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At Xtreme Wheels, a Force to be reckoned with

Out of the many shows that always seem to pop up in October, I don't see one that's going to top Family Force 5's performance Friday at Xtreme Wheels. Not because they had the most amazing opening acts or the best stage effects, it's because they had a stage presence like no other.

The combination of five highly energetic, extremely talented guys, sporting a set of guitars, bass and drums made to produce perfect rock and techno beats worthy of continuous dancing, never looked so good.

The first band to open the show, Ultraviolet, was a letdown. In playing a sound overproduced and mostly unoriginal, this band's blend of techno and vocals isn't anything special.

It was a good thing that Danger Radio came out next to save the tons of kids from walking out. This Seattle band mainly focused on their July debut "Used & Abused," only going back to their "Punch Your Lights Out" EP to play the popular single "Party Foul" that opened their set. Usually one focuses in on the bouncy lead singer Andre De Torres, but lead guitarist Elan Wright definitely had equal attention. Songs like "Slow Dance with a Stranger", "Broken Man" and "Kiss 'N' Tell" were favorites of the night and great examples of how the band successfully combines jazz, rock, techno, funk, etc to create an original sound that can only be labeled "Danger Radio."

The second misfortune of the night was PlayRadioPlay. Guitarist and vocalist Dan Hunter was overdramatic and the awkward fast pace moving around his microphone was a little too much to hold the audience's attention, let alone allow anyone to focus on the music and lyrics. He has such a nice voice, if he just toned down the movements, he would be a much better performer.

Family Force 5 was undoubtedly the best act of the night. Even if you didn't come for Family Force 5, you left a fan. Their music is irresistible. Despite a temporary equipment malfunction in the beginning of their hourlong set, the band continued without a problem, performing songs like "Luv Addict", "Fever" and "Get Your Back Off the Wall" and "Put Your Hands Up."

Vocalist/guitarist Soul Glow Activatur, bassist Fatty, drummer/ vocalist Crouton, keyboardist Nadaddy, and guitarist Chap Stique -- and yes they are really known by these names -- had great energy, were highly talented, and had the best stage presence I've ever seen. With music that can stand for itself, Family Force 5 is definitely a band worth seeing again and again. The end of their set caused the crowd to shout in unison for "one more song," prompting the band to come back onstage to perform three more songs that included "Earthquake" at the very end. Check out Family Force 5 at www.myspace.com/familyforce5.

Marli-Lee McGarrah is a senior at Buffalo Seminary.

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