The International House of Blues Foundation hosted their annual Action for the Arts Bringin’ Down the House competition last night. Eleven promising high school bands took over House of Blues’ largest stage to compete for a $500 Guitar Center gift card, 10 hours of studio time at Crystal Clear Studios, and some serious street cred. Dallas producer Picnictyme played MC for the evening, introducing the acts and judges like Marjorie Owens of Pours le Corps Records and 35 Denton booking agent Matt Goodman.
Molina Garage Band
The 11 bands selected to compete ranged from soulful and punk to full on rock and roll. Molina Garage Band kicked off the night with covers of Phoenix’s “1901” and Grace Potter and the Nocturnal’s “Paris (Ooh La La)” followed by Stowaway, who sounded exactly like Paramore and embraced that fact by performing two of Paramore’s biggest hits. Groups performed a mix of original songs and covers to woo the audience.
What became glaringly obvious as the night progressed is that the pros know how to make it look easy. They fade from song to song effortlessly and have the charisma to fill the gaps. Last night’s Battle of the Bands was very much a sink or swim situation. Some bands couldn’t quite hang while some bands made House of Blues’ main stage their own, like The Oscillators, whose funk take on rock and roll took home first prize and will continue onto the national competition. But as with everything in life, practice makes perfect. The point of the evening was not to recreate the X Factor, but to give young, promising artists the opportunity to perform on a legendary stage.