Hard Rock Rising down to final four on Thursday
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • March 20, 2013 @ 11:28am
A different kind of March Madness will rumble on Thursday, as four finalists in the Hard Rock Rising Niagara Falls Battle of the Bands will go square-off to determine Western New York’s representative in the Global Battle of the Bands.
Defending local champion Whiskey Reverb will be joined by Handsome Jack, High Horse, and Randle and the Late Night Scandals in a four-pronged showdown at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Cafe, 333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls. All four won their semifinal heats in the last month, but one winner will be crowned after Thursday. It’s free for spectators to attend, and there will be drink specials, which is awesome.
Distinguished locals James Kurdziel, Bob Silvestri, Rich Sargent, Tim O’Shei, Justin Rose, Paul Varga, Joey Nicastro, and Eddie Tice are the judges for the final round tomorrow night.
The Western New York winner will then compete against 95 other Hard Rock Cafes from around the world, and a fan voting through Facebook will narrow the field down to 25. Then, a panel of celebrity judges will choose one overall winner from the final 25.
The champion will tour six major cities—including the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London, England—as well as record an album through Hard Rock’s label, be supplied with new equipment and gear valued at $10,000. Think the odds are stacked against a small Western New York band reaching the stage in London? Three years ago, local band More Than Me won every round and performed with Pearl Jam, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. That’s pretty epic.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each finalist as well as a YouTube video or Soundcloud clip (pending availability):
Handsome Jack: A four-piece from Lockport that specializes in “melodic, down-home” music. Find more about them on Facebook.
High Horse: A five-piece from Western New York that’s led by vocalist Pete Vogt. Find more about them on Facebook.
Randle and the Late Night Scandals: A five-piece dirty blues band from Buffalo. Find more about them on Facebook.