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Rascal Flatts doesn't deliver

Montana's, San Dimas, Cal., Jan. 24, 2001

SAN DIMAS, CA - Boy bands may be ruling the pop charts right now, but don't expect this same phase to ever take over country music. Even the closest thing country has to a boy band, in Rascal Flatts, sounds like it would much rather rock out '80's style than become pinups for little girls' rooms.

"Unlike some other boy bands," bass player John Demarcus joked at one point "we play instruments." Perhaps they play a little too much, though, because when Demarcus and boyish looking guitarist Joe Don Rooney got into a dueling ax fest toward the end of the show, somebody should have screamed "Enough is enough!"

OK, so they've proven their musical skills. But instrumental talent without one meaningful song is like sound and fury signifying nothing. Except for their two radio hits, "Prayin' For Daylight" and "This Everyday Love," there were few notable tunes to be heard this night.

Outside of the songs drawn from the group's self-titled debut release, there also weren't a whole lot of surprises in store either. Unless, of course, you count "Bubba's Girl," which was a bad Weird Al-like remake of an old Rick Springfield song, only this time it makes fun of Southern stereotypes. The group also sang Merle Haggard's "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink," but this came off more like an unsubtle attempt to gain the club more suds consumption, than any kind of tribute to the troubadour.

Another reason why this trio might want to concentrate primarily on its musical chops is because singer Gary Levox looks more like a Jack in the Box Meat 'N Cheesy Boy-only with the physique of someone that has consumed a few too many fast food burgers. Besides, only guitarist Rooney appears to be 'N sync with today's teen physique standards, if all the screaming girls count for anything.

Who knows, Rascal Flatts might prove me wrong and become the next Rick Springfield. But that's not really saying much.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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