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Rock Star: Supernova ~ Week 1 Performances

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Meet the Rockers from Rock Star: Supernova!

Tonight’s CBS Premiere of Rock Star: Supernova is going to make this a wild summer. While thinking about how I’d approach my recaps, I decided to give a more personal angle, for the other musicians out there. We all walk a similar path toward rockstarhood, and I think it’s a good idea to think of this show as the closest thing anyone will get to attending a graduate level course for being a rock star. And why not? Success leaves clues, and if you pay attention to how the Rockers compete with each other, deal with their own demons, and rise above their shortcomings, you’ll have an insight that may one day apply to your particular situation.

What am I looking for? I’m a sucker for a singer with power and range, but stage presence is crucial. Choosing the right song that shows off your gifts while also impressing the judges is also important. Watching the Supernova members Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted and Gilby Clarke, I also had to consider how each Rocker contestant’s particular singing and performing style might fit with Tommy, Gilby and Jason. These guys are hard rockers, so dreamy singer/songwriter types need not apply!

Three months of rock and roll life lessons just waiting to begin. By the time this show is over, I hope the musicians watching at home learn something they can use in their own shows. It’s gonna be a fun ride! Vive La Rock!

My descriptions and predictions:

Storm Large – Pinball Wizard

She was a great choice for first Rocker of the night. Storm is a great performer, and comfortable on stage. She held back from the power singing til the very end of the song, but I would not have minded more of “rock power voice” earlier in the song. She held her own with Tommy and the band, and admitted to being unafraid. “I like being first” she says.

She has potential but it’s too early for me to tell. She automatically gets kudos for going first. Her name is real, which reinforces my theory that it’s important to name your children with greatness in mind. I have a feeling that Ms. Large has a few tricks yet for us.

Ryan Star – Iris

His vocal delivery was a little too mumbled for my taste, and his beginning was a bit subdued. At the climax of the song, he grabs the mic from the stand, and does this sort of slide thing across the stage. The audience reacted instantly. He had a good voice, but I wasn’t sure that Tommy Lee was feeling it.

Toby Rand – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

First acoustic performance of the evening. I found his voice soulful, expressive and powerful, but perhaps a bit overdone. I wasn’t crazy about a slow song, but he obviously chose the song to highlight his vocals. I felt like he just wanted to sing, but not to necessarily to perform. But trust me, he can definitely sing. He sat on the floor at one point, and he just looked so comfortable, and he could sing his heart out. Tommy Lee thought that Toby’s sitting down was a good choice, and that the ladies liked it. But surprisingly, I actually wanted him to move around, to work a little harder for the audience. But hey, that’s me.

Patrice Pike – Somebody to Love

She owned the stage immediately. She has power, range, and interacted with the band. She also worked the crowd. Okay, she killed it. Gilby said it best when he told her “I can tell you want the gig” Most definitely.

Magni – Satisfaction

According to Magni, his band in Iceland in number 1, and he is one of the top ten recognizable faces in Iceland. To see him onstage, I’m sorry, but I wondered why they picked his audition tape over mine Seriously, I felt like I was watching somebody’s brother air guitar along to classic rock radio.

First thing – he didn’t look enough like a rocker to me. His outfit is fine if you’re going to see a band, but not to be in a band. He has a great voice, and he’s comfortable onstage, but I feel like he could have given more of himself. You can’t come to LA and give us the same old thing we’ve seen forever. Dave Navarro said he was “a little on the Vegas tip”, and Gilby told him that he needed more “dirty rock and roll”. Not sure about this one…

Zayra Alvarez – Bring Me to Life

Gorgeous, talented girl, but I’m officially undecided. She started the song with a latin-inspired Spanish guitar intro, while wearing a dramatic red and black outfit. My biggest problem with her was that her articulation made it very difficult for me to understand what she was saying. I don’t know this song very well, and her singing did not help. But she does have something. Will she fit in with the rest of Supernova? Hmmm…not sure, but she’s definitely going places.

Jenny Galt – How You Remind Me

It’s interesting that Jenny says that she feels that she’s “always on the verge” in her musical career, wondering when her break will finally arrive. She played electric guitar on this song, and she can definitely rock, but I know she’s holding back. She’s blonde, leggy, has a distinctive voice that I like, and can play some mean guitar. My only wish is that she’d throw away the guitar, and let us know that she can rock out without it. I wondered how she’d be onstage without her guitar. She’s not necessarily hiding behind it, but I want to see more of this Rocker, big time.

Josh Logan – She Talks to Angels

Josh has a soulful style, perhaps too soulful for this band, but I don’t think he knows it yet. I love gospel vocal riffs like everybody else, but is it too much for a rock band? Is it too much for Tommy, Gilby, and Jason? Josh took us to church, he did. Had me raising my testify hand and everything. Even got a standing ovation from the other Rockers. This guy is gifted, no doubt, but will he lead Supernova? Hmmm…

Matt Hoffer – Yellow

Matt has a good voice, but there was nothing that stood out about him. He jumped around a lot, but that was about it. The song choice was questionable, and even Dave Navarro commented on it, suggesting that next time he try something “a little uglier”. I’m neutral.

Dilana Robichaux – Lithium

Great, gravelly vocal tone. Her voice speaks of a hard childhood, but man she knows how to use it! She stayed in one place, barely moving as she sang, using her face and intensity to tell the story (reminded me of Marty last year), and then she EXPLODED onstage. She was perfect. When she was done, no one in Supernova, not even Tommy Lee had anything to say. She was that amazing. Wow.

Dana Andrews – Am I the Only One

She has great pipes, and the confidence that comes with it, but she’s still a bit green in my opinion. She could be stronger onstage, but it’s still early, Folks. Anything can happen.

Phil Ritchie – Cult of Personality

I love this song cuz I’m a Corey Glover and Living Colour fan, but I don’t know if this was the right choice of song for Phil. He had range, but not power. And he needs to work on stagecraft. And I needed him to be more crazy onstage. Am I wrong? It’s still early…

Jill Gioia – Piece of My Heart

I really wanted to like Jill. She’s from New York, and she’s representing the rockers here. She has a great voice – tough and powerful. BUT her delivery made me think Wedding Singer. I do NOT mean to sound snarky. I just found it hard to take her seriously. She was just too cute, and too clean. The Supernova members were complimentary, but I’m not convinced that they were feeling her vibe.

Chris Pierson – Roxanne

Chris Pierson was singing for his life. He was just energy going out, but not really giving anything, nothing meaningful. His reworked version of Roxanne, instead of making him look like good actually showcased how limited his range was. Tommy gave a quick lecture to the Rockers about how important song choice is. But Gilby said what many were thinking, “That song sucked, man”. Ouch.

Lukas Rossi – Rebel Yell

I got him from the start. Excellent song choice – he knows his strengths, and he came here to RAWK! I couldnât understand the lyrics but it didn’t matter. He tore it up on stage. He has the goods, and the Rockers gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. Awesome!

What’s interesting right off the bat was that pre-show comments made by Tommy Lee made it sound like only a guy could be mean and dangerous enough to front Supernova. After seeing some of these women tonight, I bet they’re not so sure.

My predictions:

Bottom Three (in no particular order):
Chris Pierson
Jill Gioia

Top Three (in no particular order):
Patrice Pike
Dilana Robichaux
Lukas Rossi

But after all of this, remember that the first show is not necessarily the be-all and end-all. Even JD Fortune had less than perfect performances before he won last year’s Rock Star: INXS. Now we get to see what the Rockers are made of. Will they have the goods to last three months?

Tune in tomorrow for the first elimination show of Rock Star: Supernova!

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