For a second year in a row, The Winter Rock Formal brought out a sharp-dressed crowd and turned a cold night in Boston into a rockingly elegant affair. The night began with a brand new game show. Where The Dating Game served as last year’s spoof, it was The Newlywed Game that served up the awkwardness with a Boston rock twist in the form of the “Bandlywed” Game, hosted by Brendan Boogie.
Another hit from last year that again made The Formal a signature event was the Prom Fabulous Photo Booth. Combining the vibrant photography of Rachel Leah Blumenthal with the talented set design of Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola, the booth is comprised of a balloon-festooned trellis that captures the colorful, fun tackiness of a high school prom. As the night progressed and the inhibitions slowly gave way to cocktails, guests lined up to ham it up in the booth resulting in an album with hundreds of wonderful shots. See them all here!
The night also gave us the debut of Broken Wings, featuring Sarah Rabdau and Peter Moore in character as the secret authors of all your favorite hits from the 1980s. Eddie Japan then brought their suave brand of rock to the stage, proving they were made for classy events like The Formal.
Parlour Bells used the evening as an opportunity to showcase a brand new song, “You Don’t Wear That Dress, The Dress Wears You,” adding the smooth saxophone stylings of Joel Edinberg to their sound for the track.
Returning to headline the second year were Gene Dante & the Future Starlets, who delivered their electrified rock theatrics and were reunited with Sophia Cacciola (Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library) for a head-turning duet of the band’s anatomical anthem “C-Star.” And speaking of duets–it may have been the moment that Gene Dante joined Parlour Bells for a momentous cover of the Queen classic “Under Pressure” that left people buzzing long after the show ended.
With two Formals on the books, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s no longer just an event. It’s a thing.