Anomopoly, Dirty Truckers Snatch Top Prizes in Band Battle; Thanks to All Our Sponsors
One of the big reasons we launched Xconomy in 2007 was to remind the incredibly talented, enthusiastic people who make up Boston’s innovation community that what they do is not just important and (hopefully) profitable, but fun. And from watching so many tech-biz folks happily getting down and chatting each other up at last night’s Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands 2, it seems that we’re succeeding—at least in a small way.
The four-hour competition at the Middle East Night Club in Central Square, Cambridge, included five bands with members representing local technology companies, plus special guests Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives, starring Xconomy’s own Greg Huang on bass. The event attracted a capacity crowd of more than 400 attendees, whose ticket purchases helped us assemble respectable donations for two local non-profit groups, the Community Music Center of Boston and Science Club for Girls.
Suspense mounted through the evening as listeners’ votes rolled in via a text-messaging system provided by Cambridge, MA-based Aerva. In the Audience Favorite voting, the crowd eventually settled on The Dirty Truckers, a hard-driving country-rock-soul band representing American Well and Sophos. The Jamaica Plain, MA-based band, which wrapped up its set with a rousing rendition of “Boston Wrangler,” includes Tom Baker and John Brookhouse on guitar and vocals, Jamie Griffith on bass, and Brian McElroy on drums and vocals. As their prize, the group walked away with $1,050 in free studio recording time and engineering help, generously donated by Bristol Recording Studios of Boston.
The award for Most Innovative Band was chosen by Xconomy staffers, together with guest judges Giles McNamee, co-founder of Boston-based investment banking house McNamee Lawrence & Co., and Helen Greiner, co-founder of Bedford, MA-based iRobot. The award went to Anomopoly, an offbeat indie/rock quartet representing TekScan and Nano-C. The Brighton, MA-based band includes vocalist Toni Ferreira, guitar player Brian Joyce, bass player Tom Lada, and drummer Bill Anderson, and stirred up the crowd with their rhythmically surprising original “Angel Hair,” among other great tunes. For their efforts, Anomopoly took home our other grand prize, a year of free online band promotion services, generously donated by Boston-based Nimbit.
The other three competitors turned in such fantastic performances that we wished we’d had five awards to hand out. EneROCK, a power-rock quartet representing Boston-based EnerNOC, got the competition off to a rollicking start with expert covers of classics like Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” The Main Drag, an indie-electronic band whose members hail from Cambridge-based video game pioneer Harmonix Music, impressed the crowd with their colorful, fast-paced arrangements of original songs like “A Jagged Gorgeous Winter” (one of the featured songs on the Harmonix game Rock Band 2). And Seymore Willie, a six-piece R&B ensemble representing AMAG Pharmaceuticals, LSI, and ARCON, definitely delivered on the “energetic, sophisticated raunchy style” promised by its website.
We’re grateful to all the bands for participating. For the record, the final tally in the audience favorite vote was:
The Dirty Truckers — 30.8%
The Main Drag–13.7%
There were quite a few photographers on hand to record last night’s proceedings, and we want to point you to two collections of shots that have already been posted on the Web. Jason Walker, who also happened to win one of our door prizes, has published more than 360 amazing shots at his site PersonalSnapper.com. And Kennieth Burwood of American Well has posted more than 200 very artful shots on his personal Picasa Web collection. Jason and Ken gave us permission to excerpt several of their photos here; click the thumbnails in this article to see larger versions with photo credits.
We can’t close this wrapup without thanking our fantastic event sponsors, who were led by Microsoft and Invest Northern Ireland, along with Bristol Studios and Nimbit, which put up the two great band prizes.
We had a cadre of super door prizes as well: Microsoft donated two Zunes, iRobot dusted things off with two Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners, and Harmonix Music contributed three Rock Band 2 bundles.
Finally, we had an incredible group of Event Supporters, who bought ticket blocks: American Well, The Computer Café, EnerNOC, General Catalyst Partners, IDEO, LaunchCapital, Nano-C, Pegasystems, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
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