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In something of a bogan explosion, Rockstar: Supernova shook the mostly full Christchurch Town Hall last night.

I only caught a few episodes of the top-rating TV show Rockstar: Supernova – the reality show which found lead vocalist Lukas Rossi from 20,000 hopefuls – because one reality (my own) is generally more than I can handle, but those around me were palpably hysterical with anticipation.

Featuring big names like legendary drummer Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), guitarist Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses) and bassist Johnny Colt (Black Crowes) it was worth attending this concert just to be able to say you'd been in the same room.

Opening act was the Australian who placed second on the TV show, Toby Rand and his band, Juke Kartel, who rocked. Their mostly original songs were delivered with passion and charisma.

The shining moment of their set was when Rand dragged a local teenage boy wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt onto the stage to duet with him on a Bon Jovi-styled version of Billy Idol's Rebel Yell. The kid did good.

After a half-hour break it was time for the superstars to shine. Lee, Clarke and Colt are simply stunning musicians which makes it all the more puzzling that they have aligned themselves with Rossi – who is almost a cardboard cutout of what he thinks a rockstar should be – exaggerated on-stage posturing, artfully arranged ties, cliched mohawk and sunglasses (at night).

Before competing on the TV show Rossi was a cook at a Hooters restaurant and, while I hate to appear harsh, I'd hazard a guess that at this point he's a better cook than a frontman.

Their set started with their loud take on the Rolling Stones song, Let's Spend the Night Together, which signalled the unusual set list to follow. In fact I found the set list to be surreal to the point that I was pinching myself and constantly elbowing those beside me with queries such as: "This is a hair metal version of Don Henley's Boys of Summer, isn't it?" or "Am I hallucinating? Are they seriously performing a Guns N' Roses-inspired version of The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony with a four-piece string section?"

That said, their version of Bittersweet Symphony was so wrong it was blissfully right and infinitely memorable. They also performed songs off their own album, including, among others, Can't Bring Myself to Light This Fuse and Be Yourself (And 5 Other Cliches) – ironically Rossi's best effort of the night.

Despite an arsenal of spotlights, strobes and large devices shooting confetti it seems that reality for this supernova is implosion for eventually a truly successful foray into reality requires something real that Rossi hasn't quite found yet.

The highlight of my night was getting hit in the head with Lee's drumstick when he tossed it into the audience. Congrats to the 182cm tall bogan who had the foresight to elbow me out of the way in my stunned state.

The night ended as bizarrely as it began with one encore, a cover of Prince's Purple Rain, before the house lights came on and reality was back.

source:VICKI ANDERSON/The Press | Thursday 29 March 2007

image:JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press:HEAR ME NOW...LUKAS ROSSI rocks out during Rockstar: Supernova's performance at the Christchurch Town Hall in NZ...


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