by C. D. Harvill
The final preliminary of this year’s Big Stage Search was held April 10 at Thunders Tavern. The lineup included Cathercist, Dark Horizon and Soul Driven.
Cathercist took the stage first after a draw of straws. Taylor Roberts showed his precise guitar technique throughout his performance. On rhythm guitar, Brian Lowman, demonstrated a sophisticated approach to the chord melody. Connecting the drums and guitars, Ryan Doswell, kept it tight on bass.
As a stage band, Dark Horizon is vividly visual. Audience enjoyment was at a peak as they planted an inflatable killer whale and beach balls in the crowd to be tossed about. All members of the band put their all into the performance. While their stage show shined, as did their overall technique, musical originality was in short supply.
Finally, Soul Driven, originally known as High In The 80’s, took the stage. The ace band of the evening had a strong stage presence that the first two bands were without. It was shocking, however, that, for almost the entire set, they were out of tune, and lead vocalist Tim Wall was indeed flat. Matt Scott (lead guitar) apparently noticed and attempted to tune (between thrashing about the stage and making out with his girlfriend). Scott’s effort was to no avail, due to the rest of band remaining untuned.
After Soul Driven wrapped up their set, the judges’ sheets were tallied, and WCPR’s Special K announced the winner of the evening. Soul Driven will be the band from this preliminary moving on to the 17th Annual Coast Coliseum Crawfish Festival on April 23, where they will be competing with Uncrowned, Jane Doe’s Dead and Left Broken for the opening spot at CPR Fest 13.