ClubWars Diary


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ClubWars Diary

Captain's Log


I'm posting all future entries on Banzai Magazine

Friday night at the Beaumont was part of the Battle For Freaker's Ball. The Beaumont installed their own PA and have been throwing various sound guys in there to work my shows. Well, on Friday, they had this guy named Charlie working the stage. I can't remember his last name, but I first met him when he ran sound for Banshee at their reunion shows back in the late 90's. Charlie had the show running about 15 minutes ahead of schedule as the 4th band Drek was setting up. Charlie had Drek, who ended up being the nights winner, close to being ready when I looked at my watch and figured we were about to be 25 minutes ahead of schedule. I was like, "We can slow down the changeovers a little bit." I think we ended the show about 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

Last night was the Final of Country Wars at the VooDoo Lounge. The show went very well and lots of people that attended thanked me for putting the thing together. There were also lots of comments about how good the bands were. Country Wars was at times a very frustrating event to put together this year. I'll be approaching it a little differently in 2010.

Signum AD was the band that advanced to the Club Wars Championship from last nights Semi-Final at the VooDoo Lounge. After I announced them moving on, the GnR Tribute band Destructive Appetite took the stage. As expected all of the bands sounded good and the turn out was pretty decent. Honestly though, Destructive Appetite didn't bring much of a crowd to the event. I would say of the 15-20 people that showed up for them, half were on the guest list.

Country Wars was a pretty good time last night at Whiskey Tango. Other than somebody slapping sound man Bruce Ward upside the head during the 3rd set. There were no incidents. The band Bandana was the winner but Whiskey Made had quite a vocal crowd there as well. Aside from the final, this is probably going to end up being the best show of the series.

It was two smoking clubs in the same weekend for Club Wars. Semi Final #2 at Aftershock on Friday and the last of the Qualifier dates at Lizard Lounge in Wichita on Saturday. The drive to Wichita wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It rained at times and we got storm warnings on several radio stations cruising down the turnpike. Going through the Flint Hills was the highlight for Jan. We got out of there earlier than I thought and arrived back home a little after 3am. The owner of the place, Kenny seemed pleased with the show. I think it's a pretty decent club. It didn't take me long to start thinking about combining Club Wars with an Elvis Bash at the place.

Had the Country Wars last night at Crosstown Station. It was just a one night only event this year. The bands played lots of covers. I think there was 3 songs that were played more than once. The band Train Wreck was the winner. They filled the trophy cup with Jack & Coke and started passing it around. Band members and friends took swigs out of it. The band Whiskey Made came in 2nd place. They played their set as if they were playing an arena.

Had 2 no shows on the first night of the Fall Club Wars. Still had a fairly good crowd. I think it's well on it's way to living up to the billing of a Free-For-All. It ended a bit early and I started thinking about heading out to Double T's and catching part of the Love Pump show. But after I loaded the van, Kent Burnham was getting ready to play with Minds Under Cover inside the Beaumont. So, we stuck around and saw a little of their set before heading for home. The inside show was a benefit for someone that needed a liver transplant. The collection of bands and their turn out was like a bad Club Wars. There was a lady selling cupcakes though, they were very tasty.

We've reached the Championship known as Fifteen
It's sure to be the biggest crowd the series has seen

Over 80 bands began on this quest
Now it's down to the 7 who've passed the test

Order Number Eleven or The Karma Effect
Black Oxygen maybe the Leo Project

Malikai, Bent or Surrogate Sons
They all hope to be the ones

The opener at the Freaker's Ball
You know, 98.9s ritual of the fall

Regardless of what the outcome may be
It'll be one hell of a good show bay-bee!!

We've just wrapped up the last full weekend of the Summer Club Wars. There is just one more Semi-Final before Championship on August 22.

Friday night at the Granada in Lawrence was the last of 9 Qualifier dates. They had a guy there working on the air-conditioning. It wasn't quite as hot as some of the past Club Wars dates held at the Granada in July or August. I had 8 bands scheduled to play the show. But 3 of them cancelled in the days leading up to the show. They really weren't missed. Each band played well and as the scores indicated, it was close. The first tie in the "tie-breaker" era of Club Wars. Guinevere and Orion Falls move on to the Semi-Final. On a side note. It was my first trip to the Granada since sometime last year. In fact, I think it was Valentine's Day in 2007. Anyway, they gave the front room a little bit of a different look. There were a bunch of pictures of bands and crowds from previous shows. There was also a picture of the marquee that was loaded up with a bunch of upcoming show dates. Club Wars was one of the upcoming dates that listed. I got a kick out of that.

Saturday at Davey's was the 5th Semi-Final date. This show had the bands who had advanced from the qualifier dates held in St. Joe, Columbia, Sedalia and Pittsburg. The bill also included Order Number Eleven, the reigning champions of Club Wars. They brought a large and vocal crowd. There was a little crowd surfing during their set. The two ceiling fans narrowly avoided destruction. The judging was very close, but the fan vote put Order Number Eleven back in the final.

Sunday night was stop over at the Mission Theater. Not a bad turn out for a Sunday night. The bands did a good job. The sound was questionable at times. But it's a decent place to put on a show. Black Oxygen came away with the top score. That puts 3 former winners of Club Wars in the Championship.

Just got home from the Record Bar. It was Semi #2 of the Spring Blitz. This was a good show. It wasn't to bad of a crowd for a Tuesday. There were just over 50 votes turned in, but I think we had more people there than that. Capsule B was the band that advanced to the Championship. They weren't bad, I thought though that Device was the best of this evening's crop. Stoneyard came in 2nd place and will get another shot in the Wild Card

The Spring Club Wars has begun. Underhoss is our first finalist for the Championship on May 16. The show earlier this evening at The Pig went well. This was my first show at the former Niener's. I like what they've done with the place. Not the biggest of turn outs. I don't think an opening night of a Spring Club Wars has ever had a big crowd. We would have had a few more people in the house but one of the scheduled bands cancelled a few days before the gig. Scars Do Tell had to drop out when the groups vocalist Jason had to go out of town for a funeral.

We've now marked 6 years of Club Wars on the scene. Last night at Blayney's was a rockin Cover Wars. It was a phenomenal Club Wars birthday compared to last years. Last year on March 27 was a Qualifier date of the Spring Club Wars at the Grand Emporium. It was the biggest wiff in the history of Club Wars. It was so lame that I got in the habit of not making a diary entry after each show. This night however, literally got off on the good foot.

The Good Foot is a new band that has a few of the guys from Fairbanks in it. They've got a cute black girl fronting the band and they do Motown type tunes. Their set list included stuff by the Jackson 5, Billy Preston and Stevie Wonder. I really liked 'em. They were the band that advanced to the Final.

The second group was Simply Driven. This band was in the Cover Wars Final last year. The lead singer Dave has a whole line up now though. They ditched a bunch of the bluesier rock they used to do for some harder stuff. They played Sabbath chestnuts "Fairies Wear Boots" and "War Pigs" along with some Megadeth and White Zombie.

The third group was The Photons. The bands guitarist Brion Holcombe and drummer Ryan Sherlak also play in The Realm. They played in Cover Wars a few weeks ago at the VooDoo Lounge. The Realm has a more classic rock repetoire compared to the more modern covers The Photons play. Stuff by 311, Green Day and the Foo Fighters made their way into the set.

The last two bands were Harvesting Jane and Punched 30 Over. Both of these bands did a decent job of covering some classic rock and some newer stuff. I liked Harvesting Jane doing a cover of Shinedown's "Save Me." Aside from that, I was not as impressed with these bands as I was with the others.

Bit of a wild week in Club Wars has just passed. I spent most of last week meeting with bands that are playing in the Spring Club Wars. I didn't have the typical Draft as we've had in past Club Wars. I'm doing things a little different this time and I needed to have a face to face with someone from each band.

I was still dealing with that on Friday. When a Cover Wars Semi-Final I had scheduled for that night at the Beaumont Club was bumped by a DJ from New Zealand. I found out that we could have a conflict about a week before. There was some confusion about what was going on with the date. Maybe I should have got the clue. But Lunkwicz kept telling me that we were going to work it out. So, I took that to mean we were going to have some kind of DJ/Band compromise. It didn't turn out that way. It sucked to tell everyone it was off. Not everyone took it well from what I've heard. And from what I've read on the Club Wars Guestbook.

My favorite of the "Wars" is Cover Wars. The VooDoo Lounge was host of a kick ass night of rock n roll. It ended with the band World Famous Locals advancing from this Cover Wars Semi-Final.

I think some of the staff at the club thought we might be hurt attendance wise by the new clubs opening in the downtown area. But we had close to 400 people for this show. I don't know if we've ever even had that big of a crowd for a Cover Wars Final.

I scored Salamander highest on my score sheet. I think being in the opening spot and getting a sound check made them the best sounding band of the night. I also kind of thought Red Eye Russ was the best vocalist of the evening.

I scored World Famous Locals 2nd. They maybe weren't the best players of the night. But I though they rocked the hardest and I liked their song selection the most.

I had The Realm 3rd on my ballot. They definitely had the most depth of all the bands. They had three different guys sang lead. And their keyboardist also played sax on George Thorogood's "I Drink Alone" and the flute during "Locamotive Breath" by Jethro Tull.

The Battle For Winger went down last night at Danny's in Lenexa. We used the current Club Wars rules at this one night only event. Lucid Fiction got the top score and will get on the Winger billl March 5 at the Beaumont. I really thought Blackout Velvet was the evenings best. We had a good turn out for this show despite some steady snow showers.

The winter of 2008 has seen a Metal Wars go down and the start of a Cover Wars.

Over 30 bands took part in the 3rd annual Metal Wars. The battle was won by Injected Element from St Joe. They along with the bands Black Buffalo, At The Left Hand Of God and Behold The Alliance were the best of the lot in my opinion. The Final featured 10 bands and it was a bit of a marathon. But I thought it went well. The only real delays came when drummers had triggers or an electronic pad they wanted to use.

Cover Wars started on February 10 at the Record Bar. Taint was the band that advanced to the Final. I have 3 other dates scheduled for Cover Wars at this time and I am probably going to add another. I'm having much better luck finding bands to play in it this time around.

Tomorrow night is the Club Wars Presents Battle For Winger at Danny's Bar & Grill in Lenexa. It's a first for a Club Wars event at this venue. I hope we blow the doors off the place.

We're heading into the last month of the year. I kind of feel like I didn't crank out Club Wars like I did in 2006. But, last year we had nearly 100 total Club Wars dates. This year it was over 90, so I guess it wasn't that far off.

November saw a variety of different Club Wars events go down. On November 9, the final of Country Wars took place at Harrah's VooDoo Lounge. Angel Rattay was the winner. There was a fairly decent turnout for the show. But it was during Garth Brooks 9 nights in a row at the Sprint Center. I don't know if that had an effect on the crowd size or not. It was hard finding enough bands to play in Country Wars. I think that the next Country Wars will be a one night only event.

The final of the Fall Club Wars was on November 16 at the Beaumont. The band Browntown was the winner. Now, heading into the Fall Club Wars, I felt like it wasn't going to be as good as the Spring or Summer Club Wars. The Fall Club Wars didn't have the amount of bands or shows that the Spring or Summer Club Wars had. But I think the Fall Club Wars Final had a much higher intensity level than the Spring and Summer finales.

The Throwdown For The Showdown took place on November 20 and 21. These shows were play-offs for the Uptown Showdown scheduled to take place this weekend on December 1. Fan only vote picked the bands advancing to The Showdown. The 20th was the Record Bar. Not that great of a turnout. The band Namaskar had the most votes. The 21st was at the Grand Emporium. It was the night before Thanksgiving and there was a big crowd. Forlorn Hope had the higher fan vote this night. I didn't realize it at the time, but that was my last show at the Grand Emporium. The place became an upscale Hip Hop club on the weekends back in September. It's gone fairly well, so now they're taking out the stage to make more booth space. The old pizza joint next door will probably end up as a VIP Room. I hate to see them stop having live music all together. But that's life in the big city.

Bad news about the Grand Emporium, good news about Club Wars.

Let's start with the bad news.

The Antonio's Pizza next to the Grand Emporium has closed. I was frickin starving by the time last nights Club Wars ended.

The good news is that both Club Wars dates this week have done pretty good. No earth shattering turn outs but good crowds for week nights. At both shows, there were a number of the players that seemed quite happy that they didn't have to bring all their gear. Last night, one of the guys in All Unknown said it was nice to be able to drive his car to Club Wars.

Tuesday nights winner at the Record Bar was Browntown and last night it was Weatherspoon.

It pretty much kicked ass last night at the Grand Emporium. The old place has a new look and I kinda like it. The 8 band bill ran a little longer than I hoped. And half the bands had combo amps, so not everyone played on my stuff. I'm thinking about going ahead and buying myself some heads, they would have come in handy last night. The Fall Club Wars is going much better than I was anticipating.

The Fall Club Wars is starting in a few hours and I just realized I didn't make an entry after Championship XIII on September 15 at the Uptown Theater.

I thought all of the bands did a great job and it was a tough one to score for the judges. I don't have much to say about the bands other than they all kicked ass and the Uptown sound crew did them each justice. Congrats to Seeking Surreal on winning the deal and getting the Freaker's Ball gig.

This was the first time that a Club Wars Championship has been held at the Uptown Theater. It's a nice place to put it on and the sound was excellent. We had a crowd of over 500 people for the show. That's a pretty decent turn out. But compared to the last 2 years at the Summer Club Wars Championship, where we had 900-1000 people, it seems a little disappointing. I don't know if it was the higher ticket price, higher drink price or no smoking in the theater. But I can't help think, if this would have been at the Beaumont Club, there would have been hundreds more people.

The overall intensity level was nowhere near where it was last year either. There wasn't a sign waiving partisan in the place. After I announced Seeking Surreal as the winner there was very little reaction from the crowd at all. Now, I will say that they played first and the crowd they did draw probably left after a few of those $8 beers. I personally was nowhere near my own Championship intensity level. When Janice arrived a few minutes after the doors opened. She remarked "You're not very stressed out for a Club Wars Championship."

I also think I should have wrapped up the Summer Club Wars a few weeks earlier in August. By the time this show rolled around it had started feeling like Fall. At Davy B's after show party, the air was colder than the beer. Well, start looking forward to that hot and smoky Beaumont Club next August. I'm sure there will be plenty of noise after I announce the winner then.

