Tuesday, March 24, 2015

VM Radio Battle Of The Bands Finals Preview!!

The end is coming ever closer for the biggest local battle of the bands of the 2010s so far, as the finals of the VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub take place TOMORROW NIGHT! After three weeks of exciting action featuring 11 talented local rock bands and a quality guest set from The Pixo Control, the field has been narrowed down to the final four (fitting amidst March Madness), with each semifinal's winner and the highest scoring wild card back one last time tomorrow to compete for huge prizes, with numerous individual prizes awaiting bands and band members alike, so we'll known in short order all of this month's lucky winners! Like in past weeks, band order will be randomly determined, and the judges (Tidal Records' Dustin Jones, VM Radio's Rob Speers, and myself) will judge all four bands on numerous categories relating to their musicianship, stage presence, crowd reaction, and professionalism, but the stakes are ever higher, so who will come out on top? Here's some info on the final four bands in alphabetical order!

The Apocalypse Afterparty: In just their second ever announced public concert in the Soo, this local rap/metal/party rock quartet overcame stiff competition from Gnaeus, Mike Haggith & The Din, and Project 421 last week to advance to tomorrow's finals. Teasing an even crazier show built around the same setlist from night #3, can The Apocalypse Afterparty better "songwriter" Paul Stanghetta's two prior runner-up finishes with The Fury by winning this battle?

The Bear Hunters: The winners of 2013's Viva La Battle, five time battle veterans The Bear Hunters defeated Honest Job and Infamous three weeks ago to become the first band to make the finals this time around. Their death & groove metal originals have helped make them arguably the most familiar of this week's finalists, but can they come out on top in a judged battle of the bands for the first time tomorrow, and what kind of surprises might they have in store?

Gnaeus: Despite being the very last band to play in the semifinal rounds, local post-punk/garage wave quartet Gnaeus came within 4 points of winning last week, and earned enough points to claim the coveted wild card slot for tomorrow's finals. Three weeks after winning the fan voted Speak Easy Battle, Gnaeus will also be rematching The Bear Hunters from that same event, but will results repeat themselves in time for Gnaeus to win their second battle of the bands?

Mannapool: After an incredibly close round two weeks ago that saw 1st & 4th place separated by 8.5 points, local progressive rock quartet Mannapool edged out a victory over The Danger Cats, Haggith, and Stereo North to qualify for tomorrow's final round. Despite no recent local battle of the bands experience on their resume, Mannapool have impressed many in the past year, but can their technical rock originals carry them to first place by the end of tomorrow?

As previously announced via the official Facebook event page & this SooToday press release, there are plenty of prizes awaiting the top 3 bands plus in other individual categories, so what can be expected on that front? The first place band will receive $1,000 and more, while other great prizes to be announced await the bands on the podium. Individual prizes will include recording time with Tidal Records for the best original song, a Bomb Energy Drink package for the most energetic band, individual instrument packages from Case's Music for the best guitarist, bassist, and drummer, a brand new microphone from Right Hook Mics for best vocal performance, and a Budweiser Marshall amplifier beer fridge for the fan favourite band, while the most enthusiastic fan will win a $100 Rad Zone gift certificate. These and more will be handed out TOMORROW, with each prize winner also getting a formal certificate for their win (as seen here), so keep this all in mind!

Also, don't discount the possibility of a tie, given what all four bands bring to the table, and that we have seen ties in the final results of local battles before, most recently at The Grand Theatre in 2012. The chances are unlikely, but if we see a deadlock, the tied bands will play for an extra 10 minutes and be re-scored by the judges, so there would be a resolution!

It should also be noted that if The Bear Hunters or Gnaeus win tomorrow's final round, they'll become the first band to win 2 local battles of the bands since Bring The Fallen (who won 3 of 4 entered in 2009 & 2010), but they have very tough competition ahead, and nothing is certain. As this is the final round, admission will be $10 for general attendees ($5 for semifinal competitors that aren't in the finals), but if you already have a $15 pass for the whole month and attended at least two of the semifinals, you've saved money! Like in past weeks, everything will start at 8:00 PM tomorrow, and yes, this is ALL AGES! For all public and current details on the finals, visit the above links! I have been priviliged to take part in this month's battle of the bands, and I can't wait for tomorrow's final round, especially as I have no idea who will win and I'm very curious to find out! Me, Rob, and Dustin have had a blast this month with such quality music, and things will end with a bang, I'm sure!

Will The Apocalypse Afterparty's creativity and stage presence carry them to the top prize? Can The Bear Hunters lock up their second battle of the bands win with their ferocious death metal? Will Gnaeus overcome their wild card placement to claim their second battle victory in three weeks? Or can Mannapool's talented progressive rock originals conquer the competition tomorrow night? We'll find out TOMORROW, but as one last message to all 16 of the finalists: Bring your A-game! Leave it all on the stage, and come ready to rock, impress, and stake your claim! Best of luck to all of you, and may the best band win! Thanks everyone, and we'll see you there!

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