by Josh Bis
on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM
Dave B, Your 2013 Sound Off King
On Saturday night, the EMP's annual battle-of-the-underage-bands concluded by crowning Renton's own Dave B as the 2013 Sound Off champion. A wild card pick, his hiphop stylings won the judges affections over the three semi-finalists: electro-glam the Fame Riot (Tacoma), post-rock SHEBEAR (Puyallup), and introspective indie As It Starts (Bothell).
Rather than a Hunger Games style bloodbath, the competition was mostly a positive vibrations celebration of local talent. The final result came as something of a surprise, leaving the excessively vocal—and raucously moshy—Shebear and Fame Riot fans quietly stunned, but as of this report it seems that no one burned the venue to the ground in protest. Perhaps this is because all of the bands left with some solid prize packagess including gear, studio time, and industry consultations, and high profile performance spots—plus Dave B gets a spot at Bumbershoot, Seabear won a place on Anacortes-based Catapult lineup—and because some of the the competition's most successful alumni haven't necessarily been the ones who claimed the top prize. That, and the fact that most of the bands already seem to have established themselves with EPs, iTunes releases, piles of merch, and dedicated fanbases. Still, as a fan of televised singing competitions—just how great has Nicki Minaj been so far as an Idol Judge this season?—I would've loved to hear what the panel of experts had to say about each band if for no other reason than to hear the endlessly quotable John Roderick drop some witty critiques on the young contenders.