concert reviews

Click Five and Bo Bice: Opposites Distract
The Click Five and Bo Bice at Nation, Washington, DC, Sunday 19 February 2006

The Click Five and "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice have little in common: The former is a clean-cut power-pop quintet, while the latter is known for stringy long hair and a penchant for Southern rock. And although they shared the same stage Sunday night at Nation, the crowd did not give them the same reception.

While Bice certainly belted out his songs, from "U Make Me Better" to an impassioned cover of the Allman Brothers' "Whipping Post," he seemed detached from his performance. He rarely spoke between songs, encouraging little audience enthusiasm other than a few predictable shouts of "I love you!" In fact the strongest reaction of the night was to a medley of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most overplayed hits, "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird."

By contrast, the Click Five engaged easily with the audience, whose members danced, clapped along and sang nearly every song of the 45-minute set. That spirited reaction wasn't too surprising, given how catchy the group's songs are: the bouncy "Just the Girl" sounded like a sequel to Fountains of Wayne's "Stacy's Mom," while the rocking "Pop Princess" was reminiscent of Cheap Trick. To break from that unrelentingly speedy sound, the group performed a somewhat slower, acoustic version of "Time Machine" with soaring vocals and crisp harmonies.

Between bands, DJs from Hot 99.5 FM, the concert's sponsor, put on a show of their own, billed as Teapot Tim's Super-Stupid Stunt Extravaganza. This pointless series of "Fear Factor"-esque stunts made the evening feel more like a carnival than a concert, trivializing the other performances.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post, 21 February 2006; Page C08
.: Selected discography: Greetings from Imrie House (The Click Five, 2005); The Real Thing (Bo Bice, 2005).