The final showcase came to a close on Tuesday, February 26 at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
35 bands from all over Orange County competed in the OC Music Awards (OCMA) in hopes of earning the title of best live band and also winning a massive prize pack from OCMA partners.
Only 5 out of the 35 bands made the cut to participate in the finals. These finalist include Robert Jon and the Wreck (RJ&TW;), Solution, Nilu, Fiction Reform, and Jeramiah Red.
Radio DJ Kat Corbett from KROQ hosted the event. Corbett gave her introduction and the show began.
Solution was the first band to play on stage. Almost immediately something funny filled the air. This bands style had reggae roots mixed with rock, which may explain the interesting, but familiar smell that creeped through the venue.
Solution threw more than a dozen shirts at the crowd during their performance. They had a positive, good feel vibe and the audience reacted well to them.
Nilu, named after the singer-songwriter of the group, comparable to artist such as Regina Spector or Adele, followed. Nilu Madadi showed much talent as a musician with a mesmerizing voice that kept the audience’s attention.
“This one’s for you Corbett,” said Nilu, after admitting to having a crush on KROQ’s radio DJ. They then proceeded to play their last song, Sing For You.
RJ&TW;, the winners of the show, played next. They had a lively rock stage presence that made them stand out. All the musicians were moved around and rocked out, which made their set extremely up beat and kept the audience involved. The drummer, Andrew Epantman threw his drumstick for someone to catch. The keyboardist, Steve Maggiora, picked up his keyboard off the stand and held it like you would a guitar. He did this a couple times and even played the keys with his face at one point.
Fiction Reform had a punk rock sound. They played loud and hard, which even lead to mosh pit.
The last band to play was Jeramiah Red. They had a similar style to RJ&TW;, just shy of the lively bar set previously.
It turned out that these two bands knew each other and even invited each other on to the stage during their sets. It was really chaotic, but Jeremiah Red ended the night right with an applause as loud as thunder.
Towards the end the judges decided on the winner.
Corbett was given a white envelope to announce the Best Live Band of 2013, and after pumping the crowd up with anticipation, she announced the judges pick: RJ&TW.;
RJ&TW; accepted the award in complete shock and total appreciation.
Along with their award they also won a spot at the Vans Warped Tour, four days of recording time at Red Bull Studios, a full Ernie Ball endorsement, Custom Ernie Ball and Music Man instruments for each stringed player in the band, a $1,000 Guitar Center Gift Card, one year of free Wahoo’s fish tacos, and a year’s supply of Popchips.
According to OCMA, bands were judged on each set of criteria: musicianship, originality, song composition, stage presence, crowd participation, and overall performance.
RJ&TW; will be performing at the 2013 OC Music Awards ceremony held at the City National Grove of Anaheim on March 9. This event will have 25 different categorizes, awarding a large variety of bands from Orange County. Some of the major bands nominated include No Doubt, The Offspring, The Dirty Heads, Young the Giant, and Reel Big Fish.