Last night's Brokencyde show is the sort of package tour common in the world of teenager-targeted internet music, and the formula is simple: Stick a bunch of similar-sounding (and looking) bands together for a low ticket price, bang out a show before 10 p.m. on school night and boom -- both parents and kids are happy. There usually seems to be a talent trickle-down effect at play, too, with the band best playing the part positioned as the headliner, and lesser experienced bands acting as a primer, given twenty to thirty minute sets to prove themselves. This was not the case with Brokencyde.
I missed The Hit, but walked in just in time for Kill Paradise, a local duo who, for the most part, was better than anyone else on the bill. Getting through the Disney-esque vocals was tough, but Bryce Hoops and Paradise mastermind Nick Cocozzella's voices were on point -- in tune, in unison, and on top of their game. Songs like "Friend Zone" and "Miracle" were heavy on the church camp performance vibe, screamo bits tucked between sugary hooks and lots of jumping to laptop beats. Screams of love for the hometown dudes were loud, and they seemed sincere (or the least chemically-altered) in comparison to their tourmates.
Not long after, a lighting rig was placed center stage and Millionaires stumbled out, opening with "Party Like a Millionaire," middle fingers ablaze. The Green sisters pawed at the stage, dick joke after dick joke blurting out from underneath nightmares of hair extensions and sequins. "Take Your Shirt Off" came with a complimentary hand job motion from one of the sisters, and "Stay The Night" and "Prom Dress" showcased the duo's terrifyingly off-key vocals. Closing with "Just Got Paid, Let's Get Laid" and "Alcohol," the duo continued to brag about the played-out party lifestyle. Part kitsch-less Gravy Train rip-off, part freshman hazing, Millionaires were easily the worst performance of the night, if not the year.
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A considerably long amount of time passed between Millionaires and headliners' Brokencyde, only noticeable because no band on the bill had more to set up than a drum kit. Plagued by technical difficulties, the five members wandered the music-less stage in the dark before an anticlimactic "Ready To Go" opened their show. Hair whipped, screams were screamed, and the bumpy, auto-tuned "Freaxx" followed, a small but devoted crowd chanting along. The three rotating vocalists drowned in the low end-heavy mix, kick drum and crash cymbal washing out screamer Seven's howls to a mere afterthought. The E-40-infused "Booty Call," dropped antiquated references to MySpace and crunk-ness, before new track "Money Hungry Hoe" was totally lost to drum sounds. Promises of nakedness never came through, but the boy band marched on with Brokencyde's oldest song, "Bree Bree" leading into "High Timez," another track off Will Never Die, the band's new full-length due out this week.
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Going as haphazardly as it came, Brokencyde closed with "Shake," screaming and sort-of rapping its way off stage. Like watching a page from Internet's past come to life, Brokencyde was, for the most part, a sad bore. Overshadowed by technical difficulties and Millionaires' somehow more offensive set, Brokencyde's performance was all but lost to a sad Sunday night.
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CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: I don't know if this is a bias, but I went to see Brokencyde out of sheer curiosity. It also made for an interesting parallel to the rest of my Sunday, just coming from reviewing Yo Gabba Gabba! Live. Random Detail: Considering the last Brokencyde show at The Marquis Theatre sold out, it was odd to see less than half of Summit Music Hall filled. By The Way: A screaming match broke out between Millionaires' keyboardist and a fan. It was the least aggressive concert fight I've ever seen.