CARLSBAD — On Jan. 30 the Calavera Hills Community Center was home to Teen Scene, a battle of the bands put on by the city of Carlsbad.
The yearly event focuses on giving young local musicians a chance to show off their talents.
“This event really is for teenagers,” said Steve Miller, the special events coordinator for Carlsbad. “We do several events throughout the year, most of the events focus on family. We have an art café, video games, but the big draw is high school bands.”
After a kick-off set from last year’s winner, Tan Sister Radio, the competition was on.
Midnight Rising performed an upbeat pop set on stage one while Three Strikes May set up on stage 2, preparing to blast the crowd with their fast, broken-hearted pop-punk.
Later in the competition, Dear Disclaimer brought a harsher sound, with loud vocals over tortured guitars and intense rhythms.
One by one, the bands worked through their sets, playing originals and cover songs, ripping guitar solos, crooning choruses and pounding beats.
The bands that performed weren’t motivated just by a need to be seen in front of their friends or a desire to be named the best band in Carlsbad.
There was something much bigger on the line. Hurley International, one of the many event sponsors, was offering a full day in a professional recording studio to the winner.
Once the final band ended their set, all of the musicians eagerly awaited to see who had garnered enough acclaim from the three judges.
Veronica May, Tim Mudd and Michael Tirenan presided over the performances, each of them accomplished musicians and performers themselves.
Once they reached a decision, they sent Rachel Shay, the Carlsbad supervisor for Parks and Recreation, to announce the winner.
After the fervor died down, Shay revealed that that Make It Last Kid had won first place.
“It’s awesome — I still can’t believe it,” said Nathan Blake, the guitarist from Make It Last Kid. “We’ve been together for a little less than a year. It was a little nerve-wracking at first because we’ve never really played a show before. But once we got up there it was a blast.”
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“It was like a challenge to surprise the other, older bands,” Aidan Gille, the oldest member and singer for the second-place band Armadawn said. “Some of the other bands said to us, ‘Nice playing.’ I can’t wait to come next year.”