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Local bands seek opportunity through Hard Rock Rising

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

The days of More Than Me and Whiskey Reverb are behind us—it’s time for a new local band to vie for international renown through the Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands.

The beauty of the competition? The playing field is level, as long as a band is based within 100 miles of the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Cafe and can create an original song—no covers!

From there, let the Cinderella stories, comeback attempts and buzzer-beating upsets—well, okay, there are no buzzers—commence.

Eventually, the grand champion of the Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands will earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Rome, Italy, in summer 2014 to perform at the inaugural Hard Rock Live concert at Piazza del Popolo. The estimated value per band member is $5,500.

The two runners-up receive $10,000 in equipment or a check for the band as a whole, not per member.

We’ve reached stage two of the contest, where an established slate of 85 local bands of all shapes and sizes can urge fans to vote them to local prominence. “Liking” the Hard Rock Cafe’s Facebook page is the first step, then click the Hard Rock Rising tab close to the top of the page.

Here’s the current top-five list as of 11 a.m. on Feb. 11:

**Dirty Smile, rock band from Buffalo, NY
**Ghostfeeder, rock-electronic-alt band from Rochester, NY
**Clark Rabbitt, rock musician from Buffalo, NY
**Gods Illest Joe, hip-hop artist from Buffalo, NY
**Hollywood Sins, rock band from Etobicoke, Ontario

Through Feb. 17, local music aficionados can vote for one—or several—of the competing bands to become a top-ten finalist for the Niagara Falls, NY, location by downloading their track from the Hard Rock Rising Facebook page.

Bear in mind that you can listen to as many tracks as you want—by clicking the play button next to each artist’s name—before submitting your vote through a download. You can only vote for a band once, but you can earn bonus votes by checking in at an official Hard Rock location by scanning a QR code.

If you’re a visual learner, here’s a diagram:

If you want to get super technical—you know, instead of just shouting “this is my jam” to no one in particular without any rationale—you’re encouraged to base your judgments on musicianship (50 percent), voice talent (30 percent) and originality (20 percent).

From Feb. 24 to April 22, the local finalists will engage in a series of live performances at the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Cafe, 333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls, where a panel of local judges will whittle the group down to one champion by evaluating musicianship, voice talent, stage presence, and fan reaction/appeal.

The local champion will then face a similar competition against roughly 100 other local champions from across the globe—where fans vote the bands down to 25 before an illustrious judging panel intervenes.

If you’re interested in the fine print, you can read the rules and regulations for the contest here.

(Header photo is courtesy of Dirty Smile’s Facebook page).

TAGGED: battle of the bands, hard rock cafe, hard rock rising

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