Originally Published: May 15, 2015 2:02 a.m.
It's time once again to rock out all day long as the annual Battle of the Bands returns to Prescott Valley on Saturday, May 16, to bring together local radio stations and their sponsored bands for an open-air concert and competition. Now in its 18th year, the battle will feature the musical stylings of Little Larry and the Drive, sponsored by KPPV 106.7FM/94.7 JACK FM, Ashley Wineland, sponsored by KVRD Country 105.7FM, Inexile, sponsored by The Wolf 96.7FM/Rewind 92.5FM, Beretta Sun, sponsored by Q 102.9FM, and Whiskey Tango, sponsored by 93.9FM The Mountain/Magix 99.1FM.
Sheryl Duke, account marketing rep for Yavapai Broadcasting Corporation, spoke very highly of Wineland and Beretta Sun. "They are awesome, very talented bands," Duke said, noting that the latter has been around for five years and that the former is "going places."
Jake Briggs is the drummer for Beretta Sun and called the band's formation five years ago the basic old story, stating that he and a friend were in high school and trying to find their place. Briggs said he had a drum set, the friend had a guitar and they eventually found their singer off Craigslist.
Briggs stated that Beretta Sun became involved with the Battle of the Bands after Q liked the band's music and wanted them to represent the station in the Battle of the Bands.
When asked why votes should go to Beretta Sun, Briggs said that they are from Tempe and have a fresh sound for Prescott. He said the band plays a lot of pop rock with substance.
However, Briggs also said that the Battle of the Bands presents a great, wide range of bands and likened the event's vibe to that of a festival.
"We've got some blues... some indie bands, a country girl," Briggs said. "It's a great mix... Prescott's pot of gold."
As for the other bands, Little Larry and the Drive is made up of Larry on bass and lead vocals, Beth Wright on vocals, Joe Wildes on drums and Nick Canuel on lead guitar, keys and vocals.
Wineland is 16 years old, from Glendale, and was named the first-ever Alvarez Breakthrough Artist by Saint Louis-based Alvarez Guitars in September 2013.
Inexile was formed in Prescott in early 2013 when former bandmates Greg Hall and Mychael Barnes met at a jam session on Whiskey Row. The two had played 30 years prior in Southern California.
Whiskey Tango, made up of Josh Kontak on lead vocals, Omar Olivas on lead guitar, Matt Dexter on bass and Vinney Savoia on drums, are just four guys with a passion for music who got together to play radio rock hits.
With all the different genres, Briggs said that the Battle of the Bands is a great event because of that mix of genres, stating that it gives attendees a root reason to go while still exposing them to a genre that they may not be into.
Each band will have a one-hour set and voting will be done with a ticket placed in a marked box for each band. They will be counted at the end of the evening.
"Hopefully everyone votes for us," Briggs said.
The stations will also have games and giveaways as well as have the bands on hand for meet and greet.
The 18th annual Battle of the Bands will be at the Mountain Valley Park Amphitheater, 8600 E. Nace Lane, in Prescott Valley on Saturday. The gates open at noon and the first band takes the stage at 1 p.m. Admission is $4. Children younger than 3 and active military personnel get in free.
- by Jason Wheeler, The Daily Courier
Follow Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037, or 928-642-5277.