Get ready to rock

Teen Battle of the Bands is back

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The lead singer of the band In the Gutter came down with strep throat this week. And although guitarist Jojo La is concerned about the status of the vocalist, In the Gutter will appear on stage Saturday night during the third annual Teen Battle of the Bands.

"Our goal, as a band, is to not just talk about it, but get out and do it," La said. "That's what we strive for because never before has there been an all-girl band come out of Craig."

¤ 2006 Teen Battle of the Bands

¤ 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday

¤ Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel grand ballroom

¤ $5

¤ 879-4300, ext. 355

In the Gutter will compete against six other teen bands. All musicians are between 13 and 18 years old, and each band must have at least one member whose primary residence is in Routt or Moffat counties.

"There's gonna be some stiff competition," event organizer Brooke Lightner said. "And the stakes are high."

The bands will be judged on originality, appearance, musicianship, sound, lyrics and overall ranking. Five community members will judge.

The winning band will get a professionally recorded, four-track demo produced by Kurt Wipperfurth of Big Idiot Productions, airtime on KFMU radio, a weeknight performance at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, a feature article in 4 Points and a trophy created by industrial arts students at Steamboat Springs High School.

The bands' performance order will be decided Saturday night, and each band can play three songs -- originals or covers. The music genres played by this year's entries will include punk, rock, metal, blues, funk, jam and alternative rock. Some teens are in multiple bands.

For some bands, the experience will be intimidating. For others, the battle is another opportunity for stage time.

"Our first year was really scary because we didn't have the stage time," La said. "Now that we've performed (in the past two battles), it's given us this other energy I've never experienced before."

Lightner, who is director of the city of Steamboat Springs' Teen Programs, said "The feeling of the event is pretty incredible. It's a very unique opportunity for these teens to be on stage in this real music setting. They'll be rubbing elbows with the people influencing the music scene in our community."

Tony Counts, aka "Kat in tha Hat," will emcee; David Harlan, a member of the band Dogsled, will be the stage manager; and Wipperfurth will operate the soundboard.

"One of the greatest parts of the event is that many of the adults in our music community come out to help with the event and come to watch and listen," Lightner said.

The Battle of the Bands is a substance-free event, and it will include a nonviolent mosh-pit philosophy "to avoid bloody noses, scrapes and bumps. But people will be dancing for sure," Lightner said. "We had grandmas attend last year, but the event is not for the faint of heart. Be ready to rock."

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