Top of Utah musicians representing area high schools have polished up their instruments, licks and stage acts to take on the competition in the annual Standard-Examiner Battle of the Bands.
The sounds this year range from blues power to math rock, from indie to punk.
This year, the contest will include a mini music expo, courtesy of co-sponsor Music Village of Ogden, with vendors showcasing such goods as new instruments, music software and other items vital to the aspiring rock star.
Attendees can also get the rocker look courtesy of stylists from Ogden's Cherry Bomb Salon. Masterpiece Images photography studio will be on hand to take pictures of fans. The Standard-Examiner will hand out glow sticks to light up the audience, and booths sponsored by such local businesses as Chick-fil-A, Fat Cats and Newgate Mall will also make the scene.
The band winning the most votes will receive a $500 gift certificate to Music Village to beef up its sound. Each member of the winning band will also receive a personal $100 gift certificate to use at Newgate Mall.
Bands can also win big for their school's music department. The group that brings the most fans will get a $500 Music Village certificate to benefit their school.
So be there to cheer on your favorite young band, and make their night and yours.
Who knows? You may very well be able to say you saw them first, before they hit the big time.
High school groups face off at Union Station
And here are the participating bands, as of press time:
High school: Ogden
Members: Dylan Rich, 16, vocals/guitar (West High); Logan Doxy, 16, drums; Harrison Fuller, 16, bass
Style: Alt rock/prog metal
How the band got its name: "I liked the biological connotations of the name," Rich said. "We were just kind of brainstorming names, and it kind of had this vibe to it that was really us."
Why they should win: "We are extraneously unique," said Fuller.
Doxy added: "I think we have come a long way. It is fine if we don't win, though it would be a big disappointment. We know we will learn from it no matter what, but we are going in to win."
* * *
Give Nothing Back
High school: Northridge
Members: Matt Taylor, 17, vocals/guitar; Brad Phair, 17, drums; Wesley Braithwaite, 17, bass (Nuames)
Style: Upbeat alt punk -- "happy feel, but angry lyrics," said Taylor.
How the band got its name: The members agree that there have been times they felt they had given to others, but gotten nothing in return.
Why they should win: The band writes from members' own past experiences, and that makes it relatable to many people. "We also feel it is very catchy," said Taylor.
* * *
High school: Fremont
Members: Austin White, 17, vocals/guitar; Conner Pendergast, 17, vocals/bass; Cody Creager, 17, vocals/guitar; Logan Hunter, 16, vocals/drums
Style: Rock with punk elements
How the band got its name: "We were on a three-way phone call, getting ready for our first little show, and we were wondering what to call ourselves," said Creager. "And we were running through a whole list of names, but had nothing. Logan was looking through a dinosaur book at the time, and we wanted a random word for a name, so I said, 'We need something like Stegosaurus.' And it sounded cool and stuck."
Why they should win: "We're fun," said White. "We can bring the stage presence and get the audience going."
Added Hunter, "We've got the talent. We haven't been around as long as some, but we've played gigs -- we know what we're doing. And we're representing our school -- we'll bring honor to Fremont if we win.
Creager also added: "We're a lot different from the other bands you will hear, and will stand out."
* * *
High school: Morgan
Members: Taylor Russell, 18, drums; Ethan Richards, 17, electric guitar/vocals; Coleman Richards, 15, bass; Anthony Pantone, 15, guitar
Style: "I like the Jimi Hendrix/John Mayer stuff," said Ethan Richards.
Russell added, "We are building a new foundation for the younger folk in blues rock."
How the band got its name: The band delivered a name last-minute for the competition, made up of their first names' first initials.
Why they should win: "Morgan doesn't get enough recognition," said Coleman Richards. "We want it to get known: Good music comes from here."
Russell added, "We have a really great music program. Many people have gone to great colleges on music scholarships from our area. We want to get the notoriety out about that -- and yes, get blues out to the younger generation."
* * *
High school: Roy
Members: Jordan Ballou, 17, vocals/guitar; Tyler Thomas, 20, drums (graduated); Logan Arnold, 20, bass (graduated)
Style: Surf rock (influences include The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Phantom Planet, Miniature Tigers, and The Young Veins.)
How the band got its name: Ballou was reading a fantasy book about mermaids. "The idea of a mythical creature's offspring "was cool and weird enough to stick with us. It really suits our music's surf vibe as well," said Ballou.
Why they should win: "We ... have worked so hard and come so far as a band for how young we are," said Ballou. "We have the right talent and attitudes -- but honestly, we just love playing."
* * *
High school: St. Joseph
Members: Dylan Garcia, 19, vocals (University of Utah); Drew Olquin, 18, bass; Hunter Garcia, 17, drums/keys (West High); Devin Olquin, 16, guitar; Molly Porter, 19, accordion (University of Utah)
Style: Math/chiptune rock
How the band got its name: "It was actually our very first day of practice and we looked around and said, 'What if we become a band?' Our guitarist said, 'We have to name it something.' " said Garcia. "So we are really into puns and stuff. And we were just talking about kind of naughty band names, about famous ones. And he said, 'What if we named ourselves Private Parts?' And we laughed that off, but our drummer was like, 'Well, no, but we could be Private Partners.' And that's what we are."