It's time for the Championship of Club Wars XIII. Seeking Surreal became the final entrant this past Friday night at the Beaumont. Again, it was another great show of the Summer War. Here's my rundown on the bands that played:

Seeking Surreal has played Club Wars a number of times and I think they're a pretty good band. I thought this was probably the best I've ever seen them.

Steal The Sun is a new band that has guys that have been in other bands. They sound good and everything. None of their songs really grabbed me though. Maybe if they stay together long enough, they'll start to grow on me.

Sicadis was one of 3 bands that played twice in the semi finals. Like in their first appearance, I thought they were the most powerful band of the night.

The Furious Brothers pulled a good crowd and they rocked out. I think they're all decent players but their songs need some work.

Forlorn Hope are some younger guys that have played the Club Wars and Metal Wars a bunch of times. I think they did a good job. I'd have to say they were one of the better heavy duty bands that played in the Summer Club Wars.

There's been many more teenaged bands that have played in the various "Wars" this year. Decimus falls into that category. They are some young shredders. They played well, but they really lacked the experience of the other bands at this show.

It's been a few days since the 5th Semi-Final of the Summer Club Wars. It wasn't a bad turn out, though I do think the holiday weekend had an effect on it some. Band wise, this seemed to me, the most balanced line up we've had at a semi so far this summer. I thought all of the bands did a good job and they each had some redeeming qualities. Now, when I'm judging one of these, there usually comes a moment when I decide which band I thought was the best of the night. I didn't really have that moment at this show. There wasn't anything that made one band stand out more than the others. So, I chose to score one band the highest based on how I thought they would do in the Championship. That band was Restraint. I really thought, of the bands on this bill, that they would be the strongest one at the Final. After Restraint it was a toss up between Dora Dank and Behold The Alliance. I put the Dank boys ahead of The Alliance mostly due to the vocals. I think Behold The Alliance absolutely shreds, but I still have an issue with this kind of vocal style. Especially, when I see people cringing during the set. Now, I'm not automatically scoring bands lower because of this vocal style. But, for some reason, it just rubbed me the wrong way this night. I also want to throw out some props to No Cause No Cure. They pretty much did the same thing they did in the Qualifier Round a month ago. Maybe being in this bigger room didn't confine their weirdness as much. They seemed to kick a little more ass.

It was Semi-Final time last night at the Grand Emporium. Decent turn out. Steve Schad had his light rig in full effect. Black Oxygen was the band that advanced to the Championship. I scored At The Left Hand Of God highest on my judge sheet. Blackout Velvet was the best of the rest from this bill. Only a few shows left in the Summer Club Wars.

Honestly, I went into this show thinking either Sicadis or Our Of The Suffering were going to be the band that advanced to the Championship of the Summer Club Wars.

The show kicked off with Caesura. I think they're a decent band. I thought their lead vocalist Joel did a good job of fronting the group. But go to their Myspace, the address is Caesura2012. They may be dating themselves, 2012 is a few years down the road. They could have a little ways to go before they become one of the top bands around.

Sicadis was second on the bill. As one of the judges, I scored them the highest. I really thought they had the best sound of the night. They came in second overall. In the Summer Club Wars, there are a number of bands that get a second chance and live to fight another day. This is the last band that gets a second chance in the Summer of 2007.

Dollhouse Rumor was next. They advanced to the Championship. I thought they played the most intense set of the evening. The bands frontman Pat was dressed all in black and he didn't start shit with anyone until after the show was over.

Next up was Hectic. In a big way, I think Club Wars has become a place where young bands are starting to develop themselves into becoming the top bands around the local music scene. This band exemplifies that. I think they were out of place on this bill, but still they did a damn good job.

Out Of The Suffering closed it out. I think their bass player Krista is the hardest rocking chick on the scene and frontman Graves is on my shortlist for Outstanding Frontman at the Banzai Awards. They had a cool light show, but I still scored Sicadis and Dollhouse Rumor higher on my judge sheet.

There was a dude at this show that kept saying to me that Club Wars is rigged. If it was rigged, Sicadis would be in the final and Dollhouse Rumor would be coming back for another shot.

It was an early night at Jerry's, only 3 bands on the bill. I'm home before midnite.

Opening the show was Mourn The Martyr. I thought they were so-so. A couple of the guys in the band came up to me after the show. They suggested I do a "Core Wars" sometime in the future.

Ascension was second on the bill and they advanced. They are some young guys with a bit of the old school flair. Lead guitarist Derek Mueller played some solos with the guitar behind his head. Frontman John Burke delivered vocals to heavy music without screaming.

Closing it out was Deviant Machine. Someone made a comment about bringing your Tool covers to Club Wars. Well, these guys didn't play any Tool covers, but they reminded me of the aforementioned. Deviant Machine has played Club Wars a few times before. I think they're a pretty decent band.

Last night was the 2nd semi-final of the Summer War. I really thought that this line up of bands was equal to any number of CW Championships that have been held in the last year or two. The crowd was a little light as Daddry Shield started things off, but it quickly started building. Changing Faith was the band that advanced to the Championship. It was my first time seeing this version of the band. I thought they put on a good show, but I think I was most impressed by Veil. The guys in Veil attacked the stage and played with an intensity during their entire set. They're a young band and I think they have lots of potential. Closing out the show was Only The Innocent Survive. They seemed a little out of place in this line up. I think at next friday's semi-final, the band Hectic, will be the band that's out of place at that one.

It was qualifier time last night at the Grad Emporium. The room was hot and the turnout was decent. We had a couple of firsts in Club Wars this evening. The final score had a 3 way tie between No Cause No Cure, Fracture and Discord. I think it was the first time this has happened in a Club Wars. No Cause No Cure won the tie breaker with a higher score from the judges. It's funny that these bands tied in the final score, I wanted to score them evenly on my judge sheet. (Of course, the way the judges are currently scoring in Club Wars does not allow that.) I thought each of these 3 bands had some bright spots. But at the same time, I wasn't overly impressed by any of them.

Fracture played earlier in the Summer War. I gave them a second life when the band Insignifica dropped off the bill on Wednesday. I thought they were better than the first time I saw them, but they still need some more shows under their belt.

Discord played 3 dates in the Spring Club Wars. I thought they were improved from then. They pulled a good crowd and got the people to make some noise. I thought their weak point was the part of the set when frontman Murphy brought his kids onstage. One of his kids added some vocals in a couple parts of a song. While the other stood there like he either didn't know what to do or couldn't believe how loud it was onstage. I guess if they kept working on it, the kid that added the vox could be fronting his own band someday.

No Cause No Cure is a quirky band, or maybe I mean they're a little weird. I don't have a problem with that. I think musically they are tight and they've got a decent song or two. But I think their "quirkiness" overshadows that part of the band. They did a Paul Simon cover that was nowhere near the original. I think they should do a dead on cover of "Toxicity" by System Of A Down.

Bringing up the rear was Ominous. They've played Club Wars a few times. They're trying hard, but I don't think they are very good. The bands drummer Nick, came out from behind his kit and up to the microphone and apologized to the crowd for the band playing poorly. He did this twice during the set. Another first in the history of Club Wars

It's been awhile since I've made an entry. I really got out of the habit of writing this as soon as I got home from a show. Then I would just start spacing off making entries. The next thing you know, half of the Summer Club Wars has rolled by. It is the turning point of the Summer War, a Cover Wars has a Final on the horizon and a Country Wars is mosey-ing through. Things have been going well for Club Wars, but it could be better. The Summer Club Wars should really start picking up steam in the next few weeks. I think a couple of the semi-finals are going to be as good as most other Club Wars finals.

It's been awhile since I made an entry. Time for a little recap.

We are 4 shows into a 5 show Cover Wars. The band advancing from the first week was KC/DC, an AC/DC tribute band. They didn't have much in the way of an AC/DC look (the singer dressed like Brian Johnson) but they had the sound. Week 2 had the band Blind McGike advancing. Their setlist featured some 60's and 70's tunes by the Stones, Doors and Cream. Week 3 we had Paranoyd advancing. They played some newer hard rock like Godsmack. The 4th show in the series moved from Jerry's to the Grand Emporium. The band Simply Driven from Topeka advanced from that show. They opened with Straglehold by Ted Nugent and later threw in Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child.

Friday the 1st was the Best Of Club Wars Showcase at Harrah's Voodoo Lounge. This was the first time for a Club Wars event at this club. It's a nice place and they've got a great sound system. This show featured bands that had won a Club Wars this year. I thought it went well and I'm thinking that the next installments of Cover Wars and Country Wars could take place at this venue.

Speaking of Country Wars, we started one last night at the Grand Emporium. I haven't really lined up a lot of bands for it this time. But I've got a feeling that if last night is any indication, they are all going to be good acts to see. The opening night featured Rivergard, True North and Whiskey Made. Whiskey Made, who were in the Country Wars final last year, was the band that advanced.

It's the day after. Last the night the Championship of the Spring Club Wars went down at the Beaumont. I've got nothing but good things to say about it. The bands rocked, the crowd rocked. The lights looked good and the sound was quality throughout the show. Afterburn came away as the evenings winner. I thought the guys in the band did a great job and their fans were pumped. I thought they got better with each show they played in this Club Wars.

Now it's time to start on the Summer Club Wars.

We are closing in on the finish line of the Spring Club Wars. Only one semi-final to go before the Championship next week.

April 15th was the second to last Qualifier date at Jerry's. The opener was Crisis, a power trio. I liked some of their songs and guitarist Lonnie West played some cool riffs. I'm not a big fan of drummers as lead singers. Crisis drummer Steve Kuker sang lead during a majority of the bands set. I thought their best songs were the ones that had vocals from both Kuker and bassist Chris Myers. The next band was The Sunrise Revolt, they were the band that advanced. The vocalist/guitarist Ted and bass player Angelo have previously played Club Wars in the bands The Project and Sydney's Ride. I think The Sunrise Revolt sounds like Ted and Angelo's other bands, a spacey kind of screamer rock. Now they've got Potter on drums. Potter is also in the bands Livelock and Montia. Next up was Quarter Silence. Now it's about 9 days since this show happened. I don't remember anything about this band other than they were teenagers. Closing it out was the band Mayhem Eye from Springfield, MO. I thought these guys put on an energetic show. They got most of the crowd on their feet. I liked how the band played some heavy music without the cookie monster vox.

The Qualifier round wrapped up on Tuesday the 17th at the Grand Emporium. It was also the last of 4 straight Tuesdays for the Spring Club Wars at the GE. I hadn't booked any Tuesdays there for awhile. In my history of booking Tuesday nights at the GE. The Tuesdays of the Spring Club Wars have been the most successful. That's why I booked those dates this time. The first week sucked, the other 3 have been fair. I think I'm going for Thursday nights in the future. The bill was No Great Man, Count Thy Days, Kleio and H Gage. There was a tie between Count Thy Days and H Gage. I decided to suspend the tie-breaker rule and let them both advance. Maybe I did it because of it being the last Qualifier date. Maybe it was becasue I wanted to put more people in the Record Bar on Thursday.

It was Semi-Final time on Saturday the 21st at Davey's. The Furious Bros. advanced to the Final from this show. I had a feeling it was going to be them or Underground advancing to the big dance. The other groups on the bill were Futants and Riddle-N. I thought they were both decent, Riddle-N has a Rage Against The Machine vibe.

The next night at Jerry's was the first of 3 straight weeks of DVD Showcases. The bands Synesthetic, Restraint and Resin played this date. Not a big turnout but the bands got enthusiastic response from the crowd that did show.

Time to review the week in Club Wars.

Friday, April 6 saw the first of the Semi's for CW12 at the Beaumont Club. Alpha Bloom, Livelock, Conspiracy, One Degree Difference and Stranger Than Fiction made up the bill. It was Alpha Bloom that advanced, they pulled in a big crowd of the "Groove Children." I was kind of pulling for Stranger Than Fiction to make it to the Final. I didn't think they sounded as good as they did at their Qualifier date. I also think the bands frontman Brian should lose the pink mohawk.

The following night at Davey's was the Semi-Final round also. Blackout Velvet advanced from this show. I had a feeling it was going to be between them and Wrench. Wrench put on a good show but they didn't really draw the crowd they did at Jerry's. It's the first trip to the Championship for Blackout Velvet.

It was Qualifier time on Sunday at Jerry's. It was a decent crowd and the bands all played fairly well. The group Riddle-N advanced to from the show. I thought the band Cage was almost worthy of moving on, but Riddle-n played an intense set. I also thought Cage couldv'e done without the cover tune in their set. The part were they segued into "Symapathy For The Devil" was the weak part of their set.

Tuesday was the Grand Emporium. Afterburn advanced to the Semi-Final round from this show. The opener Hectic played in Club Wars last Fall. They're a young band and I was kind of impressed with their energy. I think they could be up and comers.

I'm going to work my way back on this one. We'll start with the other night, Tuesday the 3rd, at the Grand Emporium. I booked several weeks of Tuesday night shows at the GE for the this Spring. In my history of booking Tuesday nights at the GE, the most successsful ones have been during the Spring Club Wars. This one wasn't bad, but if the next two weeks don't fare better. It's probably the end of Tuesday nights for me. I thought several of these bands were promisisng. Deviant Machine, who opened the show, reminded me of Tool. The bands frontman Charlie was wearing some body paint and had his hair spiked in a mohawk. He's an animated frontman and I think they aren't to bad. The second band was Stand Under Nothing from Topeka. I thought they had a good sound. They were heavy but the bands singer Justin delivered the vocals without any screaming. Underground was third and they advanced to the Semi-Final. They drew a decent crowd and they're pretty tight. They had a little duel vocal action going as well. Closing it out was Dirty Dawgs 101. I thought they were kind of entertaining but they started to wear on me a little bit. The show needed to end before midnight. The Dirty Dawgs just kept playing even though we tried to tell them it was over.

April Fools Day was at Jerry's for the Futants, Johnny Boys Arson Club, Drunken Swede and Ritual Of Pain. The Futants advanced to the Semi's. I thought they were tight and had some variety in their songs. The only other band that stood out was Johnny Boys, they make me laugh. The bands frontman Matt was humping on the other guys in the group during their sometimes raunchy tunes. With what appeared to be grandmas in the room it was quite humorous.

March 31 was at Davey's with Liquid Aggression, Authorized Personnel Only, Forever Greye and Canvas. Liquid Aggression isn't to impresssive. Authorized Personnel is from St. Louis, they weren't bad. I thought Forever Greye had a good sound. They had a fill in bass player, so they weren't as tight as they needed to be. Canvas was the band that advanced. They've been away from the scene for a little while. They had some guy with a camera interviewing them outside the club after I announced they were advancing.

