By Thomas Spors
Local band Desolation Row has taken first place in the Illinois Teen Battle of the Bands regional competition, held July 29 in Algonquin, Ill.
Six bands, each a winner of a local competition, competed for the top spot at the regional competition, which would then send them to the Illinois State Fair to compete for the title of champions of the Illinois Teen Battle of the Bands.
Seven bands from regional competitions throughout the state will compete in the finals at the State Fair Saturday, Aug. 18, beginning at noon. Each band will be given 20 minutes to play. Original music or covers are accepted. They will be judged on scoring criteria, including the following: 1. Stage presentation; 2. Stage management; 3. Musicianship; 4. Song quality and originality; and 5. Audience response.
The regional competition took place in Algonquin during the annual Founders’ Day Festival. The bands were provided with an awesome professional stage and sound system for the show. Although Desolation Row has played many shows with this type of equipment, some of the bands were experiencing it for the first time and had the show of their lives being treated like rock stars.
Make no mistake — all these teen-agers are excellent musicians, songwriters and performers, and can many times put on a better show than bands two and three times their age!
One thing I wanted to stress is this is the only type of this competition in the United States, so Illinois is doing a great job in that respect!
I am hoping to contact the Rockford Park District and urge them to, as the third-largest city in the state, host a local, or better, regional competition next year. I believe that would draw many more bands from the western section of the state.
Desolation Row can be reached on their Facebook page or on www.desolationrow.net.
From the Aug. 15-21, 2012, issue