Why they should win: "I think we have really progressed a lot from where we started," said Garcia. "The amount of effort we put in, we've been playing for a number of years, and I think the amount of effort and care and study shows -- we all listen to hours and hours of music every day. We really care about music, our music. It's not just 'We are a punk band, a ska band,' and just focus on that kind of music. We are trying to find the music aesthetic that is us, the music that is emotionally meaningful to us and that is ours."
* * *
High school: Syracuse
Members: Zack Shultis, 16, guitar; Ashton Amos, 16, bass (online school); Jordan Roberts, 17, guitar/keys; Evan Lawrence, 16, drums (Nuames)
How the band got its name: "I just made it up one day," said Shultis. "I tried to make up a cool story to go along with it, but I, really, I just thought of it."
Why they should win: "We are dedicated. We have a good live show," said Amos. "We've released two EPs that are on iTunes. We've done a lot of work and that will show when we play."
Shultis added: "I think we've done a lot more stuff than some of these bands. We've been a band for two years and have done a lot with our music."
* * *
High school: Weber
Members: Paul Zuniga, 16, vocals/guitar; Tommy Crowly, 16, guitar; Cole Nixon, 16, bass; TJ Maynard, 16, synth/keys; Bennet Geilmann, 16, drums (Fremont)
Style: Glamorous indie rock 'n' roll
How the band got its name: Geilmann, who is on the school's drumline said, "We originally wanted to spell drumline backwards -- Enilmurd. We realized that was stupid. So we thought to ourselves, 'What's the second best thing to drumline? Native Americans.' So we settled for the name 'Tribes.' "
Why they should win: "I am on a first-place drumline and we are a first-place band. ... plus, we want to bring some justice back to the natives," Geilmann said.
* * *
High school: Bonneville
Style: Classic metal
Members: Forrest Howard, 17, guitar/vocals; Ian Anderson, 18, guitar; Ben Robinson, 21, guitar (graduated); Korbin Stevens, 17, bass; Zack Sheilds, 17, drums
How the band got its name: "I think it was Ben Robinson, our guitar player's idea, he thinks it was my idea," said Howard. "We all kind of hate it, but we decided to keep it because we could not think of anything else. It's simple and easy to remember."
Why they should win: "Because we are completely unlike the other stuff that is around. We are trying to bring back what rock and metal used to be," said Anderson.
Howard added, "We shut ourselves in the garage for hours a day to get better. We practice tons."
* * *
The Never Ending Summer
High school: Layton
Members: Sean Musil, 18, vocals/drums; Cody Smith, 19, vocals (Weber State); Jordan Jaeger, 19, vocals/guitar (graduated); Austin Barker, 18, vocals/guitar; Damon Swain, 18, bass
Style: Pop rock
How the band got its name: "We originally started out as Beacon Hill, but we decided we didn't really like it," Musil said. "We were going through a ton of different band names, and our manager kind of came up with The Never Ending Summer and just threw it out. We didn't even like it at first, but it grew on us."
Why they should win: "We are enthusiastic, we have stage presence," said Musil. "I think our music is really catchy and has good lyrics. We have been playing a lot, too, for about a year together and have gotten good. I think we can do it, but these are all great bands we are playing with, so we'll have to see what happens."
* * *
High school: Box Elder
Members: Josh Derieg, 17, guitar; Jordan Shoemaker, 17, guitar; Nick Riccardi, 18, drums; Chase Huff, 19, bass
Style: Indie rock (influences include Modest Mouse, Brand New, Chevelle, The Cure and The Smiths)
How the band got its name: "Well, we couldn't come to an agreement at all, so I decided on The Curbs because it was floating around and we needed it soon!" said Huff.
Riccardi added:, "We thought of this as our band name for a long time, but hadn't made it official until we needed a name for this."
Why they should win: "We want the women, the cars, the money ... the fame, rock 'n' roll. We deserve it for rocking so hard!" said Huff.
Derieg added: "We don't take ourselves super-seriously. We are in it to make good music for people and to have fun. That's what it is about."
* * *
The River Slicks
High school: Waterfall Canyon Academy
Members: Will Cazalet, 18, vocals/bass; Mark Braham, 16, vocals/guitar
How the band got its name: "Our name derives from a waterfall ending in a river, and we are slick. Therefore, we are The River Slicks," said Braham.
Why they should win: "We are determined to go far," said Braham. "(We) started a band to express our creative and extracurricular needs. We enjoy practicing together and creating music. We feel like this will be a great opportunity for us to practice being onstage and playing an original song."