by Kellie Abrahamson
On August 1st six musical acts took to the Jacksonville Landing’s stage but only one was crowned the Last Band Standing. INfinity, a young group from St. Augustine, secured their win after a show-stopping performance that left the crowd, the judges and the competition absolutely blown away.
The Landing, WAPE 95.1 and EU teamed up for the four-part music competition that was held on Saturdays beginning July 11th. Hundreds of bands from Jacksonville and beyond registered to compete but only a handful of the best and brightest were selected. A wide range of styles were represented- from spot-on covers to funk, from country to punk- each giving audiences a look at how much talent the Sunshine State breeds.
Some major prizes were up for grabs. The winning act will be the first to perform at WAPE’s Birthday Bash at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, headline the Florida/Georgia game celebration at the Landing and have a free professional recording session.
Winners of the preliminary rounds were determined by the audience via text message- the two bands with the most votes at the end of each night earned a spot in the finals. Unlike the qualifying matches, the final six had to face a panel of judges as well as the Landing audience, with text votes counting as 50% of their score and the judges’ tallies counting for the other 50%.
Over the course of the Last Band Standing competition, the weather threatened to spoil the fun, with evening showers always hovering nearby. The Saturday of the finals ended up being no exception and there was actually an hour-long delay between two of the bands’ sets while the crowd waited out a particularly gusty patch of weather. Once that minor inconvenience passed the show continued, the crowd damp but still ready to see some of the best unsigned acts Florida has to offer.
Each band that performed seemed to give it their all but INfinity stood out from the rest. With wireless guitars and, at one point, marching band drums, the pop-rock outfit used every inch of the stage and even ventured out into the crowd, making the three-piece the most mobile group of them all. They got the crowd into the act, inviting a few people with rhythm up on stage to have their own drum solo. At one point, in honor of the top prize, the band took out Gator and Bulldog flags, waving them while playing each team’s fight song. But their on-stage antics weren’t the only reason they scored big with the audience and the judges. INfinity, made up of some of the youngest competitors in the entire contest, were strong musically and worked exceptionally well together. If you missed the chance to see INfinity live, be sure to check them out at the big shows they won spots on: WAPE’s Birthday Bash at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre over Labor Day weekend and the Florida/Georgia game celebration at the Landing onOctober 31st.
EU would like to congratulate all of the bands selected to participate in Last Band Standing. They gave it their all and showed us, once again, how truly talented our area musicians are. Thank you for four wonderful weekends of entertainment. We hope to see you again next year!
And the Last Band Standing is…
by Kellie Abrahamson