March 30th was a night of unrivaled anticipation for the local music community this year. A packed house full of fans and a who's who of Tulsa musicians showed up, including such local celebrities as Sprout from Screaming Red Mutiny, Brandon Young of Had Enough, Tonya Sayer-Broussard and Steve Forst and even some faces from the bands who played in previous weeks, to see who would walk away as the winner of Billy and Renee's first ever Battle of the Bands. The atmosphere was electric from beginning to end and was honestly one of the most supportive environments we've ever had the pleasure of witnessing within our scene. The four bands that made it to the finale were Breakfast, Nameless Society, Dixie Wrecked and Alterblood. The fans had brought all the bands this far but it was now up to a panel of judges to decide their fates. The panel consisted of local legend Chuk Cooley, Ryan Paquette of Mugen Music, Jason Ford of Skytown, Paulette of Fist of Rage and Nico Nonstop.
From the very beginning the judges knew they would have their work cut out for them as Breakfast took the stage and set the bar that each band would have to follow. Their set was fun and showcased the energy they are capable of bringing to any venue. Their performance was truly inspired and everyone could see that they knew what on the line when they took the stage that night. They made it known that they are a force to look out for on the scene. Following Breakfast, Nameless Society took the stage. Their unique mix of hard rock and rap caught the attention of many of the people who'd yet to hear of them or see them live yet. Of the many times we've had the pleasure of watching them, we can say with all honestly that their finale performance was the tightest and most inspired that we've seen to date. It's been amazing seeing how far these guys have come along so far in such a short amount of time. Dixie Wrecked had to come along and follow these two fantastic sets and they came in with the crazy energy infused antics that propelled them to the finals. With jokes to bring songs in and out, musicians playing musical chairs on instruments and even a serious song in the mix this time, they knew once their set was over it was a performance they could hang their hat on once it was over. And finally, Alterblood had their chance to shine as the band to close it out. And shine they did. They nailed every aspect of what they intended to bring in that night and had patrons on their feet and headbanging along. Their lead singer even got out amongst the crowd and moshed along while singing.
Now as anyone who has read previous articles from us here at We Are Tulsa Music knows, we typically go much deeper in depth in our reviews of the musicians. But we felt in this case, this was one of those be there or you missed out events. And I'm sure we have many people out there who would agree with that sentiment. The performances by all the bands that night were top notch and truly displayed Tulsa's growing and diverse talent pool it's fostering. As judge Jason Ford said, "It was hard judging this competition. Each band had it's own unique style and brought something different to the table." And he's right. No two bands in the finals were in the same genre or brought the same vibe. And that was just one of the many things that made this whole competition such a success is that it brought out the best in all musicians involved and it spotlighted how vibrant our music scene is becoming. It's an ever evolving landscape and the Battle was such a fantastic celebration of how far we've come and where we are headed as a whole. And here at We Are Tulsa Music are ecstatic and ready to cover the future of our great city in this respect.
Without further ado, we will announce the winners if you weren't in attendance. 4th overall was Breakfast, 3rd was Dixie Wrecked, 2nd and winners of a little over $250 was Nameless Society and your grand prize winners of a little over $750 and $500 in recording time was Alterblood. Congratulations to these bands and to all musicians who participated. As we stated in our last article, these may have been the winners but we feel that anyone who came out and put on a show has reason to hold their heads high and give it a go next time. The competition was heavy and we know that everyone who participated has the ability to put on even greater performances next time.
There are a lot of thanks that need to be doled out for this event. First, the fans who made this such a special event. Next, to Billy and Renee's bar for hosting the event. To Dusty Robison who ran sound and did a spectacular job at doing so. Sound engineers never get their due and his involvement in this event goes nearly unrivaled in professionalism and dedication. To all the bartenders who did their duty diligently and kept the brews in front of us all the whole time. To Down in Front Photography for providing the pictures for each round. To all the judges for a fair final round. And to all the bands who made it out and put on a great show each and every round. You're all so special and we thank each and every one of you so very much. From the bottoms of our hearts at We Are Tulsa Music thank you all.
Rock on Tulsa, rock on.