After a full year of heats and audience voting, Saturday night at The Metro was the culimation of hundreds of rehearsals, a huge amount of money- and musicians asking of their friends to pre-buy tickets to see them play (and to vote for their band). Harnessed by the impressive calm and cool talents of Bo Philips- the Australian Area Manager for Emergenza- bands from across Australia (and New Zealand) lined up for over 6 hours of battle.

I was there to support Greenlight- fronted by Stephanie Green with Ali Malik (Electric Guitar), Nick Dracoulis (Bass) and Chris Simon (Drums/Glockenspeil) – whom I have been working with. I also had the great benefit of seeing the finalists for across Australia which consisted mainly of four piece bands, heavy rock who are all male… so I must say that Greenlight certainly made an impression.

Competitions are wonderful and stupid. Wonderful in that they focus people’s energy- who would otherwise procrastinate and Stupid in that the competition is really not the point at all. Audience votes do quickly become a popularity contest of who has the most votes and a panel of judges is subject to taste… but nonetheless from my perspective- an amazing opportunity to see what flavours audiences have been selecting or what style of music has an inbuilt army of support. And I would say rock always wins. Competitions are also wonderful because they offer me to see a range of emerging talent- for which I cannot be more excited by (takes out the guess work and the energy of trying to hunt down new stuff I might really like). Competitions are stupid because they give the false impression of a career path to people who pin all their hopes on being discovered and making the big time…. so it’s a fairly even weighted coin.

My “find” for the evening was a band called The Kidney Theives who hail from Brisbane… who’s major influences are Faith No More and Mr Bungle… Five guys in brown suits and red vests and ties- all with goatees and with various versions of long hair- yes a beautifully presented army of Jesus- men! If I had a record label and a desire to fund everything they ever wanted to do and could- I would. Check them out:

Sydney siders can enjoy them on New Years Eve at Space Nightclub as they will be supporting COG. I highly recommend this extremely fun, tight, musically intense and delightfully skilled group of guys.

It was a big night full of bands ready to impress with big sounds and big statements… there was a lot of testosterone on stage- alot of powerful solos… big! And sometimes less is more- simple songs which make you feel good are the winners- the ones that make you want to dance and wish you were in their band.

The first place was given to a very energetic boy band- with a rock pop sound like that of a bad-boy version of The Jonas Brothers who’s name I didn’t catch. Second place was given to The Kidney Theives (yay!) and third place- GREENLIGHT! Very exciting indeed- especially considering that a very lack-luster sound mixer seemed to ignore the electric acoustic guitar’s level altogether-not realising that most the songs are based around it. Very exciting that after a year of playing together, Greenlight’s two rehearsals a week really have paid off.

Congratulations to Greenlight and I can’t see what you do next!
Check them out: