Nice call, too, having them do two-song sets — a cover followed by an original tune, which should be a nice test to see how their own stuff holds up against established classics. Would it? Glad you asked …
Dilana: The taped bit at the top of the show hinted at her trying a different arrangement for The Who’s "Behind Blue Eyes," but I guess she scrapped that thought, ’cause the cover is almost note-for-note faithful. There’s a nice tone to her voice in the quieter sections of the song, but it’s unspectacular. Her original, "Supersoul," is a little too on-the-nose about her recent struggles (thanks for pointing that out, Gilby), but she performs the heck out of it despite a pulled calf muscle. Points for that. Still, the wounded-girl routine (emotionally, that is, not physically) is getting a bit tired.
Magni: His cover of "Back in the USSR" is another solid, strong, Magni-like cover. He brings a little more to his original, "When the Time Comes," and briefly looks as if he’s channeling Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett onstage, but the song turns out to be less edgy than it sounded at first blush, which Tommy and Gilby both seem to think as well. Magni has done little you could call wrong over the course of the season, but on the other hand he’s yet to really blow it out. He kinda needs to if he wants to win.
Storm: I haven’t understood the lack of Storm love in recent weeks, the fact that she doesn’t seem a good fit for Supernova aside. And with her hat and long black coat as she sang "Suffragette City," I was afraid we would get Cabaret Storm again, and that would be that, even with Dave Navarro playing on the song. Fortunately, though, she and Dave are fantastic together (love the "Oh David" and her nudging his guitar neck with her foot), and her original, "Ladylike," is miles above just about all the originals we’ve heard so far this season. If she’s not around for the finale, someone needs to launch an investigation.
Lukas: Interesting read on "Livin’ on a Prayer," all stripped down and hushed. It’s probably what he needed to do, too, because Lukas trying to do a straight-ahead Bon Jovi cover would be just ridiculous. I think I would’ve liked his original, "Headspin," if he hadn’t told us the song was about his mom, but that said, it sounded a lot like something you might hear on the radio. Take that how you will, but for this show and this band, it’s probably a good thing.
Toby: Maybe it’s because I rather like the original, but I didn’t love his take on "Mr. Brightside." It almost felt like he was just trying to keep up with the cadence of the lyrics rather than really sing it. Toby more than made up for that with his original, "Throw It Away," which in terms of songcraft was a strong second to Storm’s tune and easily got the crowd going better than anyone tonight, maybe all season. Normally I’m not one to warm to guys like Toby, but the dude is growing on me, and after that performance I don’t have any trouble at all seeing him in front of Supernova.