Road to Bonnaroo 2010 at Mercy Lounge: Round One, 2/22/10 [The Non-Commissioned Officers]

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Check out the slideshows for more photos: Part 1; Part 2.

Well, that didn't work out. We cast our vote and we were robbed. We smell a goddamn conspiracy -- Heypenny totally should have won. They were totally right there in the crowd for the whole show, wearing jackets and stuff. We can't believe they didn't take the trophy at the first installment of the second annual Road to Bonnaroo at Mercy Lounge -- we're thinking that the fix is in. Sure they didn't actually play this year, but considering we got to cast three votes and we only liked two bands, we had to vote for someone, right?

Maybe we're just a little sore because Rock 'n' Roll Trivia had been abbreviated to make room for the evening's festivities, or maybe our Spider-sense was giving us a headache in advance of the mind numbing mediocrity we were in for.

Like Ponderosa -- how is this a band that played Road to Bonnaroo? Don't we have enough dudes in their 30s making warmed-over classic rock around here? Do we really need to import them from Atlanta? It just seems silly to waste the gasoline getting here to play three songs that the band might not even remember by tomorrow. Just sayin'.

And MONA -- is this really a band that somebody out there actually likes? 'Cause we'd rather listen to the refrigerator at the Fortress of Spin-itude make that weird clicking noise it makes sometimes. Kyle Andrews was wearing a bright orange hat. We still don't see the appeal, but some folks seem to like him and he definitely played three songs. Let's just leave it at that.

We didn't, in fact, see The Privates, because we were standing at the back of the room and they're not the tallest of bands, but they ended up on our ballot, because, well, we like them. Funny, that -- we could have cast our votes and left before trivia was over, but no. We stuck around. The Non-Commissioned Officers would end up winning the night thanks to a tight set, great use of the video screen and a conspiracy amongst the judges to make sure your favorite band lost like the losers they are. Also, they were the closest thing to a gimmick band last night, and everybody knows that gimmicks win big in this town.

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Speaking of losers, though, how do Parachute Musical keep landing gigs? Are people still into primary colors and middling pop music? We thought that was a mid-'00s thing, but maybe we're wrong. Also wrong: Moon Taxi. We're pretty sure they went waaaaay over time, and even if they didn't, they lose points for trying to cram too many chords into their music. Yeah, we get it: You took guitar lessons. Why don't you go juggle lava lamps or something? Oh, and your fans smell. Like seriously, we're not at Bonnaroo yet. We know those people have access to running water, and suggest they use it. And some soap.

The night closed out with Born Empty, whose half-assed Incubus impression was only eclipsed in shittiness by the fact that we got pulled over after leaving the bar. Even that was only marginally worse than listening to the prog kids pull their puds, to be honest. Ah well, there's always the next installment -- maybe Heypenny will finally win this time.

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