Here's a huge thank you to our great group of judges. The four every weekers: Indy Grotto, Razormack.com, Davis Clement and Ben Jones. And our six guest judges: Zach Holland, Belvis the Black Elvis, Will Boyd, Jim Harris and Michael Marion.
And their final commentary.
The spark that won the semifinal for Brian Martin and the Circulators just wasn't there Friday night. It was a slow build and by the time they'd settled into that wonderful thing they do, the set was over. Still, the Circulators were a solid band (and such tasty horn parts!) and there were moments of brilliance that had the crowd kicking up its heels.
Kyoto Boom's performance was effortless. Scott Cook is the master of reinvention and man does he have a knack for writing a great hook. Oh, and his voice IS rock and roll.
Epiphany and One Night Stand must have holed up in some dark rehearsal space since winning the semifinals. Finals night, they took things to a whole new level. Gina Gee let loose, Epiphany was magnetic and they both showed why it's possible to have two big personalities on one stage. You just can't fake chemistry like that. They ended the set with 5 Dollas, one of the finest pop hooks I've heard.
But it was 607 and Mr. Morbid who I fell for...hook, line and sinker. From the pre-show rumors of a car wreck to the obnoxious crowd member who shouted something offensive and was musically berated by 607 to the sparklers at the end of the set, this was rock n roll at its finest. 607 showed that music encompasses all genres and that he is a force to be reckoned with.
See the rest of the comments below.
607 is a true success story. He is an individual that is following his dreams and is one of the few [rapper's] who live off of their trade. It is a true testament to the Progressiveness of the Arkansas Times
to offer a Hip Hop Act an opportunity to enrich Arkansans with music diversity [I don't know about all that. -LM
It would be easy to say the showcase was just an extended coronation ceremony for 607. He is one of the most consistently brilliant artists in town, and he understands what being an entertainer is all about. Through each round, I kept thinking "Who among these bands has the best chance against 607?" The three other bands in the finals were, I thought, quite formidable. 607 pushes the envelope always, though, and his set Friday night was as diverse and on-point as I've ever seen him.
To have a performer of his caliber in Little Rock is truly a pleasure. He is one of Arkansas' greatest and most consistent acts, and he really deserved to win the Showcase. 607 and Mr. Morbid are a winning team, and I hope to be seeing a lot of performances from them in the future.
Guest judge Jim Harris
First, having seen nine of these finals in a row, the depth of talent in this one was second to none. All amazing acts that should be able to “go places.” What I’ve learned over these years is that while songwriting and musical talent are significant, to say the least, it ultimately boils down to the performance, and 607 (as well as his sidekick) was a dynamic performer, offering a show that was unforgettable. Frankly, I had the highest of opinion for Brian Martin’s set. His song, “Reno,” was genius and his ability to blend musical genres within his rootsy presentation stood out. I loved the groove of Epiphany, and the hooks from Kyoto Boom made for likeable songs; the influence of U2 and the Clash was unmistakable. The music fan was well rewarded with this showcase. Congrats to 607.
Guest judge Michael Marion
It’s great to see that kind of great talent here locally. It’s what I’ve always enjoyed about the showcase. 1st class talent right in our own back yard.