Usually bands have some kind of bite to them, but sometimes a band just bites. Thus is the case withMinnesota ’s journeyman and bar staple cover boy Tim Bologna. He plays and looks like a rock band, but what comes across is as out of style Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, or NSYNC. He sounds like John Mayer, but yet makes Mayer look like a tough guy.
There was a time not to long ago when the likes of GB Leighton, Wookiefoot, Leap 27, and the Big Wu owned the bar circuit. Some are still around, while others have gone past their expiration date. Take Leap 27 for example, a Mankato based rock group that had more female fans than a Victoria ’s Secret Semi-Annual bra sale. It was rough sitting through them and watching the girls swoon for basic rock and roll with pretty boys up on stage year after year. You can imagine from the description that the music could classify as rock, but just barely. During that time period Tim Bologna also popped up as a staple of the bar scene…. What bar owners and Holister-groupies would call a “sure thing."
He still has that appeal in Duluth , as was evident by the crowd that had assembled last week. The OKs opened the show and unleashed mostly new material before the lead singer did a John Lennon ode to close out their set. The crowd was hungry after the intimate appetizer, but when Tim Bologna took the stage after, everyone who loves music lost their appetite.
Sitting through his show was tedious and a waste of a Friday evening at the Yap Room. The music wasn’t played off key and it wasn’t horrible songs, it was just too crap. Dressed in a stocking cap and trendy garb he sang and played the most forgettable tunes and covers.. Till it hurt, again and again.. Like you can feel your soul being sold out with each note that plays. The only exciting moment was when a woman on a date started a fist fight with her boyfriend at the bar. Luckily two good Samaritans jumped in and broke up the ruckus. Moments later the bouncer came in and kicked out all associated parties.
Not to say that Tim Bologna is horrible, but he just has very little musical originality. The other aspect to note was that he had the headlining spot and the crowd was turning out. Any way you look at it though is disappointing. It stinks that people would turn out for someone so tamed that Jay Leno would seem more offensive in his monologues. If all you are looking for is a band to dance to and care little about music this is your band. If you look for intuitive writing, artistic expression, or even an ounce of originality support our local community of musicians and steer away from the swill of professional bar cover bands.
Get out and see the drama of what is out there and quit paying to see bands from out of town that are crap. Our local musicians get paid nearly nothing and the sad thing is that each year there are fewer venues booking them. Some of the greatest music is being made here locally and being unnoticed because people are going to where they feel safe or always go. Get out, go to Twin Ports Brewery, Bev’s, Beaner’s and the many other bars who are keeping the bands up here alive. Find a favorite band and hang out with them. Don’t be afraid of musicians, they seem scary at first, but most are great people. Enjoy a party after the bar closes with the drunken band on occasion and watch them run around naked or puke, pass out, and get written on all over with a permanent marker. Get out of the house and meet new people, the night is waiting for you.