Jan. 11, 2011
The District at Tustin Legacy
Tonight's event showcased five bands competing to move on to the finals for Best Acoustic Band. Performers included Skee and the Motion Detectors, Honeypie, Headshine, Canvas, and Stacy Clark.
Though the event wasn't completely acoustic (several bands had electric keyboards), each was rocking acoustic guitars backed by brushed drums. All musicians displayed intestinal fortitude as they played to a modestly sized crowd in the chilly courtyard outside Bowlmor Lanes at the District in Tustin. At one point, the musicians had light sprinkles to contend with, which made for a less-than-hospitable environment. Two bands in particular led the pack, both led by comely young lasses.
The first accolades of the evening go to Honeypie, led by Trisha Smith. The diminutive songstress' youthful, feminine voice was occasionally belied by the roar of a musical lioness. The band specialize in pop songs that, like the group's silly moniker, skew a tad precious, but there's plenty for them to build on. You can't deny the infectious nature of the hooks they combine with very clever lyrics.
The second honorable mention goes to Canvas, who benefited from the largest crowd of the evening and the most enthusiastic response. Like Honeypie, these guys specialize in making music with pop hookage, but add more elaborate arrangements. The one drawback is their singer sounds slightly reminiscent of Fergie doing her singer/songwriter material. Still, it's a pretty voice that harmonizes well with their keyboardist's.
The expert percussionist for groove-rock duo Headshine, Jeff Maldonado (a personal friend), easily gets the prize for the largest afro seen anywhere in Orange County in the past decade.
As for Skee and the Motion Detectors, the grizzled folkster needs to have a long discussion with his bassist, whose piss-poor performance dragged the whole set down.
Last up was Stacy Clark. What can I say? Her cherubic face and sparkling eyes were easy, but her folky-songstress schtick and lyrics about following one's dreams screamed American Idol-meets-twee-pop aesthetic.
Check out a video recap below: