VH1's "Metal Month" of May culminated in another completely unnecessary bit of patting rock on the back with the "Rock Honors" telecast, honoring Queen, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, and KISS. The feted groups were paid tribute by a younger band covering a song, then came out to play themselves. Pretty standard format for this sort of show.
When I saw the ads for the show in the days leading up to it, the other bands mentioned as playing the show were Foo Fighters (okay, Dave Grohl has credibility) and... the All-American Rejects. (The other bands, Godsmack, and an all-star amalgamation, apparently didn't prove worthy in the eyes of the marketing department.) A show celebrating bands that cranked up the volume, and somehow these pop-punky pups were included.
Having now watched the festivities, I can state: The Foos did well playing Queen (and playing with Queen); Godsmack did a decent job with Priest's ouvre; the star combination of Rob Zombie, Tommy Lee, Slash, Scott Ian, and Gilby Clark had more-than-sufficient chops to pull off KISS. And the AAR's... well, I suppose they didn't completely embarrass themselves chewing on Leppard's "Photograph".
One of these things is not like the others...
Then it occurred to me: If the hard rock community can accept and honor bands with gay lead singers (Queen and Judas Priest), with pretty boys and self-described "poofta rock" (Def Leppard), and who wore makeup and platform shoes (KISS--like you didn't know), then I suppose there's room for everyone.
And frankly, from the standpoint of never having a stronger opening act, Leppard may have been the only band of the honorees who was way better than the band who preceded them. I doubt the lads from Sheffield had anything to do with choosing AAR's, but that's about the nicest thing the event organizers inadvertantly did for any of the headliners.
Or was the point to highlight that these erstwhile champions, metal gods, and gods of thunder were living off their former glory?
Eh, like we all aren't doing that...