Editor’s Note: All of Angry Ed’s words are Angry Ed’s. So, if any of this stuff makes you mad, please post your comments to Angry Ed. But, if they make you happy (and we think The Loaners will make you happy), by all means post any comments of admiration and support (for The Loaners, probably not Angry Ed) you like. The rest of us here at The DIFF are wincing just a bit as we read this post.
By Angry Ed
I’m not a big fan of cover bands; they serve their purpose at bars and weddings, but then so do jukeboxes and DJ’s, which are cheaper, and less likely to screw it up. As a songwriter, I prefer original music. As a narcissist, I’m very quick to judge, harshly critique and in some cases, laugh out loud at what I think is poorly performed original music, so enduring cover songs of the same quality would normally be torture. In fact, prior to July 14, 2007, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to describe listening to live cover music in a parking lot on a 90 degree day as my Chinese hell, but I have been transformed!
Quicken Loans’ "The Loaners," who incidentally are quite a bit more than a cover band, having a repertoire of their own original songs, performed again this year at the Gibson Summer Jam, in Nashville where they for lack of a better term, TOTALLY KICKED ASS!!! They were The DIFF between bands that rehearse, perfect, perform and impress, and well… those that suck. Actually, that may be a bit harsh. The competition didn’t "suck," but their performances hovered right around average and were obviously amateur in comparison to the Loaners’ impressive display.
For this particular venue, the Loaners had to perform only covers, as that was a requirement of the contest rules, but with Brian Macias’s stellar vocals, Bryan Stapp’s (Best Guitarist 2006) perfect solos, Eric Rowlands’ smooth bass-lines and Brian Jefferys’ precision percussion, the guys showed the competition how a tight and talented band is supposed to sound.
The line-up was as follows:
- Strat5 / Healthways, Nashville, Tenn.
- Steampunk / GE Industrial, Louisville, Ky.
- D7 / Darwin Professional Underwriters, Farmington, Conn.
- The Loaners / Quicken Loans, Livonia, Mich.
- The Subliminals / Grey Worldwide, New York, N.Y.
A few more important points to mention:
1. The Loaners were one of the only bands at the Jam whose members were all official employees of the company they claimed to represent. (Some of the other bands hired professional musicians and STILL couldn’t hold a candle to our boys.)
2. Quicken Loans’ fans were the loudest, proudest and most supportive, but the attendees from other companies were clearly impressed. At the foot of the stage during The Loaners’ performance, I turned around a few times to see non-Quicken Loans audience members dancing and singing along.
3. Most importantly, The Loaners were one of the only bands that didn’t cover Mustang Sally. God I hate that stupid song. In fact they performed the set-list below of modern, hit tunes that really went over well.
Son of Detroit – Kid Rock
Momma Said – Lenny Kravitz
Santaria – Sublime
Save A Horse (Ride a Cowboy) – Big ‘n Rich
The Loaners are just another exceptional product of the Quicken Loans culture. With the same high-quality standards we rise to in conducting our daily business, The Loaners put on an awesome show and impressed a few thousand people with ease. The announcement that they’d won came as no surprise, and I expect it will be echoed at the FORTUNE: Battle of the Corporate Bands, finals in Cleveland this October. See ya there.