[OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 7 Breaks Off, People Get Down At The Slidebar
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicked off on January 4th with seven weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band or Best Live Acoustic and a performance slot at the 2011 OC Music Awards, March 5 at the Grove of Anaheim.
It was the last day to vote for the OC Music Awards and, sadly, the last showcase before the Showcase Series Finals which take place next week. While Fiction Reform, We Are The Arsenal, Sederra, BLOK, and Echo Echo rocked Slidebar, it was bittersweet knowing that we were almost to the end of this musical adventure, where we made new friends, heard some amazing up-and-coming bands and consumed enough popchips, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, and $2 Bud Light on draft to last us a lifetime.
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Echo Echo [/lastfm]played first to a not-so-shockingly mixed crowd of diverse ages, albeit mostly women and diehards chanting every lyric perfectly. While the audience wasn’t as big as it would get later, Echo Echo was a fan favorite, garnering compliments and comments for the rest of the night. They are band impossible not to like with tight instrumentation, sweeping choruses, performative maturity, and Steve Carson’s talented vocalizations.
Later in the night, a few people asked me if Echo Echo was signed, because they “sound like a major label band” i.e. polished and precise without lacking stage presence. Echo Echo definitely has a lot of talent that they should probably capitalize on more.
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sederra[/lastfm] got added to the bill last-minute after Ray, the lead singer of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Stereofix[/lastfm], tragically came down with laryngitis. One would never know that Sederra was a last-minute addition. They were super-high energy raw, punk-infused rock ‘n roll. At one point, I thought the lead singer was going to jump off the stage and tackle me to the ground.
With an undeniably captivating stage show, Sederra’s impromptu addition to the Best Live Band category was quite àpropos for a band with such a dynamism and prowess as performers.
With their self-acclaimed mix of punk rock professionalism and “[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Motley Crue[/lastfm]” attitudes towards life, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Fiction Reform[/lastfm] were expected to be on top of their game. And they didn’t disappoint. Lead singer, Brenna Red, has star power seeping from her punkish pores.
Fiction Reform is a band to watch out for. They have mass market appeal without giving up on their humble rock roots and that is something fans can admire and respect.
One of the most whispered about bands of the night, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]We Are The Arsenal[/lastfm] had the girls in the line for the restroom abuzz with newly-minted crushes. While their personalities are amicable and unassuming while off stage, on stage the We Are The Arsenal boys are powerful, passionate performers. At one point, I heard a girl say to her friend, “Wow, knowing him in person, I didn’t realize that he could do that. That he would be so good.”
Part of the beauty of We Are The Arsenal and their music is that both surprise you with their raw skill and effortless talent. This is another band with mass market appeal, which could easily fit into many musical formats without giving up their integrity.
The favorite of the night, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]BLOK [/lastfm]impressed with the sheer dynamism of their performance. Even if you don’t know what BLOK are ferally screeching into the microphone or you can’t wrap your head around what genre they fit into, BLOK will make you stand mouth agape and probably unconsciously dancing.
BLOK is atypical and within that uniqueness there is a kind of artistic and musical beauty that makes a band huge and providing a powerful, masterful source of inspiration for their audience.
BLOK is that band. The world might not necessarily understand them, but their many faithful fans do.
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Echo Echo[/lastfm]-“Good Morning”
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]BLOK[/lastfm]-“Jungle Dog Fang Hell”
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]We Are The Arsena[/lastfm]l-“So Long”
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Fiction Reform[/lastfm]-“Small Silhouette”
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sederra[/lastfm]-“Fly To The Sun”
The 2011 Showcase Series ran every Tuesday night, January 4 -February 15 with stops at:
Jan 4 – Detroit Bar
Jan 11 – The District at Tustin Legacy
Jan 18 – The Gyspy Lounge
Jan 25 – The LAB
Feb 1 – Tiki Bar
Feb 8 – The Gyspy Den of Santa Ana
Feb 15 – The Slide Bar
Five Showcase Series finalists in each live category will then move on to the Showcase Series Finals.
Feb 24 – Best Live Acoustic Finals, Fullerton Museum
Feb 25 – Best Live band Finals, The Galaxy
2011 Best Live Band winner will receive a performance slot on the four Southern Califonia Vans Warped Tour stops!
Night Seven of the OC Music Awards Showcase Series featured nominees for Best Live Band on Tuesday, February 15th at the The Slide Bar.
READ MORE INTERVIEWS ON KROQ.COM FROM SHOWCASE NIGHT 6 BANDS:
Friday, February 11th- Fiction Reform
Saturday, February 12th-We Are The Arsenal
Sunday, February 13th-Stereofix
Tuesday, February 15th-Echo Echo
You have the power to send one Showcase artist to the Best Live Acoustic Finals and Best Live Band Finals.
Cast your vote and enter to win a massive prize pack from the OC Music Awards partners (To be Announced). Voting will begin on December 27 and will be open through the last Showcase on February 15. The votes will be tallied and the band with highest score will automatically move on to their Series Finals! Click here to vote
LEARN MORE AT: OCMUSICAWARDS.COM