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Taking the stage vying for the best band in your town has got to send the butterflies fluttering.---
The show progressed from rampage, to roots rock to acoustic-y, baseball hat Americana. What a strange order it was. Salt Lake's music scene is diverse, for sure, and the contestants ran the gamut thanks to voters over the past weeks—oh, if only democracy was always so much fun. Bird Eater, the show's opener, probably doesn't ever think about butterflies, though (unless, it's the black butterflies of death metal ... how cute). They're too busy dropping bass bombs, cranking distortion, banging heads and screaming into microphones. For what I saw, before my insides turned over, it was a flurry of hair and vibrating walls.
The second act stole the show. The Naked Eyes look like rockstars: long hair, beards, western wear. But, it's more than just an image, they play like it, too. Part soulful rock, part southern rock, and part just plain old rock, makes for a pretty nice audio cocktail. That's what the audience thought. As concert-goers hips were swayed, so were their votes. Paul Jacobsen and the Madison Arm were, by far, the biggest vote-getters prior to the awards ceremony. However, they couldn't keep the momentum going enough as the last local band to perform.
Those in attendance voted, the votes were tallied and just before the Helio Sequence took the stage, the winner was announced.
Drum roll, please....
Ok, everyone probably already knows who won—that's the problem with procrastinating in journalism—but it's worth repeating. The Naked Eyes received $2,000 in cash prizes and bragging rights for the next 365 days as Salt Lake's best band.
There's something about reverb, delay peddles and an onstage computer that can make a two-piece band sound full and vibrant. The Helio Sequence graced their way from Portland, Ore. just to play our show and we are grateful for the powerful performance.
For those of you that couldn't make the show: You missed a helluva show. But, the local rockers, including Salt Lake's best band will be performing around town in the coming weeks. Check out Jamie's blog post or just stay tuned in to the website and the paper.