Not a versus or competition in the traditional sense, because that clearly wasn’t the intention of either band when they took stage. But these two ditties do stand out as the highlight of the entire weekend, and it’s hard to decide which one I like more. They’re each stellar songs and performances for their own reasons, explained below:
Because they went on stage first, here’s the What Cheer? Brigade song, Ya Helo. This song is so good for so many reasons. It’s an awesome balance of drum-heavy beats backed by some booming tuba and baritone sax notes, with the trombones, trumpets and even some sexy cymbals making their way to the front for an “in your face” onslaught of punk rock enthusiasm – an almost traditional package of instruments gone bad, in all the right ways:
What Cheer? gain points for the topless dancing man and the suspense! Over a minute before the beats really drop!
Providence-based bands seemed to dominate the power meter throughout the evening, with What Cheer? being followed up later by a brass version of Smooth Criminal by the Extraordinary Rendition Band.
And then RMO came on the scene! Like when 20 members in a band is just not enough, and 30 is only starting to get interesting. How about 40+? Try six dancers alone, and three tubas, and a snare drum line, and that’s already as many members as in What Cheer? Throw in more saxophones than I can identify, a handful of trombones, other drums, clarinets, flutes, even an accordionist – oh and don’t forget the trumpets! – and even the occasional flag-bearer, and who knows what else is going on in there which I can’t see because the stage is simply so packed! Seriously high energy!
Warning: this video is potentially NSFW – no joke – because the lyrics might get you fired! (depends on how friendly you are with your “boss”)
RMO gain points for their participatory number – and yes, the entire crowd sang along as you can hear without amplification!
(PS – I’ve had both of these songs stuck in my head – again – for days now!)