Friday the 30th was a DVD release party at the GE. This is like the 8 or 9th DVD we've released. Overall, the DVD series has not been a huge success. But I've been encouraged by the recent release parties at the GE. We've still got one in the can. I've also booked a few of the upcoming sundays at Jerry's as DVD Showcases. The future of the Club Wars DVD Series will be determined in the next month.

Spring Break is over.

This past weekend at the Grand Emporium were the Finals of Punk Wars and Pop Wars. Under The Black Sails won Punk Wars and the Pat Lentz Project was the Pop Wars champ. Pop Wars was the more successful of the two. Last year Punk Wars was one of the Top 3 Spin-Offs. This year it was a bit of a disappointment.

Last night the Spring Club Wars was back on track at Jerry's. The Furious Brotheres advanced to the Semi-Final round. They had a little of that old school element in their songs. Guitarist Brian Holcombe patrolled the room and delivered some up close solos to those at the bar. One of the other bands was Stone Black. They were mostly 14, I think the drummer was 12. They did ok for their first ever public performance.

Davy B is looking for a diary entry, so let me get started on it.

Last Friday the 9th at Groundwork was the 2nd of the Semis for Punk Wars. A recent rainstorm had a constant drip coming down over the drum riser. The bands had to set up on the floor in front of the stage. There was very little turn out, so there was plenty of room. Los Craptaculares and Under The Black Sails were the 2 bands that advanced.

Saturday was the start of the Spring Club Wars at Davey's. The show kicked off with the Clyde Baxter Band. With a bluesy-jam rock sound, they probably would fit better in a Club Wars Spin-Off. But the band I originally had on the bill cancelled after much of Club Wars had already been booked. The groups singer Chris called me at the right time and they were on. I thought they were a pretty good band. Blues Wars?

The 2nd band was Mi Dixie Wrecked. I think they've sounded better when they played in Club Wars before.

Stranger Than Fiction was third and they advanced from the show. They've played Club wars a few times before as a trio. They recently "bulked up" to 5 band members with the addition of Davy B on bass and Russ on guitar. They've gone a little different direction in the merch department. They've got their band logo printed on the back of their t-shirts.

Closing the show was Bothersome. The bands drummer Dana has played in Club Wars with a few other bands before. Bothersome seems likable enough and they had a good sound. They could work on their stage presence some.

Sunday at Jerry's was the 2nd date of the Spring War. One of the bands, Ultraflux, was a no show. The group Discord opened. The bands vocalist Murphy was celebrating a birthday. His friends and family brought him a cake and they sang hHappy Birthday before they started their set. The band has a pretty basic metal approach. Murphy was wireless and he moved about the room. The rest of the guys should work on their rocking out technique.

Wrench was 2nd and they advanced to the Semi-Final. They have a very hard driving sound. The guitarist Jerry Keller gives the band a touch of old school with his playing style.

The closer was Deviant Machine. They're a young band and they put on a good show. The bands vocalist Charlie is a good showman. I thought the band was tight. I think you could more from these guys.

The Metal Wars Final was last Friday the 2nd. It was a fitting end to this Club Wars Spin-Off that went tournament style.

The show started with Black Buffalo. For a band that came from SW Missouri, they garnered quite a few fan votes. Now, each of these bands I had seen twice before during this Metal Wars. Black Buffalo was the only one that I recognized any of their songs. Some of the band guys go for the visual with some make-up and masks. The groups 2 frontmen ad to it with some elaborate mic stands. 8 Ball had horns coming off his and Tree used a musket rifle for a mic stand.

Behold The Alliance played 2nd and ended up taking home the cup at the end of the night. These speed demons played with intensity from the very first note. The bands bassist Dave and drummer Zach were members of Vermilion Sky who won Metal Wars last year. I think they just became the first guys to ever win twice in the history of the Club Wars franchise.

Sicadis took the stage next. It's going to be awhile until you see this guitar duo again. It was the last show for guitarist Pat Renk. He's going into a bit of a retirement. Fortunately, the band has a replacement and won't have any downtime. I thought the bands vocalist Derek, did the best job of mixing the growling vox with some straight singing.

Closing out the Final was At The Left Hand Of God. I think these guys have a bit of the speed demon in them as well. The bands frontman Scott brings a manic feel to the proceedings.

Sunday night it was the start of Punk Wars at Jerry's. There's going to be 2 bands advance to the final from 2 shows. Bent Left and The Rippers advanced from this show. I'm going to go in reverse order.

The band that closed it out was The Rippers. They were the tightest band on the bill, they ripped. They ticked off a few of the employees though. During the set one of the guys said something like "You're at a lame bar in the middle of nowhere, you might as well get up off your asses." Maybe it wasn't the best way to try and get the crowd motivated. After I announced them advancing to The Final. One of the guys kitchen guys was ready to kick the singers ass.

Bent Left was third on the bill. Their set had a bit of a drinking theme to it. Part way through the set someone brought them Jager shots. After a couple more tunes they each had a bottle of PBR handed to them. They chugged 'em down before starting the next song.

The Birthrights were 2nd on the bill. Like Bent Left they were a trio. They were also the oldest of the punks playing the show. Some of their songs were very short and it seemed like they finished the set in about 20 minutes.

The opener was Same Sick Feeling. This was a band that was almost in Pop Wars. They probably would have fit on the bill at the Granada last week. Maybe they should've played Pop Wars, it might have been a more positive experience for them. The next moring Brian, the bands singer, sent out a Bulletin from the groups Myspace saying the he was leaving the band. He was giving up on the "punk" lifestyle and ditching the mohawk. One of The Rippers also alluded to not all of the bands being "punk enough" to be in Punk Wars. That kind of "punk" attitude also rubbed Brian the wrong way and helped in his decision to move on.

Yesterday I posted something here about lots of the bands in Metal Wars sounding the same. Then I drove up to Lawrence for Pop Wars and all 5 band sounded very similar. Lucy's Revenge, The Havok On Polaris, The Akanes, Western Fiction and the Ellipses. I thought they all played good sets and I liked that these bands had lots of vocals in their songs. But they all had kind of a similar pop punk sound. The turnout wasn't the greatest, but the crowd that did show were at the edge of the stage through the whole night. Western Fiction and The Havok On Polaris advanced to the Final.

The Semi-Finals of Metal Wars have been completed. Last night was the Metal Wars Bowl and tonight is the 2nd Semi-Final of Pop Wars in Lawrence. It's a busy schedule.

At the Grand Emporium on Thursday the 22nd and Saturday the 24th were the last two Semi's of Metal Wars. Black Buffalo and Sicadis were the bands that advanced from these dates. The Metal Wars has gone well and I thought there were some good bands in it. Honestly though, it was hard to tell a lot of them apart. The Final on Friday night should be pretty good. We had the Metal Wars Bowl last night to pick the order. The guys in Behold The Alliance play faster than all of the other bands on the bill. They also seemed to bowl faster than the guys in the other bands as well

The 2nd of only 2 Pop Wars Semi-Finals is tonight at the Granada in Lawrence. I think it should be a good show. Most of these bands are from the Lawrence area. Of all the different Club Wars dates I've done at the Granada. The most successfull ones have been during the Summer. If we don't pull a good crowd tonight, I might just wait until the Summer to try anything there again.

We got our second finalist for Metal Wars after Behold The Alliance advanced from the Semi-Final round on Saturday the 17th at the Beaumont. It was the first time I've done something on a Saturday at the Beaumont. Shows have to end by 10 o'clock, so I've kind of avoided doing anything on a Saturday at the club. This one went fairly well, but it seemed like a majority of the crowd started arriving about halfway through the show. Joining Behold The Alliance were: Torn Apart, Cause For Retribution and Pittcore. All of these bands were really tight and they all dished out crunching music. It's been the nearly identical vocal styles of almost every band that's been in Metal Wars that makes them hard to distinguish from each other. Pittcores' frontman Wes had blood running down the side of his head and a bloody stump of a toe on one of his feet after the show ended. They came away with the top judge score but didn't rank high in the fan vote. They came in 2nd and will get another chance at the last of the Semi-Finals this weekend.

Sunday night the 18th at Jerry's was the first Pop Wars date. Pop Wars is the newest Club Wars Spin-Off. This came into existence after I started putting together Punk Wars a month or two back. Both Pop Wars and Punk Wars will have only 2 Semi-Final dates with 2 bands from each date advancing to the Final. After 5-6 weeks of Metal Wars at Jerry's, this was a somewhat welcome break. It was also a very difficult one to judge with all of the bands playing very good sets. Blackmore, Pat Lentz Project, A Cause To Rise and Echo 8 were the bands on the bill. Blackmore was a very impressive band for a group of guys that are under 18. It seemed to me like the Pat Lentz Project had a couple of ringers in the band: Nathan Russell on drums and Vince Kirk on guitar. Rodney Thurman and A Cause To Rise did a good job. But after the show, Rodney told me that they hadn't been practicing very much and that this was probably their last show. Echo 8 closed it out with a rocking set. They had the higher fan vote and edged out Pat by one point in the overall score. They both advanced to the Pop Wars Final on March 23.

There's been a bit of action in the last week, let's catch up.

Last friday the 9th, was a Club Wars DVD Release Party at the Grand Emporium. It was supposed to be for the Fall DVD from last year. It got combined with the release of the Summer DVD after that show got cancelled because of the weather. Since we started doing DVD release parties and showcases to promote the series, this was best one yet. The bands: Black Oxygen, One Degree Difference, Montia, Resin and Lowkuss put on good shows. There was a great turnout and Steve Schad brought in an impressive light show. The crowd got a little intense during the set by Lowkuss. The bands frontman, AJ Barrero, was able to keep things from getting out of hand.

Saturday the 10th was a Metal Wars Qualifier at the Grand Emporium. This line up was Awoken Shadows, All Unknown, Take A Gander and Choke Hold Grip. It was a good turnout and I thought the bands played solid sets. All Unknown played a few Club Wars dates last year, I think they're getting pretty good. Choke Hold Grip was also in a number of Club Wars dates last year and drew some party hardy crowds. They moved on to the Semi-Final Round this time.

The following night it was the last of the Metal Wars Qualifiers at Jerry's. A Fatal Error, Sicadis, Cercadia and Watching The Coroner played to a somewhat small turnout. Sicadis advanced from the show, but I'll say that Watching The Coroner played a very impressive set.

The first of the Metal Wars Semi-Finals took place on Valentine's night at the Granada in Lawrence. This line up was Hundred Years War, Malikai, Forlorn Hope and At The Left Hand Of God. It was a bitter cold night but the turnout was fair. The bands all played decent sets. Malikai guitarist Von is quite the showman. At The Left Hand Of God advanced to the Final. Malikai, who came in 2nd, makes a lateral move to the Semi-Final on the 22nd at the Grand Emporium.

It's time to catch up on some Metal Wars action from last week.

Wednesday, January 31st was a make up date at the Grand Emporium. Like the make up date we did at the Granada Theater, I think it would have been better on the origignal date and locale. The bill was Terror Tractor, Enemies, Laid To Rest, Fraility Of The Flesh and the band that advanced was Reign Of Honor. For the most part these bands played tight sets. Reign Of Honor had a few parts where I thought the players shined. To me, the biggest difference in these bands was the jokes of Terror Tractor frontman Clint.

Saturday, February 3rd was at the Grand Emporium. This was a 5 band bill and there was a good turnout. Thinline, Colossus, Black Buffalo, Ghost In The Machine and Mourn The Martyr were the bands. Colossus was basically the only local band. The rest of the groups came from parts of Missouri, including Columbia and Warrensburg. I thought all of these bands played some energized sets. It was one of those shows were I thought each band was impressive. I thought Black Buffalo really worked the crowd well. They also came away with the top score from the judges. They advance to the Semi-Final at the GE on February 22.

It was a big weekend of Club Wars. Friday the 26th was the Final of the Club Wars Mixed at the Beaumont Club. This was a big show, with a great turnout and line up. I thought it was also a very good mix of bands. At the Country Wars Final we had quite a few hats on the heads of guys playing the show. We had a fair number of hats AND ties being sported as part of the wardrobe for this one.

The opener Southbound, almost could have been in Country Wars. I thought their sound was a mix of country and southern rock. They were the most laid back of the bands performance wise. But I thought they had the catchiest tunes. Five Defy was the 2nd band on the bill. I think this is a very good band. To me they seem like a cross between a jam band and Irish folk rock. It's Over was in the third slot. A big crowd gathered in front of the stage during their set. The guys in the band had scattered noisemakers around on the tables of the club. People made quite a racket with them during their set. The dance floor was still crowded as Fairbanks took the stage. I think they sound kind of like Bens Fold Five with a horn section. Closing it out and taking home the first trophy cup of 2007 was Shudder. Overall, I thought they had the most "commercial" sound of all the bands on the bill. I also like the little drum jam they did at the end of their set.

Saturday was Metal Wars at the Grand Emporium. We're almost at the midway point of this Metal Wars and things are going well. The show kicked off with Molech. This band is fronted by Dustin Albright of Eyes Of The Betrayer fame. Now, I thought all of the other bands were heavier than Molech. But I thought Dustin had the most evil sounding voice. The 2nd band was Hate Made Easy from Parsons, KS. They delivered some solid metal crunch. I was fairly impressed with their sound. Doomshade was third on the bill. I scored them highest on my judge sheet. They played in Club Wars several times last year and I thought they were good. I really thought they kicked some major ass at this show. Closing it out, and advancing to the Semi-Final round, was Behold The Alliance. They're the new supergroup of the metal scene. They pulled the big crowd and threw down a very intense set.

Sunday was Metal Wars at Jerry's. The crowd started rolling in early for this show. There was a fairly good turnout. They weren't doing much in the way of tipping, according to the waitress Becca. The second hate band of the weekend, Waste Of Hate, kicked it off. I scored this band highest on my judge sheet. I thought they were the most "Metal" band on the bill. They were really tight and their dual guitar attack brought some serious crunch to the festivities. Hundred Years War made their debut in the second slot. They were also the band that advanced. I don't think they expected it. None of the guys in the group were even around when I announced they were the band moving on. Their vocalist gives the group a bit of a punk feel. I would also say that they might be more heavy than metal, but it's a VERY heavy. The third band was Heltz Black. They pulled a big crowd of people who responded to the bands old school metal sound. The walked away with the fan vote but didn't score very high with the judges. They've got some good songs and it was probably the best I've ever seen them play. They just weren't as tight as the other bands on the bill. Closing it out was Tear At The Walls. These guys were like a burst of energy across the stage. They put on a good show that left a few of their fans wondering why they didn't win.

