RB3 DLC: Stand Back!

I HAVEN’T PLAYED MUCH Rock Band 3 lately, but I broke out the plastic guitars and keyboard to check out this week’s Stevie Nicks 6-pack, a combination of solo hits and songs from her Fleetwood Mac days, including “Edge of Seventeen” and “Rhiannon.” “Stand Back” may be one of the most fun songs yet released on Expert Pro Keys, as it’s loaded with chord changes but doesn’t require a week in practice mode to figure out. I’m currently stuck in 3rd, thanks to a few annoying phrases at the end that I can’t quite nail down.

In addition, I also picked up the recent Billy Joel Challenge pack, and was reminded once again how both fun and frustrating the keyboards can be. Once you’ve figured out what you’re supposed to be playing, the keyboards are a blast. But figuring out a chart with lots of subtle chord changes is a disaster, thanks to the game’s weird notation and atrocious practice mode. There’s no way to simply pause a chart and match up the notes chord-by-chord, so a song with 1200 notes with subtle changes from one phrase to the next might take hours just to decipher the chart (let alone play it correctly). It’s frustrating to know that I can play Angry Young Man and Scenes from an Italian Restaurant on a real piano, but learning how to play Rock Band 3‘s 2-octave versions is like learning them from scratch with notes written in hieroglyphics.

Meanwhile, next week’s DLC will bring Tommy Tutone’s 80s classic, 867-5309 (Jenny). It’s apparently a 2010 re-recording, but if the sample on Amazon.com is to be believed, it might just be a cleanup of the old masters, not a cheesy remake lacking the soul of the original. I’ve yet to try RB3‘s Pro Guitar mode on either the fake Mustang on the real Squier, but if Harmonix keeps releasing fun guitar songs like this, I might soon break down and give it a shot.