In my adult life I've likely experience well over one hundred live bands. From big names like Metallica and Buckcherry to small town rock heroes like Paper Plane Pilots out of Traverse City, MI, I've listened to many but what I heard Saturday night was by far the worst.
Boxkar, as I witnessed at the Milwaukee Ale House was a crap cannoli, which is a turd wrapped in something that looks appetizing.
My anticipation and excitement for live music ascended as I watched the band put together their elaborate stage setup. Looking at all the light rigs, the size of the speaker stacks or even the double 32” LCD monitors for the display of some video to go along with the show, I expected something special out of this band. I got something special alright; Chris Szebeni, the lead singer was super special horrible. Maybe he was just having an off night or something, but he couldn't carry a tune if the rest of the band helped him load it in a wheel-barrow and they pushed it around for him.
His range was very limited, there was very little inflection or character in his singing. Higher octaves where his friend though. A couple songs were okay, but overall his voice just couldn't go where he was trying to make it go. I'll never be able to listen to U2 and not think of how badly Beautiful Day was butchered that night. It saddens me a bit, but I digress.
The rest of the band, both playing their instruments and backup vocals were very talented. I’m not sure what Szebeni’s deal was that night but his voice was awful. I suspect he was sipping some kind of spirits; vodka will cause a very one dimensional sound from a singing voice. If that notion is true, it’s very sad and disheartening because as a lead singer you have to think about your voice first. When you go see a rock band today, you see that lead singer putting water away like there’s not tomorrow. I saw a rocks glass in Szebeni’s hand during set up and through the first set (honestly, that’s all my group could stomach of him was one set).
I’m not sure how they took fifth place at the Hard Rock Cafe battle of the bands, but I know this, unless the band picks up a new lead singer somewhere along the way I won’t go out of my way to catch this band performing.