There was some Metal Wars action last night in Lawrence. This was the first of two shows that got rescheduled because of an ice storm. This one was originally going to happen on a Friday night at the Granada Theater. It's to bad it didn't happen then, I think we would have had a better turnout on a Friday night.

I scored Torn Apart and Senseless Tragedy highest on my judge sheet (Torn Apart was the band that advanced). What I liked about these bands was that they kept it simple and they delivered some crunch. Meatshank kept it pretty basic with their tunes as well. I thought though that they lacked some stage presence. Abject Horror and Violent By Design were a little harder for me to follow. With 2 drummers, I thought Violent By Design had kind of a cluttered sound. The bands percussionist Anita is also quite pregnant. It just didn't seem very metal. I think the only time that pregnant and metal can be used in the same sentence. Is when you're saying that pregnant and metal don't go together in the same sentence.

Weather is not stopping Metal Wars tonight. Last night the weather conditions forced the cancellation of a Club Wars DVD Release at the Hurricane. I'm not planning on rescheduling, I might merge it with another release party coming up in a few weeks.

Metal Wars kicked off this evening with No Great Man. They're pretty heavy but honestly I think they fit better in the regular Club Wars. I was very impressed with them at the Fall Club Wars last year, so I went ahead and put them in this. They put on a good show and got some good crowd response. Let's see how the rest of this show goes.

Rise Of The Falling is onstage now. They've pulled a big crowd. I think they're pretty tight. Some of their songs seem to take a little time to get started. It's like the intensity of their set has some highs and lows.

At The Left Hand Of God is slamming away right now. They're tunes are intense all the way through. They've got some nominations in the Heavy Frequency Readers Poll. I don't know if I'm casting a vote for them in that. Tonight, however, I think I'm scoring them highest on my judge card.

Let's take a look back at the last week of activities in the world of Club Wars.

Wednesday the 10th it was a Club Wars Bowl at the AMF Northland. This one was to pick the order at the Club wars Mixed Final on January 26. These things are proving to be a very fun time for everybody. Matt aka "Big White" from the band Fairbanks even dressed up like John Goodmans character from the movie The Big Lebowski. No one from Five Defy made it. They got booked at the Hurricane. I was kind of bummed, I really wanted someone from their band there. I think that it helps create a litle more camaraderie between the bands.

Metal Wars at the Granada in Lawrence was on the schedule for January 12th. A wintry mix moved through the area and forced the show to reschedule. It's the first time that something like this has ever happened in Club Wars. I've really tried to avoid booking stuff during the winter because of this kind of thing. Fortunately, it's early in Club Wars and there's plenty of time to reschedule it.

There was a lul in the winter storm on Saturday and Metal Wars went as scheduled. The weather did keep the band Thinline from making it to the Grand Emporium. They're from Columbia and they didn't want to risk the drive. I'm squeezing them in on another date.

Opening this show was A Cause For Effect. These guys hit the scene last year. I think they didn't do to bad. I think they need some more stage time. The frontman Beau could work the crowd a little more. They had another singer, I think his name is Scott, get onstage about halfway through the set and share vocal duties. It didn't really seem to add a lot of energy to their set.

Moonshine Casket Co. played second on the bill. These guys had this band together a few years ago and they recently reformed. They pulled a good crowd and they fairly tight. The lead singer Andrew told the crowd that this show wasn't about the music, it was about the alcohol.

Malakai closed it out and they were the band to advance. They've got some of that old school metal sound. They were also the only band that brought a 2 guitar attack to this Metal Wars.

Last night was another Metal Wars date scheduled for Jerry's. Like friday nights rescheduled date this was on until about 4:30 in the afternoon. Out of the weekends wintry mix, this was the harshest day. Hopefully we can dodge a bullet for the rest of this Metal Wars.

Metal Wars has started. I'm at the club right now using my laptop to make this entry band by band. A Fatal Error was scheduled to open but they haven't shown. I went ahead and told the guys in Sacrament to start setting up. They played in the Fall Club Wars back in October. They've greatly improved from what I remember of them. They've also brought more of a following with them tonight. They've got a straight ahead power metal sound. I like how the lead vocalist Cory doesn't scream through the whole set.

Severend just finished. They're pretty damn tight. Lead vocalist AJ dishes out the screamo while the band slams down the jams. Being from Lawrence they didn't bring much of a crowd but I thought they kicked ass.

Forlorn Hope is on right now. They've got a very powerful sound. They could be a little tighter (they did just add a new guitar player to the band) but I think they are throwing down mightily.

I just got home from Jerry's. Forlorn Hope came out with the top score. Congrats to them. They've played a couple of Club Wars without advancing, so I'm glad to see them move on. As one of the judges I put Severend at the top of my score sheet. I thought they were the tightest of the three. I also thought that individually the Severend guys had better overall stage presence. Now, Forlorn Hope has 6 guys in the band and they're not pint sized metallers. Might have effected a couple of them from really rockin out on what was a cramped stage at Jerry's. They'll have plenty of room when they play the Semi-Final on Valentine's Day at the Granada in Lawrence.

It's been a little while since I made an entry. In the last month of the year, the Club Wars Mixed wrapped up, we had the Metal Wars Draft and the DVD Release Party for Punk Wars. The Club Wars Mixed had some good bands in it. The turn outs were ok, I think the Final, on January 26, will have a good crowd. Most of the bands in Metal Wars showed up for The Draft. MW2 starts this weekend on the 7th. Metal Wars was the most successfull of the Club Wars Spin-Offs in 2006. The Punk Wars DVD Party was the last CW show of the year on December 17th. There's definitely bigger name local bands in the other Club Wars DVDs, but I kind of think this one is the best.

There was lots of Club Wars action in 2006 and 2007 should be more of the same.

Last night was the Final of Cover Wars III at the Beaumont Club. Snow and icy conditions hit the area in the days before the show. I thought the weather might hurt attendance, but I don't think it was a factor. Plus, tonights Big 12 Championship brought scores of Huskers fans to Westport and it ended up being a good turn out.

The scores were close but Lost Dog came away with The Cup at this one. I think having each band member sing lead on at least one song set this band apart from the others on the bill. Coming in 2nd was Static 210, this high school aged band shows lots of promise. I'm impressed by some of the songs they play. I think they need to work on the backing vocals on "Suite Madam Blue" though. World Famous Localz was the hardest rocking of the bunch. Their set list didn't really dip into the classic rock territory like the other bands. They stuck with more modern era rockers. Little Wing seemed like a different band from the one that played the Semi Final at Jerry's back in September. They did well choosing their song list.

I enjoy doing Cover Wars, the bands are good and someone always does something I haven't heard in awhile. Stayed tuned for info on the next installment.

It's been a hectic week since last sunday at Jerry's. So, before I head back there tonight, it's time to recap.

It was the 3rd week for the Club Wars Mixed. The turnouts haven't been much to speak of but the bands have. This line up of Lipriddle, Woo and It's Over put on a good show. Lipriddle has changed a bit since they played in a Club Wars tournament a few years back. They seem to rock a lot harder now. Woo was the band I scored highest on my judge score. They might be a good fit for a Funk Wars. The band that advanced was It's Over, the guys in the band all wore suits onstage. They've changed their sound a little bit since they last played in a Club Wars. I'm not sure what to say about their style. I thought it had elements of country or honky tonk to it. It just seemed like it was from another era. I guess I'm getting another chance to hear them at the Final.

The Championship of the Fall Club Wars took place a few nights ago. This show didn't match the head count or the intensity of the Summer Club Wars. There were no signs and the only chanting I heard was for Lowkuss, who played after I announced the winner. With only 4 bands playing for the Championship, the evening seemed to go by very quickly. A highlight of the show was the amount of lighting we had. Resin, Montia and One Degree Difference brought in some special lighting for their sets. I was worried we might have some kind of clusterfuk, but it all worked out. I can't wait to see how it looks on the DVD.

Black Oxygen was the opener and they became the third straight band to open a Club Wars Championship and win. I had a feeling that the judges would be impressed with how good they were for a young age. Getting the most Fan votes didn't hurt either.

One Degree Difference was 2nd on the bill. ODD is only the 2nd band to ever return to a Club Wars Championship after winning one. They've gone through some change in personnel and style in the last year. Lead vocalist Steve McAnulla may be the best singer they've had in the band. But the songs don't seem like the whirlwind of musical wizardry that marked much of their previous offerings.

The third band was Montia. I think they were the most metal sounding band on the bill. Maybe it was just that they played at the peak of the show. But I thought they had the best set of the night.

Closing it out was Resin, they came in 2nd place. They're into the show aspect with the fog machine and the laser lights. I think these guys can build a name for themselves with a few more shows like this.

Last night was another date for the Club Wars Mixed at Jerry's. The show kicked off with Southbound (they were the band that advanced to the final). They played a country rock style that had the crowd whoopin it up. The second band was Kan Eyed. They kind of mix blues and reggae with a little jam rock. The Waystation was third up. They didn't go over real well with the crowd. Most of them started to clear out during their set. They did add a little more mix to the Club Wars Mixed. Band members switched instruments on several different songs in their set. The closer was Tinbox Kite. It's the second week in a row we've had a band in this Spin Off that probably would have been a better fit in the regular Club Wars.

The Club Wars Mixed started this past Sunday at Jerry's. It may not be the biggest of the Club Wars Spin Offs but it's probably going to be the most interesting.

The show started with Five Defy. They're kind of a progressive/folky band of rockers. I thought they had a couple of strong tunes. They were the band that advanced.

Second up was Naydivz, a Hip Hop style band. They had 2 frontmen and a Dj/Sampler. I thought they were pretty good. I'm still not planning a Hip Hop Wars but an act like this makes me keep thinking about it.

The 3rd band was Choosey Beggars. They are kind of a bluesy/jam rock band. Guitarist Jeff Schrader played some cool slide guitar stuff. I thought they were ok.

Closing it out was 1981. There's been a few times this year that I've commented about a band playing in a Club Wars tournament that might have fit better in one of the Spin Offs. These guys are a band playing in a Spin Off that might have fit better in the regular Club Wars. Their set was a high energy blast of music with some screamo vocals.

We are locked and loaded for Club Wars Championship XI on November 10. There will only be 4 bands competing for the cup this time. We've had as many as 6 in it before but this is the first time that we've only had 4 bands.

Friday the 27th it was Club Shooters for the 3rd Semi. The bands were Empire (Osirus Be Damned), Live Lock, One Degree Difference and Seeking Surreal. I had a feeling it was going to come down to ODD and Seeking Surreal. And as the show went on, I really thought it was going to be Seeking Surreal instead of ODD advancing to the Championship. It's a return trip for ODD, they won CW4. They are, though, a vastly different band. In the past I always thought that guitarist Miah and bassist W2 were the most powerful part of the bands live show. This time it seemed as if newly acquired vocalist Steve McAnulla was the standout part of the group. They are only the 2nd former Champion of Club Wars to make it back.

The Semi's wrapped up on Sunday the 29th at Jerry's. This bill was Veil, Montia, Seventh Day and One Hand Down. I thought it was a very evenly matched group of bands. The overall score was a tie between Montia and Veil. The tie-breaker goes to the band with the most fan votes and that was Montia.

It was a good weekend for Club Wars with shows at Shooters on Saturday and Jerry's on Sunday. There were good turn outs at both shows. It's the home stretch of the Fall Club Wars.

The Shooters bill was a Semi-Final and we had Local Motive, Crash The Car, Resin and Taken In Vain. I gotta say that the sound wasn't great. I really thought that Taken In Vain was the best of the bunch. I scored them highest on my judge sheet but it was Resin who advanced to the Championship. They brought in some lights and put on a good show. I really thought they sounded better when they played in the Qualifier. Local Motive and Crash The Car played decent sets.

The Jerry's date was the last of the Qualifiers. It got crowded at this show. The bands were Hectic, Live Lock, Nogreatman and 10001. Live Lock was the band that advanced to the Semi-Final Round. They put on a good show but I thought Nogreatman was the best on the bill. Frontman Re Runn did his best to enlighten the crowd that this was about the music. The band 10001 (Ten Thousand And One) played a high energy set and they pulled a good crowd. The bands bass player Dustin also plays with Choke Hold Grip. It reminded me in a way of that band. They drew a crowd and rocked out but none of their songs grabbed me. The opener Hectic was another of the many teen bands appearing in this Club Wars. The lead vocalist/guitarist Carlos had some problems with his guitar strap coming unscrewed. I think it threw him off, I bet they could have done a little better without the distraction.

Tuesday the 17th was the one and only show of the Fall Club Wars at the Grand Emporium. It was a Qualifier date and the bands again were on the young side. We had a good crowd and I thought the bands all did ok. Seriously, this crop of mostly teenage players was really more impressive than those on Sunday at Jerry's.

The opener was Cercadia, a metal band. The two guitar players and the frontman Ryan all did some serious head banging during their set. The bass player looked a little confused. I think it was the lousy monitor system.

The second group was Empire. They probably would have been a better fit in the Club Wars Alternative. Their singer Zack did a good job of fronting the band. A couple of the other guys looked bored or maybe they were just nervous playing in front of the crowd. They did a cool version of Led Zeps "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You."

The third band and the group that advanced was Veil. They were in the hard rock vein. They got some enthusiastic response from the crowd. The lead singer Shawn told they crowd they were "Hot" and then he threw a bunch of oven mitts from the stage.

Closing it out was Woodstone, a 3-piece rock band. The bass player Josh roamed the stage during the set. But the singer/guitarist, Nick, pulled the mic stand way back on the stage and you couldn't even see him from the side. I just kind of thought it cut down on their stage presence.

It was Qualifier time again last night at Jerry's. The bands were 3 Nails, Heltz Black, Sacrament and Osirus Be Damned. Honestly, none of these bands were that impressive. Heltz Black has played Club Wars before, I thought they were better than their last time out. I like the fact that they keep their songs as pretty basic rockers and anthems. The opener 3 Nails had a decent crowd of people there for them, they were all there when I got to the club. Then they all got up and left without voting after the band had finished playing. It's doubtful their votes would have made any difference to the end result. Sacrament and Osirus are some young guys that could probably improve with more experience. I thought Osirus was the tightest of the bunch and I liked how they had some strong backing vocals. They were the band that advanced to the Semi-Final round.

We've had a couple of shows in the last week and the Fall Club Wars is back in action tonight at Jerry's, so...

