The Performant: Love bites


Celebrating romance with power ballads, Spandex leggings, fancy panties

Although there are about 364 days of the year when I can do without it—one day of the year seems custom-made to celebrate the ignoble rise of hair metal and its greatest contribution to the musical landscape -- the power ballad. From “Love Bites” to “Is This Love,” “(I Can’t Live Without) Your Love and Affection,” to “The Power of Love” -- all the saccharine sentiment of brooding, pouty millionaires in ripped jeans, tight leather, and all those glorious manes -- power ballads can and probably should form the soundtrack to Saint Valentine’s Day now and forever. They so perfectly tap into both the cynicism of the single person facing “the dread VD” alone, as well as offering a soaring guitar-solo boost to the cuddly nostalgia of the happily coupled.

While innamorati for hundreds of years have used February 14 as a date to shower their beloved in flowers and cards, Jeff Ross and the SF IndieFest team have used it as another excuse to party, with an annual Power Ballad Sing-along at the Roxie Theatre. Just three years after its San Francisco debut (a similar party tears it up each year in Brooklyn), PBS pours its sugar and motors through the packed house, screening subtitled MTV videos turned up to 11 of all the best bands you’d love to forget to a theatre full of eager inebriates, cutting loose in a veritable bacchanalia of communal song.

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