On Saturday, June 30, from 1 to 6 p.m., at Rainbow Harbor Amphitheater, five of Southern California’s most respected tribute bands will perform in head–to–head competition for $3,500 in cash prizes and tribute fame at Summer And Music’s (SAM) fourth annual Battle of the Tribute Bands.
Running the gamut of beloved sounds from many decades past, Battle of the Tribute Bands marks the first large-scale event of SAM 2012—Downtown Long Beach’s homegrown, sustainable concert series, providing an entire summer of free music to the public.
Likely to be the only event of the summer where tunes from The Beatles, U2 and The Pixies will face off with the sounds of Iron Maiden, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Performances will be held outdoors along the waterfront in Rainbow Harbor Amphitheater, located at 330 S. Pine Avenue, just south of Shoreline Drive. Loud, guttural sing-alongs are encouraged.
SAM Coordinator Ashley Hectus—who has assembled the talent for Battle of the Tribute Bands since its inception—has witnessed this rock and roll combat appeal to every generation of music lovers and encourages folks to come and rock out to a shameless good time.
“These bands and their music represent something significant to us,” Hectus said. “They remind us of a special time in our lives. Everyone has a blast—the audience, the staff, the musicians – and there’s plenty of dancing and singing. This event is an unbelievable crowd-pleaser. We’ve had people show up at 8 a.m. staking out their spot on the grass to see their favorite band. Having the chance to weigh in on the judging really appeals to the audience too. In the end, it’s up to them who comes out on top.”
On the bill for three rounds of rock ‘n’ roll combat: Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles) Joshua Tree (U2), Debaser (The Pixies), The Iron Maidens (an all female tribute to Iron Maiden) and The Petty Breakers (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers). Returning Battle broadcaster Nick “Fierce” Pierce will again emcee and guide the crowd through tribute performances sure to instigate head banging and hip shaking.
Tribute bands will compete in a first round elimination process at the behest of three local celebrity judges, including The Press Telegram’s favorite columnist Tim Grobaty, Mark Dunton, owner of East Village’s hot spot District Wine and La Strada Italian Restaurant’s matriarch Lisa Ramelow. The afternoon’s spinning will be handled by local favorite DJ Dennis Owens of the Good Foot.
After a brief intermission filled with more entertainment and music, the judges will announce the top three contenders. Third place is awarded $500. To decide who will be crowned the tribute champion, the top two bands will compete once again. A decibel reading of the crowd’s applause will determine who walks away with $1,000 for second prize and who will reign supreme, taking the $2,000 grand prize.
Conveniently situated in the heart of Rainbow Harbor’s restaurant boardwalk, Battle of the Tribute Bands will be the prime opportunity to rock out to favorite top hits while also grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many dockside dining destinations.
Showcasing a renewed focus on environmental concerns, SAM founding members, in conjunction with The Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and City of Long Beach Development Services are partnering with leading clean energy provider Green Mountain Energy in an attempt to make this a carbon neutral event.
Alternative transportation to the event is encouraged, with several public transit options offered by Long Beach Transit. Members of local cycling advocacy group Long Beach Cyclists will also be offering free bike valet parking throughout the day.
With three enormously successful seasons of SAM behind us—bringing in an estimated 30,000 attendees each year and garnering substantial media attention and critical acclaim—SAM is gearing up for an even bigger, greener turnout this year. Scheduled to run from June to August, the lineup for SAM 2012 is estimated to draw more than 35,000 attendees throughout the summer.
The SAM series features an abundance of local and regional talent, including Long Beach musicians, writers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers and media professionals, as well as enormous support from local businesses and community organizations. This year, SAM will also be fortified by the dedicated efforts of an entire team of event-coordinating music lovers and by a unique partnership with DLBA and the City of Long Beach. It’s truly of the people and for the people.
For more information, call the DLBA at (562) 436.4259 or check out the website: http://www.summerandmusic.com.