The OC Music Awards announced the finalists for the 2014 Best Live Band competition. After seven weeks of Tuesday night concerts, it's about time we get down to the nitty gritty. So who are we going to see in the final round at the Observatory on February 25? Find out now!
This year's finalists for the OCMA Best Live Band Competition Are:
Well Hung Heart
Beneath the Buried
Solution (Fan Vote)
This year's rock heavy lineup was chosen by a point system, as each round of the competition progressed, bands were given a score by panel of "music industry professionals" (including yours truly) to determine the outcome. The panel also included Kyle Parsons of Fearless Records, Nadia Betkouchar of CBS Radio, and Tazy Phyllypz of Ska Parade. Judges scored the bands on musicianship, originality, song composition, stage presence, audience participation and attendance.
While it's a bit surprising that no bands from the OCMA's big opening night at the Yost made the cut, including last year's finalists Jeramiah Red, having some new blood in the finals can't be a bad thing. The public was able to visit ocmusicawards.com and cast their Popchips Fun Fan Vote to automatically send one Showcase Series artist on to the Finals regardless of the judges' scores. Reggae outfit Solution earned this spot for the second year in a row, thanks to fans who seem to refuse to let the band be denied. Perhaps the band can share some of the $500 cash or their newly acquired year's supply of Pop Chips–the prize for winning the slot.
Each of the five Showcase Series finalists will receive an Ernie Ball Tour Pack filled with strings and accessories. The winner of the Best Live Band category will receive a four-day recording session at Red Bull Studios, $500 gift certificate from Guitar Center, $500 cash courtesy of Audiofly, an Ernie Ball Full Endorsement, custom Music Man instruments for each string player in the band, a song on the 2014 Vans Warped Tour compilation album, and the category title. The winner of Best Live Band will be announced on stage at the 2014 OC Music Awards celebration Saturday, March 8 at City National Grove of Anaheim.
The online voting for the People's Choice Award category closed on Saturday, February 15 at midnight. Thousands of votes were cast to determine the five nominees. The nominees in the category will be announced at the Best Live Band Finals on February 25 at The Observatory, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The winner of the category will be determined via text voting at the March 8 Awards celebration at City National Grove of Anaheim.
Nate Jackson is the gatekeeper to your dreams of local dive bar stardom. If he writes about you, expect your band to be offered at least one more drink ticket than the rest of the bands on the bill. Get his attention with some groovy tunes and he might just do it. Then, boy will you feel special.