Friday February 24th marked the beginning of the Battle of the Bands at Bailey’s in Yucaipa, a Steve Wilson/BellaKay Productions event.
It was an epic battle as three very talented bands fought to advance to the next battle and ultimately the championship. As there can only be one winner per battle, the judges, including myself, had a very difficult choice to make. Each band performed their set with passion, energy, and skill – not one band had a “weak” link. Casualty of Sinz ultimately came out on top for one important reason. This reason – pay attention all battling bands and all bands who want to get booked and eventually paid – was because they brought the biggest crowd.
The IE is blessed with lots of great bands but is cursed with too few venues. Musicianship and writing talent is essential for all bands, but that doesn’t pay the bills for the venue, or the promoter’s (if one or more is involved). For all the bands that performed last Friday at Bailey’s, this is not a shot at any of you because all three bands impressed the judges.
I’ve owned my own venue in the past and I’ve dealt with countless bands in many States. The IE is no different than any other place in the U.S. in the sense that every bar/venue owner and/or Promoter is looking at their bottom line when they are looking at you. Most of the time they are not even looking at you…they are looking at the crowd, or lack of crowd, that you brought to the show. I’m not saying any of this because you (if you’re in a band) doesn’t already know this. I’m saying it because most of the time bands are striving to be their best but don’t have time, forget, or overlook the most important part of their future success – bringing a crowd.
I’m off my soap box now and now I’ll get back to the show…
First up was The Armiger from Chino Hills, a self described “Alternative Metal” band. Very tight performance, great writing, and great delivery. After watching and hearing their performance I can understand why they’ve been playing lots of SoCal’s best and biggest venues. Even though they did not win the evening, they earned a “Wild Card” giving them another chance to stay in the competition. They are definately on my radar and I expect they will go far if they stay hungry and continue on their current path.
Second on the battlefield was San Bernardino’s own, and winner for the evening, Casualty of Sinz. This is a down and dirty Heavy Metal band reminding of Metallica when Cliff Burton was alive and Lars wasn’t battling Napster (I cleaned that up from what I want to say). Talented and perfectly roughly polished sums up their style and performance. I also credit them for their many shout outs promoting a good time to be had by all, local music, local venues, and thanking their fans – some who had made the trek from the OC. If you weren’t having a good time while they were on stage you probably had a stick up your arse.
Lastly on the bill was Riverside’s Hour:11. “Pro” was my first impression. Everything about them and their performance was top notch and they are another band who has made it on my radar. Their sound was a mix of Dream Theater, Sevendust, and a little bit of Testament thrown in. Hard and heavy but smooth in its execution while implementing a powerful and aggressive delivery. Like The Armiger, they earned a “Wild Card” from the judges because they are badass mo’ fo’s we all want to see again.
The next battle comences Friday March 2nd. The first band on the battlefield at 9 PM is Thirty 3 Threes, followed by Gallium at 10 PM, and Burt Wrenyolds Mustache at 11 PM. The show is ages 18+ and Free to attend (and for all bands to play). Lastly, to all the bands competing, your set will be reviewed, photographed, and written about in this and other publications – so bring your “A+” game…and all your fans!
Written by: Wes (Rockwell) Anderson
Photography by: Rockwell Anderson Media (Wes & Melissa Anderson)
“A Film & Photography Tradition Since 1907”