By Peter Gatti and Mark Blinkhorn
The 2016 Orlando International Fringe Festival
Cover Band or Tribute Band? Either can be a fun evening, and this show seems to try to split the difference. Decade “Rewind” takes us back to the baby boomer glory years; it’s a mix of pop hits and pop impersonators ranging from “Midnight Special” to MTV. They all tie together as an intro to a VHS documentary about a girl who bears a striking resemblance Joan Jett; her edge is tempered with a bit of Molly Ringwald sweetness and she’s got a head full of Ramones and dream of pop stardom. Some authentic 1980’s DJ hairball interviews her; she offers the usual mix of hope and platitudes that seem to fill all pop star backstories. But her story isn’t the focus, it’s more a frame for the music and frankly, I never did care about what she said.
The reason to see this show is the band, there’s seven guys up there and rotating team of vocalist. They sound tight and hot, and no musical style is beyond them from heavy metal to power ballads. The vocalists are decent but uneven; their Joan Jet is sharp and brassy; the Michael Jackson’s glove is too big and his voice too small, and between them is a balance of talent and effort. I don’t think any song got played through but the transitions are seamless, and the dancing entertaining. Think of this as a really great band that could, if asked, play any song that ever charted.
This show was presented as part of the 2016 Orlando Fringe Festival for show times, tickets and more information please visit . http://orlandofringe.org/