The past few weekends have been a wild musical ride in the Ocean State. The Rock Hunt — WBRU 95.5 FM’s annual band throwdown, which aims to find the best new bands in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts, while also allowing the scene veterans to get some love, too — is building towards a feverish finish, set for March 19 at the Met in Pawtucket.
Last year, a bunch of kids from Warwick in Public Alley shocked everyone at The Met by winning the title — but only after being added on as a wild card, going against favorites Forest Fires, party starters The Most Dangerous Men Alive and alternative rockers We Were Astronauts. This time around it might get even crazier with the field being wide open. Before we even start to think who will take the crown, let’s take a quick look at how each of the four bands got here.
The first semi-final took place at the Newport Blues Cafe on February 26 with Houston native and current Providence College student Oliver Penn and his backing band The Crystal Shivers beating out South Kingstown alt-poppers Mona Mele and rock act No Plateau. The following night had returning contestants Le Roxy Pro winning the semi-final at The Parlour in Providence. Their trademark surf rock jams were enough to best pop-punks No Recall and Fall River hard rock quintet Moment of Clarity. On March 4 at Dusk in Providence, guitar pop trio Eric & The Nothing won the night after becoming a last-minute addition to the bill after Dames dropped off, beating digital hard-pop act Push Push Push and charismatic rock act Under The Microscope.
The last semi final-round was at Dirty Water in Bristol on March 5. It was this year’s edition of the wildcard round where each contestant gets voted in. The three bands that made it in were the groovy duo known as The Kick Ups, the acoustic based Sidecar and emo punks Young Lincoln. Young Lincoln ended up winning the night and it has set up quite the final round where no one really knows who’s the favorite and who’s the underdog.