Live Review: road to rockstar competition

april 10 • the underground

It’s Road to Rockstar time again.  KISM 92.9 FM, Checkmate Music and What’s Up! Magazine bring local Bellingham bands to the stage to compete and over several weeks the crowd narrows the competing bands down to just one by voting for their favorite at the end of each evening. Galapagos won in 2013 and Black Beast Revival in 2012.  This year has many strong contenders taking the stage. For Showcase #2 on Thursday, April 10 the Underground welcomed G.U.P.I. the Sound, The Naughty Blokes, The Vonvettas and The Fair- Weather Family Band.
G.U.P.I the Sound performed first. The front man G.U.P.I. was passionate about his love of music of all sorts. His rhythmic lyrics and DJ were more reminiscent of rap than rock. He sang about a love for life and the challenges he has faced, though the stories lacked detail and remained open to general interpretation.
The Naughty Blokes hit the stage with fervor, wearing great hats. The four piece offered spectacular guitar riffs and charming vocals. Some of the words were difficult to decipher, but I think that had more to do with the seat I chose than the vocalists’ skills. The set moved swiftly and cleanly through great song after great song. This is the kind of music you turn up when it comes on the radio. The Vonvettas are a perennial favorite of mine and they did not disappoint. The group has evolved over the last couple years and I like where they’re going. They brought a mix of harder and softer vocal sounds and rhythms to this set along with the blazing guitar riffs, driving drums and bold bass lines they are known for. After their set was over the crowd cheered for one more song, but it was time to move on.
The Fair-Weather Family Band ended our night right. The group came ready to make magic, dressed to the nines for some jam. It has been awhile since these folks were on stage as The Fair-Weather Family Band, but the chemistry was there. The group played well off each other and really owned the stage. I am looking forward to their next show.
Only two bands could move on to the next round, so once the music was over the crows began to vote for their favorite. Scott Less and his team are wonderful hosts and made sure all of the attendees got a ticket to vote. I’m sure many attendees had a difficult time choosing their favorite from the four.
In the end, The Vonvettas and The Naughty Blokes were selected to move on to the next round. I did notice that the selected bands carried the strongest “rock” feel, which does match well with the name of the competition and KISM, but whoever moves on, or wins,  Road to Rockstar is a fabulous place to find the best  local bands.
–Thea Hart