Last Sunday it was Abject Horror, Resin and Crush at Jerry's. Resin was the band to advance from this Qualifier. Abject Horror opened the show. It's a new band with most of the guys formerly with the band A?athy. I thought they were pretty good and they had some razor sharp guitar riffs. Resin was second. They had some hooks in their songs and some vocal depth. The closer Crush had that old school stoner rock sound. Some guy came up to me and said he thought they sounded like Mountain. "Leslie West, Corky Laing and Felix Papalardi, that Mountain," he said.

Friday the 13th was the first Semi-Final of the Fall CW at Davey's. The line up was Psilenus, One Hand Down and Black Oxygen. We didn't have a big turn out, I wasn't really expecting one. Psilenus is from Lawrence and the guys in Black Oxygen are teenagers. What we might have lacked in attendance we made up for in some really good sets from the bands. It was kind of a tough one to score. The twists and turns of the Fall CW would allow each of these bands another date in the tournament. In the end it was Black Oxygen advancing to the Championship. Coming in 2nd place was One Hand Down, they get another chance at a Semi-Final on October 29. The third place band Psilenus could have taken the spot at the Consolation Round, but they're already booked. I guess we'll have to wait and see them again next year.

Time to catch up on last weekends Club Wars activity. Saturday night the 30th it was Club Shooters in Blue Springs. The show kicked off with Violent By Design. This group is made up of players that were in other bands that played on the scene in recent years. I'm not a big fan of this vocal style but I thought they were pretty good. They came in second with judges.

Seekiing Surreal was next on tap. They were the band that advanced from the show. There are some people who think these guys are the most underrated band in town. They got picked to play in Bands Across Kansas City a few days before this show. They changed their name to "Seeking Surreal Is In Bands Across Kansas City" on Myspace. After advancing from this Club Wars Qualifier it became "Seeking Surreal Is In Club Wars Semi-Finals."

The third band was Choke Hold Grip. They've come in 2nd on every Club Wars date they've played. They drew a good crowd and they got the people into it. I still think they need to write a couple of tunes with the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) formula.

The closer was Sydney's Ride. I've seen them a few times before. They're kind of heavy and kind of trippy at the same time. The bass player Angelo's cabinet was kind of buzzing and I thought it ruined their set.

Sunday, October 1 it was back to Jerry's. There was a halfway decent amount of people in the club when I got there. The Chiefs won at Arrowhead earlier in the day. So, I wasn't surprised to see it.

The opener was Black Oxygen, they advanced to the Semi-Final. They were in the Spring and Summer Club Wars with a different singer. Their old singer maybe had more of that rock star look. But their new singer, Grant, has more of a dynamic vocal. It fit well with their old school rock sound.

The second band was A Race Around The World. These guys put on a good show. I think they're another of these rock bands that straddle the line of genres. Maybe I should have put them in the Club Wars Mixed.

Insignifica was the third band. I would have liked to see these guys advance. I think they're tremendous players.

Closing it out was Art Department. They played in last years Fall Club Wars as Motus. I'm not sure if they changed much of anything else. They were better than I remembered them being as Motus. Their sound reminded me a little of Tool or something of that nature.

Club Wars was in Lawrence last night. The Granada Theater was the scene for this Qualifier date. Now we've done the Granada for the Summer Club Wars and the Fall Club Wars this year and last year. The Summer dates have been pretty good, the Fall dates have been kind of duds. This show kind of fell into the dud category. On the plus side, all of the bands were good. It was another one of those shows that was tough to score. Though it was a light turnout, the last few votes that came in for the band Psilenus helped them advance. This is their third appearance in a Club Wars. They played the Spring CW and they were in the Alt Wars. They kind of straddle the line between hard rock and alternative rock. They played last on the bill and it was convenient they had the top score. I decided not to wait until they had all of their gear offstage to announce they advanced, I was ready to go home. Taking the stage before Psilenus was Cassiopia. This is a 3 piece band that played some hard driving rock. I thought they played with a tenacity. Synesthetic was on prior to that set. They played the Granada in the Summer CW. They had a new battery of guitar players for this show and they really seemed like a different band. The show kicked off with Emperor Stan, another band that played in the Alt Wars. I don't think they really fit in regular Club Wars. I was looking to have an all Lawrence line up for this show, so I gave them the spot. I thought they were progressive rock with a little jazzy flavor. Maybe I should put them in the Club Wars Mixed.

It was a good weekend for Club Wars. Things kicked off on Friday night at the Grand Emporium with Funk Wars. This Spin Off was a one night only event that featured 6 bands: Underhoss, Odds Even, The Cosigners, The Duo Trio, Emma Feel and Browntown. I first planned on having it span out over 4 or 5 shows with 15-20 bands. I couldn't find that many bands to do it, so I went with the one night only. It went well, maybe some other one night only Club Wars event may crop up in the future. It was the second week in a row for a 6 band bill. I want to include as many bands as possible, but I think the trend needs to go towards 4 bands. Part of the reason I put 6 bands on this show was because I originally booked it for the Beaumont. I wanted to keep music going until at least 1:30. We got bumped to the GE for a bigger show. It worked out ok, the smaller stage slowed the changeovers a little. However, the crowd of 200 or so filled the club better than it would have at the Beaumont. The group Odds Even was the winner, I thought all of the bands were good. It was hard to score this one. It's shows like this that make me think about again changing the way the judges score bands.

Saturday night was the 2nd Qualifier of the Fall Club Wars at Davey's. This show had a pretty good turnout also. The opener Moderation Mishap was in Club Wars for the first time. The other bands: Afterburn, Montia and H Gage all played in the Summer Club Wars. Again I thought all the bands played well and it was close one. Montia and H Gage tied but Montia got the tie breaker.

Sunday at Jerry's was the 3rd Fall Qualifier. Again it was a good show. Usually Jerry's has some people in the club when I arrive there every week. This time, the place was empty. I started thinking it was going to be a dud, but we ended up having a decent crowd. The bands A Dead Giveaway, All Unknown, Underground and Taken In Vain were on the bill. The closer Taken In Vain (the band who advanced from this show) were like the old men of the night. The other 3 bands were all younger dudes. I thought they were all good but Taken In Vain being the more experienced players made the difference.

Last night the Fall Club Wars rolled out of the gate at Jerry's. This is the earliest start to the Fall Club Wars in the history of the event. I'm expecting a little slow going in the beginning of this. I think things will start chugging along after The Draft on October 3. As far as the Sundays at Jerry's go, if the Chiefs keep losing it's not going to help any.

This show had Crash The Car, Device and Columbian on the bill. I had another band called Hectic scheduled to play, but they had to cancel at the last minute. Crash The Car opened the show. Not much in the stage presence department put they had some pretty good tunes. They have a little bit of an old school feel to them. They were the band that advanced from this show.

The second band Device showed up just as Crash The Car finished. I think these guys played in the Spring Club Wars back in April. I think they're pretty good. They have more of that modern hard rock sound. They tied with Crash The Car in total points but Crash The Car won the tie breaker.

Closing it out was Columbian. This band might be one of those borderline bands for Club Wars. They rock, but they're not hard. And they sound a little different but I wouldn't call it Alternative. They didn't get any fan votes but they still got 3 points for coming in third in Fan Votes.

Friday night the 15th was the Final of the Club Wars Alternative at the Beaumont. The turnout of 250+ wasn't to bad. I think we lost some people to competing shows. Tool was at Kemper and Muse was at The Uptown, I think it meant the difference of at least 75-100 people.

The bands were Sometimes 3, The Proof, Life In Jersey, Chasing 7, Motor Car Courtney and Good Question. It was tough to rank these bands on the judge card, they all played good sets. It made me think that I put way to many bands on the bill. I'm really thinking of cutting down on the amount of bands that appear in finals. I also could tell that there was a whole different vibe to this deal. There just wasn't the kind of energy that we've had at some other finals, it was a very mellow crowd.

We also had some Club Wars firsts at this one. It was the first time that one guy played in 2 different bands. Chris Mullins played guitar with Life In Jersey and drums with Motor Car. We've had guys play in differnt bands in Club Wars before, but never on the same bill. It also was the first time a St. Louis area band played in a Club Wars Final. Good Question, who closed out the show, came in third. I think playing last on this bill hurt them with the judges.

The band Sometimes Three, who opened the show, was the winner. When I announced them at the end of the night, almost all of their crowd had left. We've now had 4 straight Club Wars battles that the winner played first. Both the Spring and Summer Club Wars, Country Wars and now this one. Maybe that's good news for the opener of the 6 band throwdown Funk Wars this Friday at the Grand Emporium.

Last night I met with the bands that are playing in Funk Wars next week. We met at the AMF bowling alley at 88th and Metcalf in Overland Park. It's actually a very spacious venue that also has an ice rink and a large pool hall. The bands bowled it out to determine the playing order at the show. We did something like this before, last year at the Summer Club Wars. At the time I decided to do that just for the sake of the DVD we filmed. It was for the cameras. There was interest from bands to do it again at this recent Summer CW. I've let bands pick their spot in the order they've qualifier. I've also had them play in the order they qualified. A couple of times I picked the order. Some of the bands in the Funk Wars I know and some I just know of. Plus, this is a one night only event, these bands didn't make it onto the show in any specific order. So I thought, let's bowl. I'm glad I did, it was a fun time. This might become the norm in picking the order at Finals and Championships.

We've got the finalists for Cover Wars. Last night at Jerry's the semi's wrapped up and today I tentatively booked the Final. The band Little Wing will join the World Famous Localz, Lost Dog and Static 210 at the Beaumont Club on a date I hope to announce tomorrow.

Yesterday was the first day of the new NFL season and the Chiefs lost at Arrowhead. It also rained off and on throughout the afternoon and evening. The turnout wasn't the greatest but not as bad as I thought after the depressing day and all.

The show started with the band Backwash. This 3 piece hard rock band played some 80's and 90's tunes like "Wait" by White Lion and "Keep Em Separated" by The Offspring. They also played "Magic Power" by Triumph. They pulled it off fairly well musically but the lead singer Chris couldn't quite match those soaring vocals.

Little Wing was the second act of the show. It's not Cover Wars without girls in a band. Little Wing have 3 of their 4 players on the female side. They've got more of a blues based sound. They came out with the top score but we were very close to having a tie.

The third band was The Doghouse Band. They've been in Cover Wars before and they also played in Country Wars. Lead vocalist Eric Lane describes the band and Rockin Country Blues. They give their own sound to most of the tunes in their set. They came in a very close second. After the show some girl asked me if I needed a hearing aid. She thought Doghouse should have won. I didn't tell her that I scored them highest on my judge sheet.

The show closed out with Arsenal. The bands drummer is "The Genral" Wes Jeffries. Wes is working at 101 The Fox these days. He was bummed about the Chiefs losing. Arsenal was the hardest rocking band on the bill. They also came out on top with the judges. The judges were all over the place scoring the other band. But Arsenal came in 2nd place on each judge sheet and got the top score.

Last Sunday was Labor Day and we had a DVD Showcase at Jerry's. This show had Local Stranger, One Degree Difference and Swill. This show ran a little late, they'got to have everyone out by midnight. Swill finished their last song and everyone had to go.

It was the third week of Cover Wars last night at Jerry's. Good turnout, good bands, I love this bar.

The show kicked off with Last Call Band. They've played in all three Cover Wars and had different players each time. They were good, but I didn't think they were as good as they've been in the past. Their best tune of the night might have been "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by the Scorpions. Guitarist Teak reminds me of Keith Richards with that cigarette dangling out of his mouth.

The second band and the band that advanced was Static 210. This is the second band in this Cover Wars that that has been made up of teenagers. Now, they have a few things they need to work on. But I was impressed with some of the songs they played and in their playing, especiallly guitarist Brandon Miller. He played smoking versions of "La Grange" by ZZ Top and the classic "Red House" made probably most famous to generations of rockers by Jimi Hendrix. They closed out with a near perfect version of Peter Frampton's "Do You Feel Like We Do."

The third band was Miss Led. A female fronted band that played some Led Zep tunes and some Heart tunes. Overall, this might have been the best band on the bill. But I think their setlist for the show could have had more variety. Other than the Heart and Zep tunes, I think the only other song they played was by Alanis Morrisette. Their vocalist Kim has some good chops and she wailed as the band finished with "Rock-n-Roll" by Zep.

The show closed out with More Than A Feeling, a Boston tribute band. Some of the guys in the band sported fake mustaches. A couple of others had on kind of goofy looking wigs. I thought they were pretty good. It was cool to here a few of the songs they played. They scored well with the judges but didn't pull that big of a crowd. Maybe we'll see them again some day.

The throwdown known as the Club Wars Championship took place on Friday at the Beaumont. I thought it was going to be big and it turned out to be the biggest most emotionally charged Club Wars Championship ever. I could tell soon after people started filing in that it might get a little wild. For the first time ever people came to the show with signs for their favorite band. Afterwards, Beaumont GM Lunkwizc said the appearance of the signs gave it the feel of a football game. The heat and the very vocal crowd kept the intensity high throughout the whole night. We've had big crowds before, but this time each group had a solid crowd filling the floor. Crowd surfing and the chanting of bands names took place during each set as well. The bands seemed to feed of the crowds intensity also. The show itself and the changeovers between each band went very smoothly. The band Thief, who won the Consolation Round and closed out the show, set up and played one song before I came out and announced the winner. I didn't mind the chanting of band names during the show but I didn't want it to happen while I was making my final thank you's. I had to quiet the crowd a few times before I announced Lowkuss as the winner. I felt amped up after the show. I went home and had something to eat before I finally started to unwind. I think it was the most intense Club Wars Championship ever. We've got about 80 days until we find out if the Fall Championship can come close to matching it.

Sunday night was the Consolation Round of the Summer Club Wars at Jerry's. There hasn't been a Consolation Round in Club Wars since the very first one back in May of 2002. That Consolation Round was held after the Championship and I thought it was a little anti-climatic. This time it's about 5 days ahead of the Championship and actually might give it some more momentum. I added the Consolation Round mostly to fit with the theme of every Sunday is Club Wars night at Jerry's. I originally was going to go with 4-5 straight weeks of Cover Wars, but I sort of hit a snag filling the schedule for it. That's when I thought of adding the Consolation Round. I offered spots to bands that came in 2nd at the semi-finals. There were 2 of those semi-finalists who more or less passed on playing. I wanted to have 4 bands on the bill, so I offered a spot to These Walls who came in third at the first of the five semi-finals. In addition to These Walls, who have since changed their name to Thief, we had Ares To The Ninth and A Cold Day In August. (I also had The 29th Mark on the bill but they didn't show, I'm not sure what happened to them.) I thought that these bands were about the best of the Summer crop that's not competing for the Championship on Friday. In addition it was a pretty good turn out. It's a high probablity that we'll have a Consolation Round at the Fall Club Wars as well.

