Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rockstar Bar Battle Of The Bands Finals Preview!!

TOMORROW NIGHT marks the conclusion of an event unlike any in Sault Ontario in recent years, as the final round of The Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands is upon us! As brought to you by The Rockstar Bar, Case's Music, The Rad Zone, and The Sault Metal Scene, you hopefully know by now that 9 bands have gathered at The Rockstar Bar over the past three Wednesdays to compete for slots in tomorrow's finals, and after the eliminations of four bands & some wild card uncertainty, the five highest scoring bands will return for tomorrow's finals, where the winners will receive $1,000, recording time at Case's Music, a guaranteed opening slot at one of co-promoter J.D. Pearce's upcoming concerts, and perhaps more! While the judges (Jay Case, Len Ward, and myself) have completely agreed each night on the bands' placement, there's no guarantees of tomorrow's competition being so clear cut, and I'm expecting some very close calls in the finals from tomorrow's 5 bands, who spread across a wide array of genres! We have death metal, hair metal, hard rock, grunge, and indie rock in play, so there's bound to be something for fans of every genre, but which band will claim victory and make an even bigger local name for themselves come tomorrow?

As in the past three weeks, I will NOT be critiquing or reviewing the finalist bands in our previews, nor will I be making any predictions, as to remain fair & impartial given my judging role. Again, I'll just hype the event for fans and prospective attendees, so you can hopefully attend and support the finalist bands! Now, which bands will be competing for all the marbles tomorrow? Here's information on each, in alphabetical order!

The Bear Hunters: After defeating Giwakwa & Sykotyk Rampage last week, this prominent local death metal quintet stamped the last ticket for the finals, ensuring an improvement on their finish at last year's Humane Society Battle, but can their melodic brutality & loyal fanbase carry them to victory tomorrow night? Note that a win will give rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney his fourth battle win in just over 4 years, counting his 2009-2010 battle success with Bring The Fallen, but will The Bear Hunters achieve similar results this year?

Haggith: Despite falling short against Late & Loud on April 3rd, Haggith never gave up the wild card slot in full, and now they have a second chance to make a huge impression in their first local battle of the bands tomorrow evening! With their third studio album "Deuce" nearing a release, can Haggith improve on their strong runner-up finish from three weeks ago with their diverse grunge & alternative rock attack for what could very well be their biggest live concert appearance yet?

Late & Loud: With a victory over Haggith and Sarah's Valley three weeks ago, this popular classic metal quartet will get a chance to essentially defend their title from last year's Humane Society Battle, in what will likely be their last concert before singer/guitarist Jonathan Tiberi moves out of town. Can Late & Loud's energetic classic sounds carry them to an even more decisive battle victory the second time around, to send Jon (and perhaps the band?!) out on a high note come tomorrow night?

The Pesto Shirts: Though this talented indie/jazz quartet lost to The Suicide Kings on April 10th, their score tied Haggith for the wild card, and now they're back for a second chance against the other top bands this year! While they're clearly the softest of tomorrow's finalists, their talented and diverse originals and covers can't be denied tomorrow, but can The Pesto Shirts outperform their semifinal round set, and give guitarist Steve Myers his first local battle win since the Skid Row Battle with Sense of Truth in 2008?

The Suicide Kings: This newer hard rock quartet qualified for tomorrow's finals by defeating The Pesto Shirts & The Northern Tragedy two weeks ago in their first battle of the bands appearance, but will their prolific & widely seen alternative/hard rock originals and covers carry them to victory tomorrow night? Also, bassist Mitch Sirie is pulling double duty tomorrow as The Bear Hunters' lead guitarist, but will that have any bearing on either band's efforts and sounds in the final round?

It's also worth mentioning that aside from the obvious wild card/first place rematches tomorrow, there will also be a minor rematch from last year's Humane Society Battle, as Late & Loud defeated The Bear Hunters at that event, albeit by closer scores than their placements would indicate. Will similar results happen tomorrow, or have things changed since last year? Tomorrow's winning band will claim the aforementioned announced prizes, with possibly others to be announced, and while nothing official's out concerning runner-up prizes, I'd have to assume at least the top 3 bands will be revealed tomorrow night. A 10:00 PM start time is advertised, admission will cost $10 (well worth it for bands of this quality, and given the final round nature of it all), and a 19+ age limit remains in effect. For more information, visit the official Facebook event page! The semifinals were all fantastic, but now, we've have the 5 highest scoring bands battling for bragging rights and big prizes, so who'll claim first place in the final round?

Will The Bear Hunters shoot their way to their first battle victory? Can Haggith make a huge impression (despite their wild card status) with a first place performance? Will Late & Loud win their second straight battle before Jon moves out of town? Can The Pesto Shirts upend their heavier competitors and transition from wild card to winners? And will The Suicide Kings claim the top prize in their first battle appearance tomorrow? This will be a huge event, so I hope to see you guys at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT for the finals, and for all 20 performers tomorrow, I want to see you all at your best! Leave it all on the stage, impress us and leave the fans begging for an encore, prove that you deserve first place! For a preview, here's each band's first song from the battle semifinals earlier this month (this time in chronological order), and stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow before or during the finals! Thanks everyone, and may the best band win!

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