Criminal Shift (Plano). Caught these kids a couple years ago and was blown away, and haven't been able to catch them again til now. Seems like the line-up has completely changed, except for Douglas (lead vocals, lead guitar). No more female keyboard player (in fact, no keys at all), now it's just 3 dudes wif guitars plus drums. Once again, I was really impressed by their sound. Very advanced and polished for a band full of youngsters who apparently rehearse in their mom's (nicely appointed, i should say) spare bedroom (see their myspace ;). Some really cool hard-drivin' rock material, definitely more rockin' than the last time i saw 'em. Was especially impressed by Douglas (like last time), who can really howl and belt it out, and also wail on guitar. He's quite the showman, too - very high energy and engaging. Drummer was awesome, too. Other two dudes sounded great, but looked slightly uncomfortable in front of a big crowd. Really enjoyed the set. Check 'em out.
Hendrick. Sure, sure - some very pleasant & polished indie guitar/piano pop, but when did Hendrick get so sensitive? I've never been a huge fan of theirs, but they seemed overly pussified that night. My (female) companion said he (the lead) could get away with it if he was hot...
Andrew Tinker (Denton). Ugh. Did not enjoy this at all. Can't understand how this made it to the finals. Good-timey bluesy piano tunes that suburbanites in Frisco would enjoy whilst supping at an Outback restaurant.
Bridges and Blinking Lights. My kryptonite. Said it many times - awesome music, but vocals of a 13-year-old girl. With strep. Thought they had figured that out when, during the first song, another guitar player sang along with jake, and i'll be damned if you could actually hear the vocals, but no - after a couple songs, he was mostly done, and it was back to straining to hear donald duck.
Really wanted to see Ishi again, cuz they are a riot, but mi companion was snoring so loudly it was interfering with the sound check, so we split.