Tuesday, March 3, 2015

VM Radio Battle Of The Bands Preview!! (Night #1)

TOMORROW NIGHT marks night #1 of the VM Radio Battle of the Bands, as 11 local bands will gather at The Canadian Nightclub on each Wednesday in March to battle for lots of cash & prizes! A spiritual sequel to 2013's Rockstar Bar Battle (and the first in Sault Ontario since that fall's Viva La Battle, also at The Canadian), this month's battle will see 3 or 4 bands compete tomorrow and on March 11th & 18th, with each night's winner (and the highest scoring runner up as a wild card) returning to compete in the finals on March 25th. Presented by Tidal Records & VM Radio with local sponsors also including Case's Music, Maxx Graphics, and The Sault Metal Scene, this battle is being promoted by J.D. Pearce, marking the fourth straight local battle that he has helped put on. Tonight and every other night will see bands play 35 minute sets, with a panel of judges scoring them on numerous criteria relating to their originality, musicianship, crowd reaction, and stage presence, similarly to the Rockstar Bar Battle.

The band order will be randomly drawn tomorrow night before bands take the stage. Tomorrow's opening night will only see 3 competing bands, as promoters couldn't secure a full 12 band lineup, but there's still a strong lineup of competitors to take in, as well as a special guest band, so here's some info on tomorrow's competing bands (all playing their first announced set of the year) in alphabetical order!

The Bear Hunters: The most experienced band in this month's field, The Bear Hunters will be competing in their fourth battle of the bands tomorrow night, and are defending their Viva La Battle crown in the process. Their battle results have steadily improved over time, but can these death metal veterans continue their success with another finals run? Note that The Bear Hunters will likely be playing as a quartet due to rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney still living out of town.

Honest Job: This sporadically seen indie/garage rock band will be making their battle of the bands (and Canadian?) debut tomorrow night, which will reportedly also be their debut with new bassist Jared Fridy, now making them a quintet. Also playing their first announced show in over a year, will Honest Job's accordion-infused hybrid sound make a big impression on the judges tomorrow night?

Infamous: Arguably one of this month's wild cards, young local hard rock trio Infamous will be playing just their second announced concert set tomorrow, and first at The Canadian, though they were once scheduled for last fall's cancelled Rock For Dimes Battle. Can Lizzie, Damon, and Anthony make a big splash in their battle debut tomorrow, and what else will we learn?

In lieu of the fourth band, who would have been the now defunct Revolution, fans will see local alternative/grunge trio The Pixo Control rock The Canadian tomorrow night in a special non-competitive set (a'la T-Rex Manning at 2012's Battle for the Blood.) Though not competing in the battle due to being signed with sponsors Tidal Records, this will be a big showcase for the guys, so don't miss their sure-to-be entertaining set tomorrow! Also keep in mind that they too were once scheduled for the axed Rock For Dimes Battle.

These three bands will be battling for one guaranteed finals slot, a potential wild card slot, and lots of cash and prizes, which include $1,000 guaranteed for the winning band, and numerous other prizes for bands in the top three, individual performers, and more, so visit the official Facebook event page and/or this SooToday press release for current prize details! It has also been confirmed that this month's judges will be Dustin Jones from Tidal Records & The Rising Tide, Rob Speers from VM Radio and The Elements, and... myself, marking the third battle that I've had the privilege to be a judge for (and I once again guarantee that I will judge each band fairly on their own merits. I wish all 11 bands the best of luck this month!) Remember, next week's lineup will feature The Danger Cats, Haggith, Mannapool, and Stereo North, while March 18th's semifinal will include The Apocalypse Afterparty, Gnaeus, Mike Haggith & The Din, and Project 421. Admission tomorrow will be $5 unless you already have a $15 ticket pass for the whole month, and yes, this is ALL AGES!

Also, remember that The Bear Hunters and all of March 18th's bands (save for The Apocalypse Afterparty) will be competing in this Thursday's Speak Easy Battle of the Bands, which we'll preview on the site tomorrow. This month's VM Radio Battle is shaping up to be a great event, easily the biggest local battle of the 2010s so far, so stay tuned for updates and our recap of tomorrow's action! Will The Bear Hunters continue their battle success? Can Honest Job put in an honest effort tomorrow night? Or will Infamous claim first place in the battle debut? Find out TOMORROW at 8:00 PM, and I'll see you guys there! Thanks everyone!

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