it'd be and I kinda liked it. Nevertheless, if it was a live show in a bar like in my wayward youth? I wouldn't have hesitated to use the opportunity to go buy a beer or even stop in the bathroom and tuck my boobs back in my shirt.

This performance was prefaced with the Kris and Danny duet of "Renegade." (The Styx song, not Eminem's. Idol got a little cooler tonight, but let's not get nuts with it, after all.) This was...not very good. They harmonized nicely, but they're not Crosby, Stills & Nash. And it was just sort of lame -- the kind of thing that makes rock fans flinch when they think of rock songs being performed on American Idol. But I don't blame Slash that it wasn't Velvet Revolver so much as Velveeta Revolver.

Fall to Pieces

But, luckily for fans of disaster, the flinch-worthy followed by the forgettable was then followed by the always anticipated train wreck. Back to my misspent youth for a minute. Back when Dude was still doing bars, he'd do covers other than Zep sometimes, and mostly it'd be Aerosmith. And that's cause he could pull off "Dream On." I mean, he would shatter that shit. But there'd always be other bands around with singers who couldn't handle that song but they'd try it anyhow. Instead of making me want to go nuts in the good way and flash them, it'd make me flash them the finger.

Now, granted, I have a slight predisposition against Hokey Gokey anyhow. But COME ON! That was so bad that it made me sit up and listen just so I could take it all in. I knew it was coming. Slash tried to play coy about it, saying that it all depended on the moment when he performed, but he said it with a smirk that was literally tongue-in-cheek and so I just knew it was coming.

I knew it was coming anyhow because, come on, I admit, Danny can sing, but not like THAT. So it cracked me up that he was clueless enough to try it in the first place, and then the execution was just so EXACTLY what rock fans despise about American Idol -- and what fans of American Idol who have an appetite for destruction love about the show. The whole thing sucked, starting with the stupid vest and ending with that screech that I haven't heard the likes of since Janet Leigh met Anthony Perkins in a shower. Christ in a cracker, that was an earful! That should provoke more sanctimonious outrage from Tyler fans than Danny could've from the general public if he actually had busted out some Eminem.

Danny also takes home double-bonus points score for getting the outlandish reactions from the judges. Pauler had valiantly hung in there with him, standing up and shaking her arm at him until he overreached his first dream on, when she gave it up and sat down! Then, he got the Dumb-Dumb DioGuardi comment of the night when she told him he should be doing Aerosmith, but should be doing early Aerosmith like "Cryin'" and "Crazy." Only in clueless Kara's world does "Dream On" not pre-date "Cryin'" and "Crazy" by twenty years.

Nevertheless, even though Danny didn't show that song a whole lotta love, you can dream on if you think he might actually be going home. It's been a slow ride to the final three, but after tonight, I'm a little hopeful that Alison might pull through for one more week if the viewers come together and pull a renegade move and Kris has to be the cry baby and gets sent home. That was lame, I know it. But after that cheezy screech, I felt at liberty to wrap up in a slapdash manner. Because as Simon said, nothing was going to top Adam anyhow. (insert your own obvious sexual pun here if desired.) And, as usual, it didn't. He didn't make me young again, but he did remind me of what I loved about being young and rocking out, even if my tits have wisely gotten demure with age. (But they're still real, and they're still fabulous.)


Don Capone said...

Another spot on review, Susan D! Lambert is just so good, and I've been a fan of Alison's from the start. Their duet was great, and AI knows what they are doing. They put them on last, had them stand there together and bath in the acclaim. In case you didn't get AI's drift, here it is: These two should be the final two. Kris is just boring, and Danny finally proved (if you needed more proof) that he is not in the same league as Alison and Adam.

Anonymous said...

You should check out Adam's studio version of Whole Lotta Love on Youtube.

Anita said...

Thank you for stating the obvious, Susan ... it's so nice to just hear it straight, out without all the mincing about trying not to offend anyone! Danny was awful, Adam is amazing, Allison rocks, and Kris is ... Kris.