‘Opening Act’ Recap: TwentyForSeven Score Gig of a Lifetime With Gym Class Heroes
Rock band TwentyForSeven were plucked from obscurity in Michigan to open for Gym Class Heroes in El Paso, Texas on tonight's (July 16) episode of 'Opening Act.' They hoed a long, hard road, thanks to a singer with both pitch and confidence issues. That's a deadly, big chance-killing combo. Did they overcome those massive problems? Yup.
Overall, this show is not for fans looking for high drama and contestant bickering. It's a keyhole view into the inner workings of band development.
In the music industry think tank/conference room summit, featuring 'American Idol' producer Nigel Lythgoe along with Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, vocal coach Nick Cooper and Rock Mafia producer Antonina Armato, among others, it was decided that either a straightaway rock band or a rock band with some hip-hop elements would be perf to perform before Travie McCoy and co. That's due to the fact that the band encompasses so many genres and has a wide cross-section of fans. They mined the web and unearthed TwentyForSeven, who traffic in pop rock that's equal parts bubblegum and dark, moody pop.
The adorbs TwentyForSeven boys -- each one is cuter than the next and their average age has to be, like, 19.5 years old -- thought they were being filmed for a Planet Fitness Commercial. You know the old adage. The band that works out together gets selected for a slot on 'Opening Act.' They squealed like little girls, albeit sweaty ones, when they found out they were being filming for a TV show.
Before they head off to prepare for their big gig, we find out that singer Rajiv comes from a traditional Indian family and his father is opposed to his career dreams. Even though his son was selected for a major TV show based on online videos of his band, dad was still unimpressed and unconvinced that music is a viable profession. Ouch. That should be all the motivation Rajiv needed, but it worked against him and made him question his abilities.
Lythgoe and his team quickly find out that what sounds good on the web isn't always what it seems. A good YouTube video does not a quality band make. Neither do trendy coifs. The Lyth likens the vocals to a bagload of cats being hurled off the Empire State Building. That's pretty ... bad. It was about as smooth as a cactus.
Rajiv was also sorely lacking in the confidence department, admitting that he doesn't think he can sing. Sounds like a daddy disapproval issue has crept into the picture, preventing Rajiv from doing his best. In his confessional video, he admitted he was not encouraged to be musical. His bandmates asked Cooper to intervene and help build his confidence and to get his dad's influence out of his mind, since this issue came pretty close to effing up his band's big gig.
For the big gig, TwentyForSeven performed Katy Perry's 'I Kissed a Girl' since it fit their sound and they also performed original tunes, garnering lots of screams of approval from the crowd.
Rajiv overcame his lack of confidence to turn in a well-received show, and his dad was in the crowd, beaming with pride. Post-performance, Rajiv's dad said that his was glad his second-guessing was not a bigger roadblock.
Moral of the story? Believe.
Watch the Gym Class Heroes 'The Fighter' Video