No Operator is a Nanaimo based band who made it over for the competition, and brought with them lots of dedicated fans. I liked the clear rock vocals blended with their heavy, intricate riffs. Their melodic tunes would sound great recorded properly. (After listening to their CD on the way home, I wished the record had captured more of their full sound, as it simply did not compare to the live performance.) I would have liked to see a little more movement on stage, however the over all performance was very good. The lead singer broke a string on his guitar during the last song, didn't have a back up prepared, but rocked the mic without hesitation. It was a performance that set the bar high for this night's event. Well done, No Operator!
One Year Later took the stage next and right away I noticed the audience starting to gather at the front of the stage. Their sound was good, but I found the songs almost blended into one another eventually. Their use of stage was great, and they appeared to be well rehearsed, and well liked; I just wasn't blown away. They had a very Rock/Pop-Rock sound which matched their marketable image. I think One Year Later has good potential, and with some work, they could sell it. I look forward to seeing them again in the future. Keep up the hard work, One Year members.
Lovely Sinners was the third act of the evening. Each member showed great personality on stage between songs, and chemistry with each other through out the set, though I found their use of stage a bit boring. However, they did have a confidence in their material that really showed through. They had a tight sound, but it fell just short of "great." I thought their songs needed more dynamics. They were good, but not initially grabbing. With some work on songwriting, their sound could be taken to the next level. All in all, it was a good set.
Last, but certainly not least, was Lift Off. Now, having had the pleasure of seeing this band many times before, I knew I was in for a show. Lift Off never ceases to deliver. They bring everything they've got to the stage - including props, banners and their own set of stage lights! Each member has such charisma, energy, and talent it's hard not to be on your feet dancing or singing along to their fresh, catchy tunes. If you like Rock/Pop with cool hints of Punk, driving guitar riffs, and in your face vocals, or just chains, ties, and eyeliner; you'll LOVE Lift Off. This is a band that's done it right. Great image, great sound, great stage work. A well crafted musical machine that will continue to become more and more successful as they carry on. As always, great job fellas!
Aaand that's a wrap folks! The last of the competition. All the judges sheets are in and tallied! Look to the next post for the Top 5 bands of this year's Cellar Launch Project. If interested in photos taken this night, please contact James at HammerRecords@hotmail.ca