When Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino booked three Philadelphia bands to play Super Beach Poolside Party during Super Bowl weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles hadn't yet made it to the big game. "Eagles fans have been through so much disappointment," says Jeff Tomrell, multi-instrumentalist for the band Go Go Gadjet. "This year, we lost so many players to injury. When our quarterback [Carson Wentz] went down, we all thought, Here's the Eagles' luck again. But amazingly, we are in the Super Bowl again in a rematch against the Patriots."
So though he and his bandmates, along with Kristen & the Noise and Lost in Paris, have a tinge of regret that they can't watch the game in downtown Philly with their fellow Eagles diehards, Tomrell says no one should cry for them. "You're asking me if I'm upset to leave Philadelphia, where it's 25 degrees, to see you guys [in South Florida], where it's 75 degrees?"
Super Beach Poolside Party will be the three cover bands' first opportunity to play in South Florida, and each brings its own repertoire. Kristen & the Noise, whose lead singer parades the stage like a prize fighter, specializes in classic rock, and Lost in Paris puts its own spin on R&B and hip-hop hits. Tomrell's band scours the Billboard pop charts for songs to which it can add a dance beat or two.
Go Go Gadjet formed 13 years ago when Tomrell and some high-school friends began jamming in their hometown an hour west of Philadelphia. "We started out just wanting a way to get free beers," he says. "We've done a few originals, but we wanted to put a unique spin on a cover band. We take the approach of combining traditional sounds with modern dance beats. We also put a lot of work on the visual aspect, with a lot of lighting to elicit an emotional response from the audience."
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The band's website gives listeners a feel for some of the songs Go Go Gadjet might perform at the show, including versions of songs by the world's two most famous Justins: Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling" and Bieber's "Love Yourself." They also play Train's "Drops of Jupiter," where Tomrell breaks out his secret weapon, a baby trumpet. "It looks funny. I used to play a real trumpet, and no one cared. Then I swapped it for a $100 toy trumpet, and everyone gets excited. People go crazy wanting to know what it is." They'll also break out some modernized good-time oldies such as Marvin Gaye's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
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"We capitalize on fun. Whoever's had a rough week at work, or even had a good week, we aim to get them to smile, dance, and have fun," he says. "That's the great thing about collective entertainment. People watch these events together to have fun, whether it's music or sports."
So, does Go Go Gadjet have an official prediction for the Super Bowl? "It will be a close game," Tomrell says, "but the Eagles defense is incredible. [Quarterback Nick] Foles made big plays in the last game. I really hope the Eagles can take it."
Super Beach Poolside Party. 7 p.m. Saturday, February 3, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; seminolehardrockhollywood.com; 954-327-7625. Admission is free.