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Gold dust at the semifinals

By SOOZ  |  April 20, 2011

 Old Jack at the Rock 'n' Roll Rumble semifinals
CHARMED Eliminated in the preliminaries, Old Jack won a wild-card spot for the final.

Two epic nights of Boston rock rolled through T.T. the Bear's Place last week for this year's Rock 'n' Roll Rumble semifinals. For fans there to see one band, it was a crash course in the Boston music scene's eclectic mix.

Thursday night started with wild card Spirit Kid, who would go on to win the night and advance to the final. Not content to just be "that wild-card band," Spirit Kid offered an inspired set of pop delights that included a cover of the Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing." During Sidewalk Driver's high-energy glam-rock set (which included a cover of Stevie Nicks's "Edge of Seventeen"), Tad McKitterick wore a top hat rigged with a trap door and five pounds of confetti that exploded into the audience midway through the performance. The duo Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling were a refreshing addition to the Rumble with their sonic blast of drums and bass plus barefoot singer (and drummer) Sophia Cacciola's screams. Mellow Bravo remained on stage defiantly rocking past their 30-minute set time for a cover of Van Halen's "Panama."

Friday night kicked off with metal band Black Thai, who won over even the indiest of rock kids with their wall of sound but failed to advance. There wasn't a band happier to be on stage than self-described "dark dark horse" Old Jack. These blue-eyed soul-rockers lost their preliminary night to Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents, but Jenny Dee kept a previously scheduled gig and Old Jack (next in line with the most points) took their spot. As luck would have it for this charmed band, Old Jack also won the wild-card spot for the final. One of the only bands not to do a cover in either their preliminary or their semifinal performance, they had the crowd singing and clapping along to every song.

After Old Jack, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys took the stage with their sui generis spectacle. The Toys started off their set with half the audience chanting "Off!" and the other half chanting "Head!" Impressive, but not enough to win.

The last outfit of the night on Friday, headed by Boston rock veteran John Powhida, was not to be outdone. Powhida invited what he described as "live-action Asians" to join him on stage for backing vocals. The judges liked it, too. Powhida's International Airport will join Spirit Kid and Old Jack in the final this Friday, April 22.

>> Photo Slideshow: 2nd night of semifinals at Rock 'n' Roll Rumble
on April 15, 2011

ROCK 'N' ROLL RUMBLE FINAL + THE SHODS | T.T. the Bear's Place,10 Brookline St, Cambridge | April 22 @ 9:30 pm | $12 | 617.492.2327

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  Topics: Music Features , Boston, Music, Walter Sickert,  More more >
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