Newsboys|Spice Girls|Howard Stern

Concert Review: Newsboys/Third Day/Plankeye

   Okay, I'll be the first to admit it. Generally, I don't like Christian music. Pretty much, if it's not on Tooth and Nail Records, it tends to be a little too sappy for me. I really went to the show, basically because I volunteered to do stage setup, roadie type things. However, I got to see the show anyway, occasionally interrupted by a set change or two. And I'll admit it -- it surprised me a little bit.

   Plankeye, being the smallest of the three, opened with about a 30 minute set. Being the only band I particularly liked, and the only one in which I was really interested in seeing, they didn't disappoint. They went through a few songs mixing tunes coming from their first two albums, in addition to new ones from their upcoming album, Commonwealth. Perhaps the highlight for me was the second song they played, "xxxxxxxx", off of The Spark. An energetic song, it set the pace for the rest of the set, albeit a short one, this being perhaps the only real flaw that I'd seen with it.

   Next on was Third Day -- a band that a lot of people like, this doesn't really include me. Again, bordering on happy, cutesy praise music, I wasn't too impressed. Perhaps I'm just not into the genre, however, as a lot of the 2,000+ fans there cheered just as loudly as ever. Through songs such as the apparently popular "Consuming Fire", and a quaint, acoustic one called "Take My Life", Third Day satisfied many of the fans there in their hour-long set.

Ooh...spacey!    Finally, the gem of the show, The Newsboys, got ready for their set. The fliers around town touted that this Australian band had hit Billboard's Top 40, so I was hoping (but not betting on) that their show would be good... and it did indeed surprise me to a point. Starting with a "multimedia experience" of lights, smoke, and movable, heavy stage props (indeed they were heavy -- I helped set up these mounds of metal and vinyl), the set began with a bang. Featuring a myriad of band members, including two drummers and a keyboardist, they began their set playing many favorites, much to the pleasure of the adoring masses who, by this point, were immediately kicked out of the show if they approached the stage (Seems Viking Hall doesn't like mosh -- but then again, they didn't like White Zombie, either, so...). After several songs, they followed with a brilliant "dueling drummers" kick, and after disseminating Christian ministry throughout this decidedly young crowd, they ended in what seemed like everyone's favorite song, "Breakfast in Hell", which seemed to me to be more wiseguy Christianity than anything. Overall, however, the band was better than I'd expected, with a good balance of stage presence and music. Would I pay to seem them again? That's debatable. However, there's no doubt that they certainly reach their fans, and something has to be said for that.

   In the end, the show was pretty good, and at very least, something to do on a Saturday, when usually there's nothing else going on in this bright, Bristol mecca of entertainment. I left there with a few fleeting memories, some autographs, and an extremely exhausted self. Who knows, though? Perhaps my soul was quenched.

Corey Welton

Spice Girls Wannabes

   Unless you've been living under a rock for the past several months, you're familiar with the British pop sensation, the Spice Girls. Yes, by now we're all fans of "Baby" Spice, "Sexy" Spice, "Posh" Spice, "Sporty" Spice, and "Scary" Spice. Their hit single, "Wannabe" is climbing up the charts in the U.S., after having already hit number one in the majority of the free world. However, what most people aren't aware of is the fact that before they made it big, a number of Spice Girls were cut from the band. Here's a partial list of the ones that didn't quite make it:

Top Ten Rejected Spice Girls

10. "Not-so-Fresh" Spice
9. "Klepto" Spice
8. "Ugly" Spice
7. "Skanky" Spice
6. "Old" Spice
5. "Keep-Squeezing-Them-Monkeys" Spice
4. "Verbose" Spice
3. "Phat" Spice
2. "Transvest" Spice
1. "All" Spice

Jess Morrissette

Peeking at Private Parts

   First, let me insert a Private Parts joke -- if you go and see the movie, step up confidently to the ticket booth and say, with a wicked gleam in your eye and with a booming voice, "I'd like to see Howard Stern's private parts!" Then giggle. Like a girl.

Damn! He's ugly!    The soundtrack, unlike Howard himself, seems to offer something that everyone can like. While being a typical Hollywood soundtrack, in that it has a hodgepodge of current "hot" acts, such as Marilyn Manson and most of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it also contains some classic rock, like Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick. Also--and probably the best part of the product--the soundtrack has some snippets from the movie.

   The album begins with a jarring shock: a man by the name of Pig Vomit cursing Howard Stern. The music itself is for the most part the usual leavings from the usual hot artists, and as a result, most of the music is second rate. For example, the tracks by Porno for Pyros, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and Type O Negative with Ozzy Osborne, is not all that impressive. Now, if what you enjoy falls under the definition of "stadium rock", then about the last half of the album is awesome. With classic cuts by Cheap Trick ("I Want You to Want Me"), Deep Purple ("Smoke on the Water"), Ted Nugent ("Cat Scratch Fever") as well as a live version of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," this is really the better half of the album.

   Two things really stand out on this album. One is, of course, the comedic bits by Stern and Co. The other, and this was a major surprise: Green Day's cover of "Tired of Waiting for You," was extremely good--a very pleasant and unexpected bonus. All in all, see the movie, which is very funny and witty, but only buy the soundtrack if you really love Howard Stern (or want to see the picture of the hot nude woman on the inside cover).
Kyle Scanlan

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