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ocmusicawardspostheader color1 [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home

rrta [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home

Railroad to Alaska

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicked off on January 4th with seven weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band or Best Live Acoustic and a performance slot at the 2011 OC Music Awards, March 5 at the Grove of Anaheim. And, the voting is open now!

I like my music loud; I like the crushing press of the crowd while I struggle to keep my balance. Therefore, it only makes sense that I absolutely loved She Screams Remedy, Seedless, Railroad to Alaska, Pistolero, and Entice who played the OC Music Awards Night Five showcase–unofficially dubbed the “hard” night.

Some non-musical treats at the jam-packed dive,  Tiki Barpopchips, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, $3 bottles of Bud Light , and cheap vending machine lobster. If you could manage to catch it.

It’s a known fact. Metal dudes are outrageously hot in that dirty, violently sexy way that makes women have lascivious yearnings for a bad boy or two. Last night, the Tiki Bar was not lacking in pretty girls eyeing up rocker dudes, which meant the lobsters were not the only thing people were trying to catch.

The venue was steamy, the people were hot; overall, Night 5 of the OC Music Awards Showcase Series was pure fire.

ssrlead [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home

She Screams Remedy

With their brand of ethereal post-hardcore, She Screams Remedy took the stage while the Tiki Bar was filling up. Live the band is louder and tighter than on their recordings, which actually serves them well. Moony, teenaged singer Kyrsten Gammon once confessed to dire stage fright, but last night you couldn’t tell; Gammon is very dynamic on stage and her youth is only evident in her fresh-faced look. Everything else about her is very mature.

Another standout performer is vocalist and guitarist, Trevor Koch, who dominates the stage with the studied intensity of his glances and his technically-adept guitar playing.

Proving the statement in their interview that She Screams Remedy are “anti rock stars” and academics, I talked to Koch afterwards, asking him if he was going to hang out. His reply: “I have a test.”

entice21 [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home


Coming into the showcase, Entice was one of the bands I was most excited to see because they play the kind of British-tinged pop-rock that I grew up listening to and loving. Entice is another case where the recordings don’t serve them as well as their live show does. Lead singer, Isaac Leland, said he was getting over sickness, but it was hard to hear while he performed.

In their interview, Entice stated that they were a band with a “major label” sound. This statement was a bit of an understatement; there is something incredibly polished and professional about Entice on stage. They have musical chemistry and a noticeable interpersonal rhythm.

All around me I heard shaggy-haired dudes and metal girls in black make declarations like, “I don’t normally like this kind of music, but these guys are really good.”

rrta2 [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home

Railroad to Alaska

I’m going to make a point-blank, definitive statement: Railroad to Alaska was my favorite band from the Showcase Series to date. While I love so many of them for a plethora of reasons, Railroad to Alaska brought a unique breed of dark, sexy metal-drenched hard rock, that made the crowd go wild–literally.

Semi Sweet‘s Vanessa Barnes was rocking a helmet and stage-diving; acoustic brethren Daniel and David Alcala were using their long hair to their advantage in the most pit; and I’m pretty sure someone walked away with a torso full of bruises.

While all the guys in Railroad to Alaska have rock star ingrained into their genetic make-up, lead singer Justin Suitor is already a super star. Whether consciously or not, Suitor’s stage antics, facials expressions, and primal energy were perfectly timed with the beat of the music and the flashing of the cameras. It was incredible to watch.

And since I promised him I would stand in the front row, I even got a little of his sweat on me. It sounds disgusting, but that is rock ‘n roll. It can be an awesomely messy affair.

pistolero [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home


Pistolero came heavy as promised. I heard someone in the crowd say, “This is awesome. They sound like that sort of ’80s metal I used to love to listen to in junior high.”

Pistolero are definitely old school metal and they bring a  lot of style, swagger, and righteous amounts of screaming vocals. They seem to have a hardcore, devoted following of fans; Although, people who hadn’t heard them before were having a good time. At that point in the night, there was enough intoxicants in the system to make the crowd scream along to Donnie Deschenes’ earth-shattering vocals.

If you are into metal, you definitely want to check Pistolero out.

seedless [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home


Usually, at the end of the night, the last band gets a little shafted. Most of the time, a majority of the crowd will find themselves antsy or tired and make their way out of the venue. That was definitely not the case with reggae-rock band Seedless.

Even after the first four bands were done, there was a line outside the door and down the block waiting to get into the venue to see Seedless. I have never seen anything like it at a local show.

Seedless certainly does a great job self-promoting themselves, but their fan base is not explicitly because of hardcore marketing. Seedless is a phenomenal live band. They transformed the Tiki Bar into a giant party, one that you would be remiss to miss, and if you didn’t walk away with a “contact high” from good vibes, you were standing next to the wrong people.

Every member of Seedless brought it in his own way; they are a collaborative musical family with no one trying to upstage the other. It seems Seedless is all about bringing the party to the people. And the people definitely came out to party.

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]She Screams Remedy[/lastfm]-“Travesty”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Entice[/lastfm]-“The Watchman”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Railroad to Alaska[/lastfm]-“The Real Thing”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pistolero[/lastfm]-“Sleep When You’re Dead”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Seedless[/lastfm]-“Twisted Love”

The 2011 Showcase Series runs every Tuesday night, January 4 –February 15 with stops at:

Jan 4 – Detroit Bar
Jan 11 – The District at Tustin Legacy
Jan 18 – The Gyspy Lounge
Jan 25 – The LAB
Feb 1 – Tiki Bar
Feb 8 – The Gyspy Den of Santa Ana
Feb 15 – The Slide Bar

Five Showcase Series finalists in each live category will then move on to the Showcase Series Finals.

Feb 24 – Best Live Acoustic Finals, Fullerton Museum
Feb 25 – Best Live band Finals, The Galaxy

2011 Best Live Band winner will receive a performance slot on the four Southern Califonia Vans Warped Tour stops!

Night Five of the OC Music Awards Showcase Series featured nominees for Best Live Band on Tuesday, February 1st at the Tiki Bar.

night 5 385 504 [OC Music Awards Showcase Review] Night 5 Bands Want You To Hard Or Go Home


Friday, January 21st-She Screams Remedy

Saturday, January 22nd-Seedless

Sunday, January 23rd-Railroad to Alaska

Monday, January 24th- Pistolero

Tuesday, January 25th-Entice


You have the power to send one Showcase artist to the Best Live Acoustic Finals and Best Live Band Finals.

Cast your vote and enter to win a massive prize pack from the OC Music Awards partners (To be Announced). Voting will begin on December 27 and will be open through the last Showcase on February 15. The votes will be tallied and the band with highest score will automatically move on to their Series Finals! Click here to vote


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Comments (4)
  1. kelly says:

    Seedless always guarantees “to bring the party to the people.” Their sound is extremely polished and perfected yet each show they bring something different to the table. They are hands down one of the most talented and genuine bands around.

  2. cassie says:


  3. poundtherock says:

    Railrock kicked some ass. Looking forward to seeing them at the House of Blues in Anaheim on the 27th. Great live show!

  4. Pops says:

    Does Pops have to come down to KROQ and flip out, LOL. Damn I have been with KROQ since Day1 and can’t believe that you guys have not put Seedless in your daily line-up. Ask your street team and BeerMug what they thought. They killed it Tues. nite. The whole crowd was singing every song with a line of 200 people at 11 pm outside waiting to get in to see them on a friggin Tues. nite. Lets see anyone else pull that off!! Come on, Dirty Heads isn’t the only Dub- Rock band that is ruling the scene. Love 106.7, always have, don’t wait till Alt Nation is explding them, haha, Aloha to all!!

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