From the Vault...


Rock Star
"A Night At The Mayan Theatre"

© Burnett/Epic Records

track listing
  • Baba O'Riley--
    Jordis Unga
  • You Really Got Me--
    Marty Casey
  • One Way Or Another--
    Daphna Dove
  • Cult Of Personality--
    Ty Taylor
  • Knockin' On
    Heaven's Door--
    Dana Robbins
  • Brown Sugar--
    Neal Carlson
  • Middle Of The Road--
    Tara Slone
  • Rock And Roll All Nite--
    Brandon Calhoon
  • Celebrity Skin--
    Jessica Robinson
  • Heroes--
    Wil Seabrook
  • Burning Down
    The House--
    Heather Luttrell
  • American Woman--
    J.D. Fortune
  • Piece Of My Heart--
    Deanna Johnston
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit--
    Mig Ayesa
  • Remedy--
    Suzie McNeil
  • The Man Who Sold
    The World--
    Jordis Unga
  • Baby I Love Your Way--
    Mig Ayesa

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    Rock Star
    "A Night At The Mayan Theatre"

    I was unfortunate to miss the two seasons of Rock Star, a reality show, similar to that of American Idol. As soon as I was aware of this show, there were plans of a third season. The auditions were made, however, the third season was cancelled. Mark Burnett, the creator of this show, is famous for the many seasons of Survivor. There was another show in the works from Burnett, Pirate Master, which was the reason why the third season of Rock Star was cancelled. (Burnett did state, that he would like to see the return of Rock Star; that is yet to be seen. The rumour for 2007 Season 3 was that the winner would become the new singer for Van Halen, which band members of VH denied.)

    Season One appeared in the year 2005. The winner would replace the late Michael Hutchence, of the band INXS. The finalists were: Mig Ayesa, Brandon Calhoon, Neal Carlson, Marty Casey, J.D. Fortune, Daphna Dove, Deanna Johnston, Heather Luttrell, Suzie McNeil, Dana Robbins, Jessica Robinson, Wil Seabrook, Tara Slone, Ty Taylor, Jordis Unga. J.D. Fortune was the winner.

    Rock Star: A Night At The Mayan Theatre showcases performances from the first night of live performances. Surprisingly, there wasn't an INXS song on this album. Also, there are two "bonus tracks," by Jordis Unga and Mig Ayesa. My guess would have been other tracks by the winner of the show, and the runner up, Marty Casey.

    Cover tunes (obvious) are the focus of this concert. Only one song didn't ring memory bells for me, "Celebrity Skin" (Jessica Robinson) which was originally recorded by Hole (Courtney Love). The opening track, The Who's "Baba O'Riley" (Jordis Unga) wasn't as impressive as many other tunes. The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" (Marty Casey) is a good version, where it sounded more like the Van Halen version. Blondie's "One Way Or Another" (Daphna Dove) is a pretty good cover. Living Color's "Cult Of Personality" (Ty Taylor) is one of the highlights. Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" is another good cover (Dana Robbins). The Rolling Stones would be proud of "Brown Sugar" (Neal Carlson). The Pretenders' "Middle Of The Road" (Tara Slone) is another impressive track. Kiss' "Rock And Roll All Nite" (Brandon Calhoon) is another good song. David Bowie's "Heroes" (Wil Seabrook) is also impressive, as Seabrook's voice is almost very similar to Bowie. (Yet I can't help notice the bass line to this song, sounding like Bob Seger's "Trying To Live My Live Without You."

    I was never a big fan of the Talking Heads' "Burning Down The House," (Heather Luttrell), yet this song is another good track. The Guess Who/Lenny Kravitz version of "American Woman" (J.D. Fortune) is probably considered one of the best tracks here, as the audience gets some participation. Janis Joplin's "Piece Of My Heart" (Deana Johnston) is another great standout track. Another "anthem" tune is Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Mig Ayesa); where this version is just as energetic as the original. The Black Crowes' "Remedy" (Suzie McNeil) is another good track.

    The two bonus tracks: David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World" (Jordis Unga) -- a lesser-known Bowie song, has a more theatrical sounding style. Peter Frampton's "Baby I Love Your Way" (Mig Ayesa) is beautifully performed.

    Rock Star's A Night At The Mayan Theatre captures the hopes and dreams of tomorrow's singing superstars. Upon reading some of the reviews for this album, there were many arguments that the song choices from the finalists were not the best chosen. This is so true about most of the compilations by American Idol. Where one song made the album, others would argue there were other song(s) that should have been chosen. (I can agree with this, especially after watching every episode of Seasons 2-10.) I didn't watch any of Rock Star, but I can agree to the fact that the songs here on this album may or may not have been the best from each contestant. But this concert was from the first night's live performances, and not taken from the entire season. Call it the "first night jitters" for some, each contestant rocked the house, determining to win the crown to become the lead singer of INXS.

    So, was J.D. Fortune the ulimate choice to win? I'm sure for some, the answer is yes, and others no. J.D. Fortune's background (interestingly enough), was that he was an Elvis Presley impersonator. (His real name is Jason Dean Bennison). He was living in his car under a bridge at the time he applied to audition for Rock Star. With INXS, Fortune recorded the album Switch (late 2005). By 2009, Fortune was fired from INXS, due to drug abuse during the INXS tour. Fortune stated he was off of cocaine for 2 years. INXS management stated there wasn't a firing, yet the band would continue to work with Fortune, despite his past allegations. Fortune continued to tour and work with INXS, up to the year 2011. He is currently working on solo material. His website can be found here.

    As for the other finalists, after Rock Star... In elimination order...
    Dana Robbins -- no information provided at this time.
    Wil Seabrook has released 2 EPs and 2 albums. He had albums previously released before Rock Star.
    Neal Carlson -- no information provided at this time.
    Daphna Dove continues working in music. She pushed aside her rock 'n' roll image, and is now a spiritual singer/healer, in the musical style of Ambient/Alternative. (In the third week of Rock Star, she was in a double elimination with Heather Luttrell.)
    Heather Luttrell -- no information provided at this time.
    Tara Slone is currently signed to the Orange Record label. She has worked in the television business in Canada.
    Brandon Calhoon -- Brandon Calhoon Music
    Jessica Robinson -- no information provided at this time.
    Deanna Johnston is currently working on her second album (her first was released in 1996).
    Ty Taylor sang lead for Dave Navarro's band Camp Freddy. In 2008 he formed the band Ghost Hounds and recorded a debut album. He is currently the front man for the R&B/Soul group Vintage Trouble.
    Jordis Unga was working on her debut album, which has yet to be released. She is currently unsigned.
    Suzie McNeil has accomplished a successful music career: Her first album was recorded in 2006. Her song, "Believe" was featured on the television shows World's Biggest Loser and Season 4 of Beauty and the Geek. The song was also featured on King Ben's Injection of Perfection in Sydney, Australia, and used in the 2010 Winter Olympics. She has toured with Pink, and has appeared on various albums by artists such as Matt Nathanson and Clay Aiken. She has also accomplished success in Canada, both on radio and television. Her second album was released in 2008.
    Mig Ayesa released his debut album in 2007. He also worked on Broadway. He is planning his second album as of August, 2011.
    Marty Casey became the opening act for the new INXS. He formed his own band, and released the album called Marty Casey and the Lovehammers.

    UPDATE: Here are other sites of the above finalists -- Where are they now? Part 1 Where are they now? Part 2

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