WBRU listeners and fans of the final bands gathered at The Met last Saturday for the 2016 Rock Hunt Finals. Each band had one last set to play before the winner of over $3,500 worth of prizes was announced.
First to take the stage were Oliver Penn and the Crystal Shivers. They made an immediate impression with their opening song “Gold,” highlighting the catchy saxophone and trumpet melodies that make their sound unique. After hooking the crowd, they slowed it down and connected to their Texan roots, filling the room with soft and bluesy guitar that made listeners long for the southern home they never had. The band finished off with a few upbeat songs that had the crowd, including 2015 Rock Hunt winners Public Alley, all grooving along to the beat. Trumpet player Kyle Van Dzura felt confident about their performance, noting that they used what they learned from a shaky performance at semifinals to fuel this one.
After a set change, Eric & the Nothing greeted the crowd by stating that they were “gonna play you some rock and roll music.” They delivered, prompting the crowd to sway along to 60s-inspired garage rock. They kept up the momentum with a seamless transition from one song to the next, and spread energy throughout the room when drummer Billy Moretti stood up on his chair to pound out some beats. There was no shortage of humorous one-liners — introducing the next song, vocalist Eric Shane announced, “This one’s called ‘Lost in a Dream.’ It’s gonna be a little dreamy.” Before the next song, Shane encouraged the crowd to “shake those tail feathers.” A triumphant finish led to loud applause. Moretti and bassist Chuck Perry felt good about the set, adding that they felt tight with the other members while playing.
Up next was Young Lincoln, winners of the Wildcard night. Their public support was evident in the crowd, as they were greeted with applause and screaming fans. Pronounced drum beats built up to strong guitar riffs and frontman Andy King’s infectiously gravelly voice. The crowd reflected the band’s high energy with singing, dancing, and even attempted crowd surfing. The band made sure to express their excitement to be playing — bassist Jake Silvia thanked WBRU for the opportunity, adding, “This is like, the coolest time in my life.” They closed with “Old Friends,” a song filled with nostalgia and optimism that was bound to elicit genuine smiles among the crowd. The last line of the song — “We’ll see you all tomorrow” — left fans loud and enthusiastic.
The final band, Le Roxy Pro, allowed the crowd to relax by starting out with calm and dreamy songs, brought to life with moments of full and passionate sound. Midway through the set the band picked up the pace, inviting the crowd to dance along to playful melodies. The song “Get it Out” featured catchy backup vocals that clearly pointed to the band’s surf rock roots. They finished on an upbeat, energetic note with all the members dancing on stage and having a fun time. After clearing the stage, band members were ecstatic about their performance. Vocalist Brent Battey and bassist Andrew Knox agreed that their two Rock Hunt performances were their top two shows in the past few months, and that tonight was the best they had ever sounded on stage. They raved about the other finalists — Battey remarked that he would be extremely disappointed if they don’t play more shows together in the future. As a final note, Battey urged fans to follow his dog on Twitter for even more entertainment from the band.
After a period of suspense and anticipation, DJ Shley announced the winners of the 2016 Rock Hunt: Le Roxy Pro! The band said they felt solid about their win, and they are excited to work more with WBRU in the future.
Learn more about Le Roxy Pro here.