Raised fists and feral shouts merged toward the rafters as round one of Metromix Jersey Shore and Motor Media's first ever BreakThru Band Competition showcased local talent at its most uncorrupted Thursday (Oct. 8) at the legendary Brighton Bar.
And, after all the votes were tallied, Howell power punks Carpet Ride emerged victorious and will advance to the competition finals in March. Coming in a close second was Ocean Township-based Almost There, who will proceed to the wild card round in February.
"We're extremely stoked about the contest, especially for the finals in March,'' said Carpet Ride bassist/vocalist Tommy Russo. ""We knew going into this that it was going to be a challenge with the talented bands we were up against. The only serious thing about our band is our work ethic; other than that, we're just three kids with a serious case of ADD.''
"When we found out we won, we were driving to the mall. Josh and Andrew (of Carpet Ride) both screamed like 8 year old girls who just found out their girl scout troop won a trip to Disney. I was the only one who kept myself together," Russo added. "This contest was rad because it took the pressure of selling tickets away and let us focus on playing our show. We really owe it to the fans who came out and raged with us. Our fan's support has been the driving force behind us since we started this band.''
Bands were judged in four categories: musicianship, stage presence, audience response and drawing power. It was an epic night in all, as the entire bill -- rounded out by Ripping X-Ray, Bearin' Peace and rapper Jersey Demic -- all put forth finals-worthy performances.
"I support (the competition) because I'm working with a group of people who get it, and they are producing the competition at the best live music venue in New Jersey, The Brighton Bar,'' said Motor Media President, Indian. ""I got involved because I want to be a part of something alternative to the status quo. I'm not here to see how many tickets a band can sell for my gig. I'm here to work with bands that know how to create and nurture their fan base, work hard, are passionate about their music, and are good at what they do.''
I like the format of this competition because it's fair and realistic. The competition is free to attend, so it places emphasis on the music and fans that fuel a band's success. A band only gets the chance to compete when their fans vote them onto The Brighton's stage. Fan support at the show is important, too, as it is in the grand picture of any band's career.''
Round two of the Metromix BreakThru Competition will take place at 8 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Brighton Bar. Bands competing will be Lost In Society, Mad Feather Group, Darogue, the Downrights, the Jersey Syndicate, Devil's Holiday, Los Pocos Locas, Verity in Stereo, The Choices and Our Last Sin.
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