by John Tarpley
As with every year, the task of whittling down the long list of great submissions to a final group of semi-finalists is a huge reminder of the amount of rich talent all across the state.
And as these things go, the number of great entrants outweighed the number of open spots. However, this year we've expanded the field from 16 to 20 semi-finalists, competing over the course of five weeks.
And if we say so ourselves, this year's lineup is one of the best we've ever had.
There are long-time local favorites who've never entered the Showcase right beside a number of new bands with enough raw talent to push through to our final list.
The five semi-final rounds will feature four bands per night and will be held every Thursday from January 27 to February 24 at Stickyz Rock n’ Roll Chicken Shack. Each week, a panel of judges will choose one band to advance to the final round on March 3, where the five finalists face off at Revolution.
The winner gets a hefty load of bragging rights and a place beside recent winners like Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth, Velvet Kente and 607 as well as a hefty assortment of prize packages, including a spot at Riverfest 2011 and a photo shoot with Times photomaster Brian Chilson.
We’ll announce details of the winning prizes next week, along with this year’s judges and the final schedule.
Until then, check out this year's 20 stellar semi-finalists after the jump.
Congratulations to everyone below and good luck!
UPDATE: Androids of Ex-Lovers and The Evelyns were unable to participate this year, so welcome Brethren and Thunder Thieves to the mix!
In alphabetical order...
Ginsu Wives (pretty NSFW-ish)
Sea Nanners (formerly Reptar)
The Smittle Band