This article originally appeared on Boston Band Crush ). Link to Videos from all of the bands last night and winner announcement!
The Semi-Finals were moved to the ME Downstairs, which left me missing the intimacy that had built up during the preliminaries last week. But the stakes were higher and the bands were all top-notch.
Wild Card band, Have Nots opened the night with what I’d like to call skaunk (ska-punk) that had the crowd moving and skanking through the whole set. Once again they raced through at least 20 numbers in the 30 minutes bopping and reveling in their dual-vocals.
Next up Sarah RabDAU and Self Employed Assassins took the stage. They shook up their set from last week, only playing a few of the same songs. Also, Scott Dakota (ex- Valhalla Kittens) joined them on guitar for a few songs, playing a very atmospheric ebow on one number. They did a kicking cover of “Running up that hill” by Kate Bush, and finished up the set with “Riots and Revolutions” which has an awesome dancy-piano riff and precise stops/starts.
The Lights Out rocked out with intense confidence. There were whisperings that it was like seeing Aerosmith in the 70s. Ritchie played blazing solo after blazing solo and everyone was super-tight and the sound was great.
When Gene Dante started singing, I thought he was sounding extra-fierce and raw because he was bringing the rock to the roll. It turns out he was just really sick, and fighting back laryngitis. However, this did not stop him and The Future Starlets from playing a set to remember. When Gene needed to vocally lean on Jim Collins for the chorus’ he was there, when he physically needed to lean on Scott Patalano, he was there. By the time they got around to playing their second to last song “The Love Letter is Dead” (a really great, Morrissey-esque tune) Gene’s eyeshadow had begun to run, he was pale, and looked much like Barnabas Collins ready to claim what was his.
Everyone played fantastically, but in the end, the night belonged to Gene Dante and The Future Starlets.