Saturday was the QC Rock Academy 5th Annual Battle of the Bands at Rascals Live.  I knew it was going to a crazy night because there wasn't a parking spot for several blocks! The place was packed with fans of all ages.  Confused babies with ear plugs and proud grandmothers with ear plugs also looking a bit confused.

These kids are amazing! They ALL should be so proud of what they've accomplished and I, for one, will be following their musical journeys beyond QCRA.  I know for a fact you will be seeing these faces playing on stages small & large for a very long time.  There's a lot of passion going on here & pride all around.

Been There Done That won a recording session at Skylark Studios, but no one went home a loser.  Everyone gained an experience of a lifetime.  I guarantee, these kids will look back fondly at this experience forever. Sure, they'll remember their high school band recital, chorus competition or their team making it to the playoffs.

But there is NOTHING like playing rock & roll on a stage to a couple hundred adoring friends, family & fans.

This is life changing.

Where was Greg Hipskind when I was 13 years old?

While I judged, I took some notes.  They might be a little disjointed, so my apologies. I really had a great time watching these young superstars!

Show Notes:

Lotta sass on that stage!  Great presence. Total rock stars!

Real tight feel to their songs. Drummer is got a great metronome! Does some interesting beats.

Killer SG guitar! Please tell me that's not her 1st guitar because I'll be mad at my parents.

Great vocals!  Emotional!

Original song: Great arrangement. Hook doesn't have the lift it should after the emotional verses but pre-chorus is perfect.

Being the 1st band sucks because I can’t give perfect scores for fear future bands will need it…but man, they are good!

Motley Crue?!?!? Expected coach to rip the solo.  SG girl BLEW IT OUT OF THE WATER!!!  Earned that guitar tonight!

Show Notes:

Great front man!  Nice emotion! Great growl & melody combo!

Great crowd interaction!!! Drummer….Singing and slamming!  Way to go!

Great segue between songs.  Don’t give the crowd a chance to catch their breath!

Drummer is kicking ***!! Dual lead??!?!??  GREAT!

Great original song! Cool riff. Low key chorus. Deftones-ish? Nice solo!!!


Show Notes:

Behind the head guitar!!! Great showmanship!


Great lead guitar!!! Very comfortable! Effortless!

More confidence on the mic!  Get on it! Let the sound guy control volume. You’ve got great vocals…don’t be afraid to push it out there!

Strong bass with Cranberries!

Guy guitarist is a great performer!!

A year from now, with more confidence, this band is going to win!

Show Notes:

A nice surprise duel guitar solo!! Great idea putting the guitar on half way through.  Great showmanship!

Twisted sister! Very nice!

Original: great riff! I guarantee no one else took notice of the lead singer asking the sound guy to raise her VOX in the monitors.  That's huge! Someone her age to take charge of the stage that way shows she is beyond her years.

Verse sounded like chorus. Very catchy.

Don’t be afraid to throw more emotion into the vocals.  The chops are there.  Once the vulnerability shows through you’ll connect with the audience even more and this band will win!

Skid Row Youth Gone Wild was perfect!

Bribing the crowd with Tshirt's…smart!!

Jungle…best song of night! Period! Dynamic guitarist ruling! Drummer rules the cowbell! Best stage presence of the night during this one.


Show Notes:

AC/DC 1st! Smart!  The place just exploded! Pretty sure they just won!

Guitarist rules!

Drummer kicks a**!

Did I mention the guitarist?

Mississippi queen very cool!  Great song and you all sounded amazing!

Original had some nice emotion.  Vocalist is a rock star!  Very cool and confident on stage!

These guys had fun and THAT was the defining quality. Fun is contagious. This band had the place rocking & smiling the whole time!


Honorable mention: There were a few performances before the actual "Battle of the Bands" that did a great job!  My favorite of the night was the ukulele player.  Very cool!! I'd love to see her get a couple other players with her and compete next year. Fiddle anyone? Banjo?

It was great fun to "judge" with my friends Goose & Leo Kelly.  Leo decided to judge everyone...not just the bands, the crowd, the bartenders and of course, the judge.


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