Last night was the last night of the 2002 edition of SHiNDiG. What with trips, work and being sick having kept me away for most of the shows, I’d actually only seen one of the finalists prior to last night.
The three finalists were The Stunts, My Project:Blue and Black Rice.
The Stunts were a rock-grrl trio, with a quirky sense of humor. They have a costume schtick, showing up last night in naval costume (having prior appeared as Brownies and Mad Scientists, apparently). They were fun, but I’m not sure how they got through 2 previous rounds. While their sound was intentionally edgy, they were a little rough around the edge still, it seemed, and lacked a little cohesion. They, were, however, fun, and had excellent crowd support.
My Project: Blue were the ones that I’d seen before. In fact, when I first saw them, I pegged them as potential finalists. They started of moody and dark, their weird 8mm film showing fuzzily behind them. The person sitting next to me (jen?), likened them to an ‘indie-rock Doors, except for the voice’ (which I’d say is ‘inspired’ by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. This moody, mellow sound held sway for about half their set, until their organist strapped on a guitar and they woke up, to become a much more lively band (including a signature dance!). I thought they were really great, and quite likely to make the jump across to college radio.
After a somewhat lame Jokes for Beer (though full of offerings, they just mostly sucked) (there was, however, one joke I particularly liked: so a chicken and an egg are lying in bed together. The egg is smoking. The egg turns to the chicken and says ‘I guess we know the answer to that question then’), Black Rice came on. Black Rice was straight-up, 70’s-fueled guitar rock. Right down to neck-length wavy hair, headbands and bad handlebar mustaches. But they could really rock. Their ‘older’ material was excellent, but they also included a slew of new songs, which seemed to more metal, less melody, and made me tune them out somewhat.
Had it been me voting, My Project: Blue would have squeaked past Black Rice, with The Stunts in third. However, according to the judges, Black Rice won, with My Project: Blue second and the Stunts still in third.