To say it was a cramped, madhouse backstage at the IN Music Awards showcase last night would be an understatement. We were able to fit in four bands, their equipment, their girlfriends, the IN staff and various other people—like the Red Bull girls and former Rock 106 DJ Matt Stone—in this slither of an area that was smaller than my old apartment in Manhattan.
From the beginning, school was in session.
A blast from INMA’s past--Frankie Andrews from the once dismantled Terrific Kid—pulls up in a Lamborghini (which happens to be his boss’ car) and gives a few of the band’s diehard fans a drive around the UWF campus. Endings Edge was the first to set up, then Terrific Kid, then Glory of This and 60 Cycles of Sound pulled up at the very last minute before Endings Edge took the stage.
The VIP area was a maze of amps, guitars and empty cans of Red Bull. It got kinda messy.
Ray Ruddy, former drummer of the local band Emulsiphier and the current promotions director at TK101, confirmed the rumors that he’s taken over the sticks from Davis “Breeze” Addy. The INMA showcase was Breeze’s last gig and Ruddy has been hungry to get behind the drum kit with the up-and-coming hard rock band.
“He’s a great drummer,” Ruddy says about Breeze. “I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to fill his shoes.”
Endings Edge’s Jared Moore, who was so shy at one point that he would sing with his back to the audience, has finally come out of his shell and is delivering at a level that could easily rival a majority of the local bands putting out original material. The band’s onstage charisma continues to improve with each show—and members like Cory Dull and Josh Apple hit the stage with a sense of urgency needed to deliver an incendiary show on a larger level.
At this point in their career, Endings Edge could easily handle a mainstage slot at regional music festivals like Mobile’s BayFest and Pensacola’s SpringFest. With Ruddy taking over on drums, expect great things from these guys over the next year or so.
60 Cycles of Sound lived up to the hype surrounding their win for “Best Live Show.” For the record, the trio—vocalist/guitarist Rodney Ueberroth, bassist Jason Holstein and drummer Ben Bogan--are just as fun off stage as they are onstage. Standout moments from the set include their “This Is Spinal Tap” moment when the tech guy didn’t open the curtain during their first song and their beach ball experiment (which involved tossing out two bags of inflated balls out in the crowds). Of course, my beach ball deflated when I had to cut their set short.
Their finale, “Pop, Anti-Pop,” is definitely one of the more catchy tunes coming from their new, self-titled CD. Expect major airplay with the single.
It was emotional for me to see Terrific Kid—well, one-third of the old group including vocalist TJ Jeter and guitarist Frankie Andrews—together with a new cast of musicians. When Jeter carried his toddler son Dakota onstage, it made me long for the days with TK ruled the local music scene. Will they get back together? Outlook is good. However, they may have to change their name because of legal complications. How ‘bout Terrific Kid Resurrected?
It was even more moving during the Glory of This set. It was James Harrah’s last hurrah as he delivered a solid screamo performance—and managed to crowd surf--while guitarist Chino emerged as the new frontman. Does the 19-year-old have the goods to fill Harrah’s shoes? Absolutely. In fact, his melodic work on the band’s “Album of the Year” winning CD “The Lover, The Liar, The Ruse” catapults the group into an entirely new direction.
After all is said and done, IN Music Awards 2006 was all about milestone moments, reverence for the local music scene's past and hope for the future. Based on last night's show, things are looking good ... real good.
Photo courtesy of Chad DeVries