Auburn alums Hightide Blues and University of Georgia grads The Reeds will compete in the ultimate battle of the bands Saturday for their chance to share a stage with the likes of Pearl Jam, Metallic, Widespread Panic and Jack Johnson.
I share my room with these bands, said Josh Reid, leader singer of The Reeds. Theyre on my walls as posters. I cant even imagine playing with them."
The winner will be chosen after the bands perform live at the 2008 Virginia-Highlands Summerfest.
Its crazy. Were just normal guys, not hardcore rockers or anything, said Paul McDonald, lead singer of Hightide Blues. Were just college kids. And now were getting a shot at Bonnaroo; there are just no words to describe it.
92.9 Dave FM is the only radio station that runs a contest specifically for local bands, said Zac Altheimer, marketing director for Music Allies, the radio marketing agency that handles promotions for Bonnaroo.
So why Atlanta?
Dave FM has partnered with Bonnaroo since the beginning, and Atlanta is a top-notch market for heavy ticket sales and incredible talent, Altheimer said.
This year, more than 300 musicians entered, said Will Davis, marketing director for Dave FM.
Longtime Bonnaroo lovers, Hightide Blues band mates were already planning to trek to Tennessee as fans of the festival when they heard about the contest through drummer Scott Rollins' girlfriend.
With only the mastered copy of their new CD, Love Come Easy, Manager Bowe OBrien dropped off a raw, unofficial copy to Dave FM studios.
Reviewing three songs from each band, the Dave FM staff narrowed the number to 25 based on song style, quality of sound and performance ability, Davis said.
Music Allies then chose the final four, looking for simply good music, Altheimer said.
What made Southern rockers Hightide Blues and jazz artists The Reeds stick out from other submissions?
Both bands have a unique sound that brings something different to the festival, he said. Theyve got strong fan bases, and theyll keep going after Bonnaroo."
Bonnaroo is its own genre, he said. Its not a jam band festival; its not a southern rock festival. Its its own thing. So we wanted a really fun band that will make you dance and have a really good time."
The rest was up to the fans.
Together since 2006, Hightide Blues stacks quite the resume, having shared the stage with Sister Hazel, Graham Colton and Sara Bareilles, played more than 150 shows in 2007 and will tour with Benjy Davis Project this summer.
Saturday will be The Reeds first live performance after months of recording their new CD, Bleed Lust. Reid and violinist Ben Austin have been a duo since high school, but the full band wasnt added until December 2007.
Both bands will use Saturdays slot to test out their up-and-coming records.
I was shocked, Reid said when he heard The Reeds were chosen. We usually dont win contests. We never even make the top 3 at Eddies Attic [Songwriters Open Mic], so we never thought wed get this.
3 people apparently love handing over an extra 40% in fees for nothing in return…
Dang. I thought they would name some actual headliners.
Forgot to mention that Iggy did a stellar show @ the Agora in the spring…
Their fees were onerous, to say the least. $16 per ticket for "convenience," and it's…
That poster is for the Iggy Pop show on March 11 1983 @ 688 club…
oh sweet: just who i was waiting to get announced!