The Final of Country Wars went down on Friday night at the Beaumont Club. It was a good crowd and good bands. A nice finish to Club Wars first excursion into country music. Th band Mootz Moody edged past Outlaw Jim and The Whiskey Benders for 1st place. The other bands on the bill were Jervis Jort, Jerry Dowell Band and Whiskey Made. Mootz and Outlaw Jim tied with the judges but Mootz came away with the most fan votes. They literally had a bus full of people show up in a Greyhound about 15 minutes before they took the stage as the opener.

This Final featured more cover songs than any Club Wars event this side of Cover Wars. Not being the most well versed in country tunes, I only knew a few of the ones that were played. Mootz Moody played "Purple Rain" by Prince. Outlaw Jim played "Promised Land" a Chuck Berry penned tune made more famous by Elvis. Jervis Jort played "Mother" by Pink Floyd. Their version was surely the one cover song of the evening that differed the most from the original.

Not only was it the most cover tunes in a non-Cover Wars Final. There were the most hats onstage. Each bad had several players in either cowboy hats or ball caps. Jervis Jort was the only band without a cowboy hat. The bands keyboardist Mark wore a truckers hat. Though they sported fewer hats, Jervis frontman "Z" was the only player of the night wearing a fringed shirt.

Country Wars was fun and even though it wasn't maybe as successful as some of the othe Club Wars Spin-Offs. I think you'll see one again next year.

We had a 2nd night of the Cover Wars III this past Sunday at Jerry's. It was a good crowd and good bands. Not only were the judges unanimous in their decison on who the top band was, they scored it identically from top to bottom.

The show featured a couple of 3-piece bands: Yes Janet and Crossfire. Yes Janet played some bluesy stuff and some old time rockers like "All Shook Up" and Del Shannon's "Runaway." Crossfire was more in the party rock vein with tunes like "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" by the Georgia Satellites and "Rock & Roll All Night" by Kiss. Both of these bands featured more than one vocalist. It seemed that the second lead vocalist in each band maybe sang a tune that was a little out of his range.

The second band on the bill was Teacherz Pet. They played in Cover Wars II back in February. They played straight ahead hard rockin party type stuff. They might be a little one dimensional with only a single lead vocalist. Their lead singer Steve is kind of a screamer. The tunes they played by Jackyl, Van Halen and AC/DC fit fairly well with his style.

The band advancing from the show was Lost Dog. They played in the first Cover Wars and were in the Final at that one. Each of the 4 members in this band sang some lead. Their set list included classic rock and some newer tunes. They opened with the all time great "Never Been Any Reason" by Head East. I thought they should have closed with it, but maybe they were showing everyone they meant business by opening with the National Anthem of Rock-N-Roll.

The Semi-Finals have drawn to a close and they closed out big. Over 300 people crowded into the Granada Theater on Friday night. It was hot and sweaty and the beer wasn't that cold. But it was one of the best line ups we've had at a Club Wars Semi-Final in some time.

The show kicked off with the defending Champions of Club Wars, A Cold Day In August. After the deadline and Draft of this Club Wars, I really thought they were going to repeat as Champion. Then came Dalegate. The band was accused of cheating at the Championship. Then, this show was moved from the Grand Emporium to the Granada in Lawrence. I thought these two things worked against the band. However, as a judge at this Semi-Final, I thought vocally and musically they stood out from the other bands on the bill. They came in second and will take a spot in the Consolation Round. They're a young band and I think they can only get better.

Second up was Lowkuss and they were followed by The Dollhouse Rumor. Both of these bands played high energy sets that I thought made it harder for the bands that followed. Lowkuss had people jump onto the stage during their set. Dollhouse Rumor vocalist Pat Doyle jumped into the crowd during their set. Lowkuss, the band that advanced to the Championship, pulled a huge crowd that started chanting for the band almost from the moment A Cold Day In August finished playing.

It seemed a lot of energy had been sucked out of the place when Ancient Creation took the stage. These guys are solid musically, but they seemed a little boring following the high powered sets of the previous bands.

Dora Dank got the crowd back into it some as they closed out the show. Their fan base was quite vocal and the band responded by rocking it to the hilt. Frontman Clint collapsed in the middle of the stage as they finished their set.

The stage is set for what could be a big night on August 25. Who will out chant whom?

There's been a variety of Club Wars activity over the past few nights. The Summer Club Wars nearing the finish line. We're going to have a number of the Club Wars Spin Offs move to the forefront before the Fall Club Wars takes over again in late September.

The Metal Wars DVD Release Party took place on the 3rd at the Grand Emporium. So far, Metal Wars has been the most successfull of the Spin Offs. I would also say that this was probably the best release party of the Club Wars DVD Series yet. The Metal Wars Final back in February was filmed for this release. All of the bands that played the Final also played at the release party. I bet the results would have been about the same had this been that battle all over again. The next in line for the CW DVD Series is from Punk Wars.

Friday night was the 4th of 5 Semi-Finals of the Summer CW. The Grand Emporium was the scene for this show that drew a crowd of close to 300. The bands threw down and the crowd was very vocal. Groups of people chanted band names in the minutes before I announced the winner. I'm almost starting to believe that this may be the biggest or best Club Wars yet. You know, we used to score bands in 4 different categories: Songs, Musicianship, Stage Presence and Crowd Response. I'm going to break down my comments into these categories. I'd have to give top marks in the Songs category to Grimstone. The verse of their closing tune, "Take My Woman And Ride," may have been a little redundant. But it's got a good hook and it had their fans singing along. In the Musicianship department I would have to give the nod to Stonewalk. Individually there might have been some better players on the bill. As a band though, I thought these guys had the best overall sound. As far as Stage Presence, I felt like Until Broken blew em away. These guys have lots of energy going on. The Crowd Response went to Mynera. It was the closest Judge vote we've had yet this Summer. Pulling the big crowd put Mynera in the Championship.

Last night was the kick off of Cover Wars III at Jerry's. Attendance wise, not a great turnout, maybe 50 or so. Performance wise it was pretty decent. The show started of with Sabbath Disciples. I think it was the best I've ever heard them. I got a little kick out of the pleasantly surprised looks on a few faces when they launched into songs like "Tomorrow's Dream" and "Children Of The Grave." The second band, and the group that advanced, was World Famous Localz. They played some mostly modern radio friendly rock. Hard driving tunes by Jet, Foo Fighters and Collective Soul were tight as a drum. Closing it out was a band of youngsters called Blacktop 71. After seeing how young they were, I didn't expect much. After they played a few songs, I was surprised at how good they were. Their setlist was made up of tunes that were probably released long before these guys were even born. After they played a second Skynyrd tune someone yelled out "Freebird." The guys in the band looked at each other like they were expecting it. They got a rousing ovation from the crowd as they closed out with the song..

The Summer Qualifiers wrapped up on Sunday at Jerry's. I was thinking we would have a decent turnout but it really drew more than I expected. The Sundays at Jerry's have done very well. I've got Cover Wars booked there the next 2 Sundays. It could be a bit of a drop off attendance wise.

This show was made up of bands that came in 2nd place on a few of the earlier Qualifier dates: Arsenic Dream, Dora Dank, Choke Hold Grip and Montia. I thought it was pretty closely matched. Choke Hold Grip drew the most, but each band had a crowd up front when they played. The sound was good and each band was tight. When I'm a judge and scoring these things, I'm usually looking to songs or vocals as the determining factor. Of all these bands, Dora Dank was the only band that I heard people singing the words to their songs during the set (I think it was the song "Mexico"). I don't know if that's what was on the minds of the other judges, but 3 of the 4 scored Dora Dank the highest as well. Choke Hold Grip, who came in second, needs some kind of anthem to get the crowd singing along with them. They drew a big party ready crowd and if they had themselves a tune like Conspiracy's "Life On Death Row," they'd be on the way to the Semi-Final right now. Arsenic Dream opened the show and Montia closed it out. I thought both of these bands sounded much better than their previous outings in the Summer War. I guess I can offer the same advice to these guys: come up with an anthem or some hook that gets your crowd singing with you.

The juggernaut that is the Summer War rolled through the Grand Emporium last night. There have been lots of the players in this battle telling me they think this is the biggest or the best one yet. Last nights show drew close to 200 people. The semi-finals usually draw a good crowd but I think my decision to buy some radio spots to pump them up has paid off big time.

The show opened with Funkyard. These guys have a good sound and some decent tunes. The bands bass player Justin needs to work on his stage presence some. Vocalist/guitarist Mike Maynard does a good job of rocking out and flinging his hair around. But Justin seems to have a little of the Tony Iommi syndrome, where he just stands there most of the time. Lack of stage presence in a 3-piece can be kind of a glaring thing.

Second up was Ares To The Ninth. I had these guys as one of the favorites in the Summer Club Wars. They've got a full sound and some good vocals. The crowd was into the band but they seemed to hit a lull in midset. I could almost hear people talking over the band.

Schemata took the stage next. They advanced to the Championship from this show. They were finalists in Club Wars last Summer, but I think they're a better band now. They recently added drummer Nathan Russell, formerly of The Sound And The Fury, to the line up. They might be the new favorites.

Closing it out was Hyperion. I've seen these guys play a few times now. I think this was the most impressive set I've seen from them. They had the crowd up front getting into it. During one point vocalist Scott Shanks whipped off his shirt and tossed it out into the club where it landed on the floor. This hot looking chick in fish net ran over and scooped it up. He said to me after the show that his VIP Card was in the pocket of the shirt (I had just given them their cards earlier in the evening). I told him that I'd make another one up for him.

Restraint has became the second finalist for the Championship of Club Wars X. The show ended just an hour or two ago at Jerry's. It was another kick ass night with a good turnout. I would say emotions were a little high at this show as they were last night. Chants of "Zoya, Zoya, Zoya" were heard throughout the evening. When it started happening during the set by Blackout Velvet. The crowd in front of the stage came back with "Blackout, Blackout, Blackout." I thought all the bands were tight musically. They all got loud response from the crowd. I scored Zoya highest on my card because I thought they had songs with the best hooks of the evening. Now, if points would have been awarded for ass kissing, Blackout Velvet probably would have won. Guitarist/vocalist Tim Stark plugged the other bands on the bill several times. Gave kudos to the club and gave shout outs to guys from other bands that were in the audience. He continued to show the love by throwing in a "Jim Kilroy is the music scene," before they played their last song.

We've got the first Semi-Final of the Summer Club Wars in the bag and it was a kick ass show. If the band Seventh Day hadn't cancelled out of their spot, I think we could have been pushing capacity.

The show kicked off with Alpha Bloom, they advanced to the Championship. Their sound has a funky heavy groove to it. People were chanting the bands name throughout the night. I honestly think it has negative effect on people that aren't their fans.

The second band was The 29th Mark. They didn't pull much of a crowd, but they did score the highest with the judges. I thought they did a good job despite lack of crowd response.

Closing it out was These Walls. They pulled a big crowd and put on a good show. I kind of thought they were the best band. It seemed several of the guys in the band had improved their stage presence from their Qualifier date at Jerry's. Maybe it was just the bigger stage and a rowdier crowd. People were getting a little crazy towards the end of the night. The bouncers threw a guy out during after a fight broke out.

I'm back from Jerry's. The 12th Qualifier date of the tourney. It wasn't a big turnout. I didn't think we would have a big crowd since the KY Birthday Bash with Sammy Hagar was going on at Verizon. Jerry's was a sponsor and I think that pulled some of their regular crowd plus most of the employees. Owner John Kelly told me last week that it was like the company Xmas party. Then the band Under The Black Sails called and told me they were going to cancel just as I was leaving to go to the club. That's life in the world of booking rock bands. I've got a feeling that we'll be getting some crowds for the next few Sundays at Jerry's.

This show kicked off with Coffman Bend. I'm going to say that this is another band that might have been a better fit in the Club Wars Alternative. I listened to some music on their Myspace right after I received their entry back in May. I thought they were extremely wimpy. But live, they rocked more than I expected.

The second band was Ancient Creation. They advanced to the Semi-Final from this show. I had a feeling they would have a good chance of advancing. They've done well with the judges in their previous appearances in Club Wars. They don't pull a real big crowd and that might be a factor at the Semi-Final. They are going to face some stiff competition on August 11 at the Granada.

The closer was All Unknown. I wasn't sure if they were going to show up. Then they pulled in just as Ancient Creation finished their set. These guys did a decent job of dishing out some metal. They're a fairly young bunch of dudes. I think they can improve their show with some more gigs under their belt.

Shooters in Blue Springs was the scene last night for another Qualifier of the Summer War. We are over halfway through and I think it's been pretty kicking.

The show starteded off with The Dollhouse Rumor. These guys got eliminated previously in this tournament. But when the band that was originally scheduled on this date cancelled, I gave them a call. In the past I would have probably booked a band that wasn't entered in Club Wars. In this Club Wars, there's going to end up being a number of bands that come in 2nd place, staying alive. The Dollhouse Rumor advanced this time. They brought their own soundman Danny Putnam. He's the guitar player Randy's dad. He gave them a good sound. I thought all the other bands did a pretty decent job. But none of them sounded as good.

The second band was Diastematic from Sedalia. One of the guys told me to be brutal on the Diary. Well, I didn't think they were that good. Again, none of the other bands had as good a mix. The house sound guys Mickey and Jeff do an adequate job. But combined they don't have a 1/4 of the experience running sound as Danny. Good sound or not, I thought Diastematic was rough at times. They played some obscure cover by System Of A Down. Had they played a System tune that I knew and nailed it, I probably would have scored them higher.

The third band was Doomshade. This was actually their second date of the tournament as well. The played a Qualifier date that took place before the deadline. They then gave me an entry fee before the deadline and got in again. I've wrote before how they've got a Sabbath sound. They threw in a cover of "Electric Funeral" for good measure at this one.

Closing it out was Montia. They drew a good crowd. These guys seemed a lot better than they sounded. Again, I'll mention again the mix. They were the 2nd place band and they are going to get another chance. It'll be at Jerry's on July 30. They've always got experienced sound guys at Jerry's. It'll be interesting to see how they do there.

It's been a day or two since the last Club Wars date at Jerry's. A band called Crash The Car cancelled out the day before the show. They were actually the second band to cancel out of their spot in the Summer War. We didn't miss them much, there was still over 100 people that turned out for this one.

