Now in its third year of existence in Bend, LBS not only exposes the local community to music being made right under their noses, it also provides a platform for newly minted bands to work out performances and songs still in their infancy.
This year, the event started in April with 28 bands and audiences have been whittling them down American Idol-style since then. The bands are competing for a combined $20,000 in prizes and a chance to record in title sponsor Ninkasi Brewing’s studio. Past winners include Bend favorites MOsley WOtta (MoWo) and Necktie Killer.
Since winning in 2010, hip-hop band MoWo released their debut album Wake and has played several shows at popular Portland venues like the Doug Fir Lounge. After a grueling but fun recording experience, last year’s champion, horn-infused rock band Necktie Killer is set to release two separate albums this August.
For the bands, fan turnout is the key as votes can only be cast on site when performances have concluded. That means if you have a favorite, you’ll need to stay until the end of the night to make your voice heard. After a quick ballot count, the act with the most votes will be crowned the champion and embark on the next phase of their musical journey.
The 2012 finalists:
The soulful rock and sometimes jazz-inspired band Jaccuzi relies on lead singer Zoe Falkenstein to provide dark vocals that can border on aggressive. It’s the kind of stuff that belongs in a black and white movie, and that’s a good thing.
A 2011 semi-finalist, Broken Down Guitars is led by a desire to innovate with each song. For some bands, having multiple people writing music would spell disaster, but for BDG, it’s a formula that’s working. With harmonies and violin, BDG aren’t a typical rock band.
All You All is a trio that plays danceable pop rock, though they could be described as a quartet if you take into account the hardworking computer pumping out additional pre-recorded instrumentation. Crowds don’t seem to care though and smiling seems to be a standard expression during their performances.
This band may describe themselves as an acoustic indie band, but the members definitely break out the electric guitar for some of their pop/punk-inspired songs as well. They pair that sound with fun storytelling and deliver energetic shows.
Last Band Standing Finals
June 21, 8pm
70 NW Newport Ave.