The worst: Even cover bands need zip

at Jabberwocky
Saturday, March 19

This is the second article I've written about Blackacer. The first was never published because my hard drive crashed mid-sentence. Maybe it was a sign from God. That article reeked with disdain, and I said things I hoped would persuade the band (if they were to even read this column) to quit. Yes, I thought they stunk that bad. Now for round two.

I originally went to Jabberwocky to catch the second half of the high-intensity WVU v. Wake Forest NCAA match-up that looked like it might become a pool-busting upset. I figured I'd get the full feel of college round ball if I was surrounded by a bunch of cheering, jeering and intoxicated Wahoos.

Blackacer was an afterthought kind of like this: Hmmm, I'm looking for a good place to watch the game... hey, look at this... there's a band at Jabberwocky... maybe I can get some good Prowl fodder at the same time... nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

Blackacer seemed eager to start their set on time but soon realized after one song that it was pointless to try to play in the same room with a TV showing three minutes left in a tied game. When the game ended after a nail-biting double overtime, Blackacer fired up their amps and got right into some good ol' "Eye of Tiger" victory music. I almost lost my dinner.

Blackacer is a cover band of the worst kind. The good kind of cover band takes someone else's songs and breathes new life into them with artistic interpretation and skill. The bad kind just figures out the basic melody and recites the words in hopes of hitting a nostalgic nerve.

Blackacer was the second type. I imagined they hoped the drunken crowd would wash out their sub-par musicianship by singing along to each late-great lite-rock or country hit.

Unfortunately, not many people were singing along when I was there. There was no ketchup on this meatloaf. To their credit, the bass player had some impressive fills, the drummer could keep time, and the singer could hold the tune (even if he was all falsetto, Kool-Aid-man smile and bad haircut).

All in all, I'd rather listen to construction workers drilling concrete at 6am after a late night at the bars than Blackacer's tongue-in-cheek mimicry of popular music.