Opening the show was Underhoss. Frontman Jay and Ron the bass player were half of Kingpin, the winner of the first Club Wars. They're a lot like Kingpin. Funk rock with some hard edges.

Lowkuss was second up. The stage wasn't big enough for the 6 guys in this band. Most of the crowd filled up the floor in front of the band. They're pretty heavy and they put on a spirited performance. They did pull a big crowd and came out on top with the fan votes. But they also scored highest with the judges as well, so they move on.

The third band was Euphoria. A Nirvana-like trio of 15 year olds. One of their dads came up to me and asked if I would introduce them by letting everyone know that they were only 15 and they were a little nervous. I think he was under the impression the crowd was going to give them a hard time or something. He didn't need to worry. Before they played their first song. Tyler, the bands lead vocalist, told the crowd "To get off their ass and get up front." Some people came up front and the Euphoria dudes rocked out.

I'm back from some Club Wars action at Club Shooters. Another Qualifier date of the Summer Club Wars rolls by. The turnout was down a little from the past few shows. The line up was Mr. Gribber, Last Night Alone, Grimstone and Arsenic Dream. I thought the bands played well. But none of them stood out to me more than the others. I will say that Grimstone seems to be one of the most improved bands I've seen in Club Wars this year. They move on to the Semi-Final Round. Arsenic Dream is going to get a second life in the tourney on July 30 at Jerry's.

There were a couple of shows over the holiday weekend. The Summer Club Wars is rocking and the turnouts have been good ones.

Sunday the 2nd we were at Jerry's for the 7th Qualifier date. The show started with Mynera. They pulled a big crowd into the old Bait Shop. They're a tight band. They had some metal rage and played some tasty riffs in their set. I thought vocalist Bryan Harrison has improved his chops from what I remember in past Club Wars battles. Mynera is the band that advanced to the Semi-Final on August 4.

The second group was I Said The Giant. They weren't bad, a little mellow for the crowd. This band is one of several in the Summer Club Wars that might fit better in the Alternative Club Wars. I'll give them a spot in the next one if they're still going.

Next on was Cause For Retribution. They might be the heaviest band I've booked in Jerry's yet. It's shredding, crunchy metal with the growling vox. I actually ranked them 1st on my judge sheet.

The closer was Afterburn. They pulled a pretty good crowd who cheered them on. I wasn't really to impressed with them at first. They didn't seem very tight and the songs were a little bland. The last part of the set though they seemed to come together a bit. They also had some more catchy stuff they played to close out the set. I could see these guys getting a lot better with some more shows under their belt.

This year July 3 fell on a Monday. It's a party night and Club Wars kicked it at the Grand Emporium. Qualifier #8 was a 5 band bill that opened with Blackout Velvet. They didn't pull the biggest crowd but they were a unanimous choice by the judges. I thought overall they were the most polished act of the night. They go on to the Semi-Final on July 23 at Jerry's East.

The second band was Valley Of Hinnom, a band of young metallers. At times they were tight as they shredded through their tunes. Other times they kind of looked at each other to make sure they were playing the right part.

Black Oxygen was in the third spot. This is another band of young players. The funny thing is, these guys have more of an old school sound. They remind me of the Crue or Cinderella. I know they've thought of bringing in a new singer. The bands frontman Alex has the look and attitude that a band like this probably needs. Spending some time with a vocal coach might help his singing.

Then came The Waystation. Again, a band that might a better fit in Club Wars Alternative. They had a grove to their music, but overall I just thought they were weird.

Choke Hold Grip closed it out. They got a bit of a mosh pit going. They pulled the biggest crowd and the dudes in the band rocked out. They finished in 2nd place and I'm giving them a second life in the Summer Club Wars at the Qualifier on July 30 at Jerry's.

There have been allegations of cheating at the Club Wars Championship on May 5 at the Beaumont Club. This was first brought to my attention by Dale Proctor on June 14. Dale is the father of Dustin Proctor, bass player for A Cold Day In August. Dale alleges that the band cheated and that the groups friends/fans voted for the band more than once by washing off their stamps. Dale admitted that he was a part of this as well. After looking at the vote totals again from the show, I dismissed these allegations. I do not see a discrepancy in the amount of votes cast and the amount of people in attendance.

Later the next week, the allegations surfaced on the Banzai Message Board. The board lit up, with Dale being the one fanning most of the flames. After dying down for a few days, Dale brought the allegations again on the afternoon of June 25. It was at this time I decided to launch an investigation into matter.

I have spoke to the band members. I have message their Myspace Friends who posted comments on the bands Myspace page following the Championship on May 5. I have spoken to and e-mailed relatives of the band including Dale Proctor. There is no corroborating witnesses or testimony to the allegations that the band cheated. I have determined that some "Double Voting" occurred at the show. It was though, not a significant enough of an amount to have factored into the final result of the evening.

A Cold Day In August will continue to hold the title as undisputed champion of Club Wars IX. As the judge, jury and executioner in this matter. I now declare the case to be closed.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

Last night Club Wars rolled on at Jerry's. I think Jerry's is the new anchor for the next few Club Wars. We saw America's Pub as the anchor at CW 1-5, the Grand Emporium for 6-9 and now Jerry's.

The evening kicked off with These Walls. They drew a big crowd to this show and it helped them advance to the next round. As far as I know this is a fairly new band to the scene. I thought they were tight, but their stage presence needs some work. Musically, they reminded me of The Leo Project.

The second band was Insignifica. Musicianship-wise, I don't think there is another band in the Summer Club Wars that can touch these guys. I'm kind of surprised they didn't win. Their music might be a little complicated to digest at the first sitting.

The third band was The Brain Waves. Following Insignifica they seemed rather basic. They did have a few humorous songs including a tune called "Sound Fag." "It's about a sound guy at Davey's that treated us like shit one time," is how vocalist Ron Simonian introduced it.

The closer was Four Foot Giants. They haven't been together long and they had a few rough edges. They played a couple of covers including a Foo Fighters tune they opened with. I think bands should play a cover in their set, just don't open with it.

Friday night was a Qualifier date at Davey's. It started a little slow crowd wise but by the end of the show it had filled up a bit.

And So It Was Written opened the show. They're a high energy band of metallers who bounced around the stage. Frontman Stone did some straight singing in parts. But it was mostly the screamer/growler vocalizing.

The second band was Device. These guys might have been hurt by the location of the show or the age limits. I saw on the RSVP list from their Myspace that many of their Friends weren't going to be able to make it. I liked this bands sound, their songs seemed to have some variety. The songs had a little variety but the singer Elliot semed to sing each song the same way.

The third group was Liquid Aggression. They're not a bad band. They play some crunching metal and their fairly tight. They didn't pull much of a crowd. But those that started filling in the room for Zoya cheered them on.

Closing it out was Zoya, the band that advanced from the show. The got the top score both the fans and judges at this one. They did covers by White Zombie and Pantera and their originals had that same kind of sound. I think they should've probably just played one cover though.

Last night Club Wars returned to the Granada in Lawrence. The Summer Club Wars has already begun. But this was the first day of Summer, so it was extra special.

The show kicked off with Mirror Image. This is a band of identical triplets from Topeka. Not the greatest musicians yet, but they put on an energetic show. They rocked out and their hair was flying. I think these guys could become a pretty good band.

Synesthetic took the stage next. They've done a little something with their sound since I last saw them. They are pretty tight together as a band. I'm not finding them very exciting though. Their opening song seemed to lack the kind of energy that an opening song should.

Third up was Restraint. These guys have battled it out in a few Club Wars with little to show for it. It finally was their night as they advancedon to the Semi Final round. They drew a good, they're tight and some of their songs smack you around a little. They could be facing some stiff competiton in the Semi.

Dora Danka was fourth on the bill. They've got good stage presence and some variety in their songs. They got the top score from the judges at this show and came in a close second overall. I added another show to the Summer Club Wars at Jerry's on July 30. I've decided to give spots to a few of the second place bands at some Qualifiers that are not taking place at Jerry's. So, Dora Dank lives on in the Summer War.

The closer was Odius. This band played in the little showcase I billed as "Battle For Rock & Metal Fest" back in April. I wasn't really impressed with them at that show. The bands vocalist Laura had the stage presence thing going, but the band didn't sound to whippy. I sent her a message on Myspace telling her to crack the whip in practice to tighten up their sound. Maybe she did, because they seemed a whole lot different at this show. They also had a keyboard player onstage that I don't remember them having before. He helped fill out the sound as well. I thought they did a good job.

It was the third date of the Summer Club Wars but it felt more like the opening night of the deal earlier this evening at Jerry's. It was a pretty rockin time and all the bands put on their best show. The biggest draws of the night were Alpha Bloom (who opened) and Dollhouse Rumor (who closed the show). It was only a one point difference that separated these two bands at the end of the show with Alpha Bloom coming out on top. They both played very tight sets and got great response from the crowd. People were chanting "Alpha Bloom, Alpha Bloom" all the way up to and after I announced them advancing. The other bands were H Gage and Black Buffalo. H Gage had the standout tune "The Irish Song" in their set. Black Buffalo, hailing from southern Missouri, came with masks and make up. They dished out some screaming metal for the crowd on this Sunday night.

The second Qualifier of the Summer War has taken place. The band Hyperion has advanced on to the Semi-Final round. They'll get their next date at The Draft on Tuesday night. Hyperion was joined on the bill by Pull and Sidney's Ride. Jerry's Bait Shop is going to see the most action at this Club Wars. It wasn't a big crowd, we had just over 40 votes cast. The place usually some kind of crowd there beforen we start taking a cover. Hyperion had got a small pit going during their set. I thought Pull has a couple of good tunes, they just don't have lots of stage presence. I think Sidney's Ride is tripped out metal.

Quite a few shows have taken place since my last diary entry. Lots of activity on the home front has been kind of a distraction and kept me away from the keyboard. Things are starting to get back to normal and tomorrow is the deadline for bands to enter the Summer Club Wars. I'm going to have to just gloss over and summarize some of the events of the last 8 or so dates.

Country Wars took place on May 23 (Whiskey Made advanced) and May 26 (Jerry Dowell Band advanced) at the Grand Emporium and on June 3 at Davey's (Mootz Moody advanced). After a couple of small turnouts at the first two dates of Country Wars we had the crowds build at the least three dates. There was a crowd of 100-120 at the Davey's show. Though there weren't huge turnouts, I thought that it all went very well and the bands were good. I think we'll have a big crowd for the final. Now, since this was my first foray into country music. I found myself always scoring a band the highest if they were the kind of band I wanted to see in The Final. We had some varying degrees of country, but I felt like there was a certain type of band I wanted to see at the end. I don't think this will disappoint any Country music fans.

The Club Wars Alternative also wrapped up with three dates during this time: May 27 at the Bottleneck (Chasing 7 advanced), May 30 at the Grand Emporium (Sometimes 3) and June 2 at Club Shooters (Good Question). I think the Alt Wars went well, it could have been a little better. We had one big turnout of 150+ on May 30 at the GE. The band Good Question is the first St. Louis area band to ever play in a Club Wars.

A Club Wars DVD Party took place on May 28 at Jerry's East. All three of the DVDs that were filmed of Club Wars last year are finally out. There are three more that are in the can. The final of the Metal Wars was filmed and that is next scheduled for release. The DVD Series creates the opportunity to book some dates that are Club Wars without it being a competition. Now that I'm doing every Sunday at Jerry's. I'm sure there will be a few more of these kind of shows in the months ahead.

June 4 at Jerry's was the start of the Summer Club Wars. The deadline to enter is tomorrow and The Draft is next Tuesday, but it started last Sunday and the second date is this Sunday. I was kind of thinking of doing another spinoff of Club Wars with these dates but I decided to just concentrate all my effort on the Summer Club Wars until after the deadline and Draft took place. I basically just waived the entry fee for the bands that are playing the first two dates. The opener was Funkyard. A 3 piece band that was more Metal than Funk. They advanced on from this show. The second band was Doomshade. This is a metal band in the old school vein with a Sabbath-like sound. Third up was A Cause For Effect. This is a new band on the scene. They're metal with the harsh style of vox. The closer was Nudge. I gave them this spot after seeing them in the Alt Wars. They almost seemed to hard for that, but following these bands they seemed light.

Another weekend of Club Wars has passed by. Three different versions of Club Wars took place. Friday was a DVD Release Party, Saturday was Alt Wars and Sunday was Country Wars. It was kind of a down weekend on the turnout front. Doing this as often as I am, it's bound to happen where we get some of these crowds of 20 people. Of course there's always extenuating circumstances. I am starting to think however, that in the world of battle of the bands, hard rock and metal rules.

Club Shooters was the scene for the DVD release party of last years Summer Club Wars on Friday the 12th. I didn't really hype it up to much as the release party. I didn't even have finished copies in my hand until that day. I had just billed it as a DVd Showcase until we started getting closer to having it finished. This show had the best turnout of the weekend. With band guys and guests it was maybe 80 people. It seemed like most of the crowd got there at showtime and pretty much stayed. Local Stranger was third on the bill and some of the crowd left after their set. But then closer Restraint was the only band that had any kind of crowd in front of the stage while they played. If it had been a Club Wars show with Judges and Fan votes, I think Restraint would have won. I also think we would have had a better turnout if there were fan and judges voting. The other bands were Alibi and Suttercane. This was my second booking there, Alt Wars is there on June 2nd. I think they need to have somewhere on the stage for bands to hang their banners.

Saturday was the Yahweh House for the Club Wars Alt with Sons Of A Generation, The Briny Deep and The Non Fiction. There were only like 14 votes cast at this show. I always try and book younger bands at this club since they don't serve alcohol. There were a number of bands on Myspace that I found that would have fit the bill, but they were either already booked or were having prom. Then I had 2 of the original 4 bands on the bill cancel. The band that advanced, Sons Of A Generation, just got on the bill earlier in the week. I think this was a first gig for The Briny Deep. All their parents showed up and voted for them. The Non Fiction had an interesting sound. Their set was mostly instrumental. Sons Of A Generation was, at times, a little sloppy but all of their songs didn't all sound the same. I thought they also seemed a little more comfortable onstage than the other bands.

