Announcing Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands 3: Seattle vs. Boston

Are you tired of this whole East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry? Do you want it settled once and for all? What better way to do so than with a knock-down drag-out fight— with bass, drums, and guitars. That’s the idea behind Xconomy Boston’s third annual Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands.

The theme of this year’s battle: Seattle vs. Boston. Yes, we’re serious. With the help of a travel grant from Brad Feld of Foundry Group and TechStars fame, Xconomy Boston is bringing out two of the star performers from this summer’s inaugural Xconomy Seattle Battle of the Tech Bands to square off against two previous winners of the Boston battle.

The Seattle vs. Boston smack down is set for Thursday, February 4, at our regular venue: The Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub in Cambridge’s Central Square. As always, we’ll have band prizes and door prizes. And the battle helps some great causes: Net ticket proceeds from this year’s event will go to benefit two local charities: Science Club for Girls and Year Up Boston. You can get tickets here. (They make great holiday gifts!)

We’ll be adding a lot more details after the holidays. But here’s a taste of what’s in store.

From the West Coast, we have Lions Ambition, a six-person hip-hop-rock band representing Boeing. Lions took home the judge’s prize for Most Innovative Band from this summer’s battle “for their inspired rhythms and stratospheric vocals,” as our Seattle editor Greg Huang described it. Also competing is Juda’s Wake, a heavy metal band with roots at Microsoft that many felt was the real star of Seattle battle, even though it finished just out of the prizes. “Killer metal chops, extreme volume, and tremendous hair (from a Microsoft band no less),” said Greg. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that bassist James Dixon started things off in Seattle by announcing: “We’re here to piss some people off.”

They will have a chance to do just that by taking on last year’s Boston audience favorites, The Dirty Truckers, “a hard-driving country-rock-soul band,” in Wade’s words, that represents American Well and Sophos. And joining the Truckers will be the pop/dub/electronica hipsters Deadbeat Darling, which won the audience favorite prize in the Boston battle’s inaugural year representing Akamai. Even though band member Sanjay Jain has since left the Akamai fold and has co-founded a cloud computing startup in New York called Pictela, the band is still deeply connected to the Boston innovation scene. Pictela’s lead investor is Rich Levandov of Avalon Ventures. Levandov, who became famous thanks to The Tale of the Tacoda Tattoo, is based right here in Cambridge.

We’d like to add a heartfelt thanks to Brad Feld who, as I mentioned, provided the funding that allowed us to bring out Juda’s Wake and Lions Ambition. Brad, as most in Boston’s entrepreneurial community know, is a co-founder of TechStars, which opened in Boston this past summer and just announced last week it was coming to Seattle as well. So he, like Xconomy, has strong ties to both cities.

In its first year, the Boston battle drew close to 350 people. Last year, it got even bigger, as nearly 500 people packed into the Middle East. Who knows how big it will be this year—so don’t miss it. Tickets are available here.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and chairman. You can email him at Follow @bbuderi

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