Last night it was the Country Wars at Jerry's. This was the second of what's going to be 6 shows for this spin-off. So far, attendance wise, it's limping out of the gate. Fortunately, all of the bands have been pretty good. I wanted to have 4 bands on each bill for these shows. I had 3 bands on for this one, but I found out earlier in the day that one was not going to show. So we had Jervis Jort (they advanced) and The Doghouse Band play to about 30-40 people. Jervis Jort is a band that plays a bunch of different stuff. The Keyboardist Mark said to me after the show that they could play all the different Club Wars. "We could come up 30 minutes of metal," he said only half kidding. My favorite song they did was a countryfied version of Pink Floyd's "Mother." A fitting song since it was Mothers Day. The second band was The Doghouse Band. They were more a mix of rock-country and blues. They did a couple of Johnny Cash covers including "Folsom Prison Blues." There was a train rolling down the tracks in front of the club as they played the song. I think Country Wars will get some bigger turnouts on a friday or saturday night.

The 2nd night of the Alt Wars has passed. The bands were good and the turnout was decent. The show kicked off with Tonight In Slow Motion. This band of teenagers came in a close second. The bands vocalist Alaina was, I thought, far and away the best singer of the night.
The second band was Nudge. This is one of those bands that could play a Club Wars tournament. They aren't your typical Club Wars type rock band. But compared to the other bands on this bill, they almost seemed metal. They drew the biggest crowd of the night. They're a Club Wars to late though. Fan votes alone aren't going to advance any bands for the next several battles at least.
The third band was Ross Christopher and the Familiar Voice. This is a 3 piece band fronted by Ross, who played violin and sang. They're really a talented band. There was a part of the set where the guitarist Josh had some technical difficulty and one of the sound guys came up to the stage. Ross launched into a version of The Star Spangled Banner
The closer was Motor Car Courtney. This was the band that advanced to the Final. The bands drummer Chris is also the guitar player from Life In Jersey. They advanced from Jerry's the other night. We've had some two band players in Club Wars before, but this is the first time they'll be on the same bill.

The Club Wars Alternative kicked off last night at Jerry's. Attendance wise the show started a little slow but halfway through the night we had a good crowd. Cause Effect Theory opened the show. They've played in the last two Club Wars tournaments. I almost think they're in between the hard rock bands of Club Wars and the Alt Rock type bands that I wanted to see in this. The second band was Life In Jersey. Like Cause Effect Theory they rocked hard, but they're not a hard rock band. The band 5 Star Crush was third. They had a good sound but they didn't have they energetic stage presence of the first 2 bands. Delorean, a finalist from Punk Wars, closed it out. They have kind of a pop-punk sound to some of their stuff. I thought they fit into this version of Club Wars. I also kind of get a kick out of their tune "Myspace Girl." Life In Jersey became the first of 6 finalist for the Club Wars Alt. Officially the Final will be announced after all the finalists are determined. I might try and book it before then. Iit's something I'm going to think about over the next few days.

The Spring Club Wars concluded on Friday night and the Club Wars Alternative starts tonight. With the release of the Summer Club Wars DVD a few days away it seems the Club Wars plate is full.

The Championship of the Spring Club Wars was determined at the Beaumont on May 5. The bands finished in the exact order they played: A Cold Day In August, Local Motive, Until Broken, Seventh Day and One Hand Down. It was a unanimous vote from both the fans and the judges that gave A Cold Day In August the cup at this one. At times I felt like the Spring Club Wars was just a popularity contest. There was really only one show that the judges were the deciding factor. A new judges scoring system came into the mix this year. Though I've had on average, more judges, they haven't really factored into the final decision much. A new scoring system in regards to the fan voting should give the judges more influence in upcoming shows.

Overall, I thought the Spring Club Wars a success. The Championship had a crowd of close to 600. All of the other dates drew decent crowds and I thought there were some good new bands in there. There were 45 bands in it this time. I have a feeling that number could swell for the Summer War.

The Country Wars are under way. The first show ended over an hour ago at the Grand Emporium. It was also the first night of a new scoring system for the fan voting. The end result was pretty much the same though, the band with the most fan votes won. Like almost every CW date this year, I filled out a judges ballot. But I spent more time thinking about how I going vote than almost all the other shows this year. Outlaw Jim and The Whisky Benders kicked it off. I thought they had more of a traditional country sound. The second band was Big Brutus. They are like a mix of pop country and rock. Closing it out was Illusion. This band is a 3 piece fronted by a female vocalist. They used a keyboard for drums. The bands singer, Gina, would hit a button before the song and a drum track would kick in. If they would have had a real drummer it would have been harder to try and score. This is my first foray into country music. My feeling is that it's going to be like Cover Wars I. A couple of good turnouts. A couple of so-so turnouts. Then a bunch of people at The Final. As far as the music. I'm really interested in seeing and hearing all the bands playing in this thing. But I don't know if it's going to hold my attention like rock.

The Semi-Finals of the Spring CW wrapped up over the past weekend. Saturday the 22nd saw Malicious Intent, Conspiracy, One Hand Down and Changing Faith at Davey's. One Hand Down was the band that advanced to the Championship. It was a good crowd and the show went well. For some reason though, I had a hard time getting into it.
Sunday the 23rd was at the Grand Emporium. This show had 5 bands on the bill: A Cold Day In August, Crazy Talk, Cause Effect Theory, Lucid Fiction and Nocturne Noir. The band that advanced was A Cold Day In August. They kind of remind me of Dream Theater. Until Broken and A Cold Day In August are the only 2 bands on the bill for the Championship that received the top votes from both the judges and fans at their semi-final date. I'm meeting with the bands tonight to determine the order for the Championship on May 5.

We had a couple of Club Wars dates this past weekend. The Cover Wars Final went down on the 14th at Davey's. The last of the Qualifier dates for the Spring CW was at the Bottleneck on the 15th. Two different shows, different types of bands, but there was one thing that was the same at both gigs. We had sound guys that I had never worked with before and the shows ran much later than I expected.

The sound guy we had at Davey's was Mark. I think he did an ok job. Identity Crisis, the band that won the final, played 5-7 minutes longer than they should have. Then from the time they finished until the time the second band (Hemispheres) took the stage, 50 minutes went by. Someone joked to me about how it took them 50 minutes to set up for a 30 minute set. When Hemispheres played the semi final date at the GE they were the first band on the bill. As far as their set went. I think they should have played the shortest and most well known Rush tunes. I've heard "By Tor And The Snowdog" before but I think a better choice would have been "YYZ" or "Red Barchetta." I thought that Last Call had the best stage presence and song variety. Implement was the top score with the judges. They were also the youngest band on the bill. I'm almost surprised these guys aren't doing originals. Of course, it wouldn't have been Cover Wars without girls in the bands. Lead singer of Identity Crisis is Ann. The Last Call Band had two chicks in the band. The groups lead singer is Michelle. I don't know what the back up singer's name was. She wasn't in the band before, they had a different back up singer chick. If it was a battle of the babes, I would probably have to give Ann the 1st Place vote.

The Bottleneck show on Saturday night had Andy as the sound guy. There weren't any long delays between sets, this one just seemed to drag on a little longer than it should have. The show opened with Terror Tractor. I think these guys aren't to bad. Lead vocalist/guitarist Clint throws some humour into his song intros. Nocturne Noir, the band that advanced from this show, was second on the bill. They have a dark melodic metal sound with the Cookie Monster style vox. Bodisartha was the third band. They kept reminding me of Nirvana. The next band was Psilenus, top score with the judges. I think I'm going to offer these guys a spot in the Club Wars Alternative. Closing it out was Dreamscrape. The crowd had thinned by the time they took the stage about 12:45am. The fact that they didn't get any fan votes made it seem later than it was.

We had a history making moment in Club Wars at the Grand Emporium about two hours ago. The band Torn Apart had just finished playing and I was counting the last of the ballots. A fight broke out between a couple of guys and within a minute most of the bar had emptied. The lights came on, then doormen and bartenders were telling everyone to leave. I didn't get to go onstage and do the old "Alright, alright, alright" routine and then announce the winner. A couple of the guys from Malicious Intent were still in the club so I told them they were advancing.

As far as the show went. Black Oxygen was the opener, they are in the 14-16 year old range. They're young but I thought their songs had the element of old school to them. Their lead singer Alex might be kind of a poser boy. I did think though, he did a good job of interacting with the crowd.

The second band was So Far Lucky. This is another band of teenagers, I think they might be 17. They played in Punk Wars back in January. I thought they had really tightened their sound. I scored them highest on my judge sheet.

Malicious Intent started dishing out the metal in the 3rd slot. They pulled the biggest crowd of the night. Black Oxygen got a few votes also, but I think their crowd was friends of their parents. Malicious Intent are all over 21 and their crowd came ready to rock.

The closer was Torn Apart, a band I would put in the cookie monster metal category. They weren't bad, they would be a good fit for Metal Wars.

Last night was the 3rd Semi-Final at Davey's. Seventh Day was the band that advanced from this show.
The night kicked off with Ancient Creation. They're an old school style, with a shredding dual guitar sound that reminds me of Yngwie Malmsteen.
Seventh Day took the stage second. Some of their stuff seems like a mix of southern rock and grunge. It's their 4th straight Club Wars appearance, they were in the Championship last Spring.
Mr. Gribber played third. They were in the Championship of the Fall CW last November. They've got a quirky sound but I do think they have some decent hooks in their songs.
The 4th band was Last Night Alone. The only band on the bill playing in Club Wars for the first time. They put on a pretty good show and there was a crowd up front for their set. They could of been a candidate for the Punk Wars.

I'm back from the Hurricane. It was the second semi final of the Spring war. I'm going in reverse on the band rundown. Mythadus was the band that closed it out. They are in the cookie monster vein of metal. They played it well and there was a good sized crowd that was up front when they were onstage. The last rush of voters filed up after their set.
One Degree Difference was in the third slot. They kind of changed their sound a few months back. The bands original vocalist Sean was out and the bands drummer, Justin, was the new frontman. Ryan entered the picture on drums, though Justin still plays drums during the set. Even though they've changed their sound. I still think the dynamic of guitarist Miah and bassist W2 is the driving force of the band.
Large was second on the bill. They've played in Club Wars a bunch of times. The bands frontman Kelly was doing his best to fire up the crowd. Some dudes started moshing during one of their songs and a couple of bouncers went into action. Within 15 minutes there were several police cars in front of the club. I peeked out the front door and saw a guy wearing a Large t-shirt in handcuffs.
The show started off with Local Motive. They pulled in a big enough crowd to advance again in Club Wars. They will be the second band to secure a spot in the Championship on May 5. Congrats to those guys for making it.

I'm back from the GE. It was a Qualifier show. This is the turning point of the Spring Club Wars. The evening more or less started with a phone call from one of the guys in Mailbox Task Force. They were scheduled to play third on the bill. They weren't going to make it. One guy broke his arm and another guy got arrested. I've had lots of bands cancel at the last minute or very close to. This might have been the first time that some guys from the band still showed up at the gig. Not only that, they got 7 fan votes. Not bad for a band that didn't play. The show kicked off with A Cold Day In August. I was getting that Dream Theater vibe from this band. I thought their lead vocalist Amy could really sing. They were the band that advanced. They move on to the Semi-Final on April 23 at the GE. Also on the bill was the band Stanley. They weren't bad but it was kind of boring. Messiah Complex closed out the show. I thought they kicked ass.

I just got home from the first of the semi-finals for the Spring Club Wars. It rocked out as I expected. Until Broken was the band that made it to the Championship. Sutter Cane was the best I've ever seen them. The 29th Mark was the band that I scored the highest on my judge sheet. Cripplefight sounded good, but they're now missing that second vocal. The bands former vocalist/guitarist Don has been replaced by Patrick. I think I'm going to go with the old "He's got potential" tag for Patrick. He looked a little green onstage and he didn't do much singing. But I think he's a good fit with these guys. I guess we'll see how they do in the Summer Club Wars.
We didn't have to mess with the salsa tonight at the GE. A few people showed up looking for it. The nice weather should be sending it back the Westport Beach Club until October.

A few shows have taken place since my last entry. Shooters in Blue Springs hosted it's first ever Club Wars date on the 24th. This is a pretty good sized club and they've got a big stage. I think it's going to be a good place to do shows. The bands were: Blah Blah Blah, Mythadus, H Gage and Grimstone. Mythadus was the band that advanced on this night. The guys in H Gage were all playing with different bands in Club Wars last spring. We filmed this show for the DVD series.
Sunday the 26th was back to Jerry's in Lee's Summit. It was another good turnout. I've got to say that I was surprised the 3 dates at Jerry's went as well as they did. I'm thinking about going weekly with it starting in May. Bound By Disaster, Last Night Alone, Imaginary Foe and Insignifica made up this bill. This was one of those shows that was a mixed bag of styles. Last Night Alone got the top score, they move on to the semi-final.
The 28th was back to the Emporium. This show only had 3 bands on the bill: Johnny Boy's Arson Club, All Unknown and Changing Faith. The final score was close. But in all reality Changing Faith was far and away the best band of the night. I had planned on the band advancing from this show to play on April 8. Changing Faith is already booked on that date, so they will advance to the show at Davey's on April 22. That created an opening at the Semi-Final on April 8, so I recruited Ancient Creation to fill the spot.

The Spring Club Wars is rolling along. There has been a couple of shows in the last few days. The Sunday night show at Jerry's was part of the DVD Series. Dora Dank, The Stillborn and The Leo Project tore it up. It was a really good crowd and all of the bands sounded great. I think this club is going to be a big part of Club Wars and the spin-offs in the next few months.
Last night was a Qualifier date at the Grand Emporium. Of all the Tuesdays I have booked at the Emporium, the Spring Club Wars has always been the most successfull. This line up was: Local Motive, Forlorn Hope, Under The Black Sails and Seeking Surreal. It was a great turn out and the bands displayed a real diversity. The votes totals were close, Local Motive edged Seeking Surreal by only one point.

It seems like there's a lot going on and the diary has been put on the back burner a little. I'm leaving for Jerry's in a few minutes. The Spring Club Wars started there a week ago today. It was the first CW date at the venue and the first one ever to be held in Lee's Summit. The line up was Midnight At Galaxy, The 29th Mark, Mi Dixie Wrecked and Dude. It was a nice turn out and I thought the sound was good. The bands rocked out and people had a good time. I think Club Wars is going to work well at this place. We filmed this show for a dvd, but the guys in Midnight At Galaxy took off before we got to interview them. Throughout the day and night, there were tornadoes and thunderstorms criss-crossing the area. The band is from the Sedalia area, so after their set they were off to home and family. It did start hailing on the club a couple of times during the night. But the show, as they say, went on. After all the votes were tallied, I announced The 29th Mark as the band advancing to the Semi-Final. Tonight is billed as a DVD Showcase, it's not actually a part of the tournament. I think one of the great things about doing these dvds is being able to set up shows like this. It's part of Club Wars, but it's not a competition. There won't be any judges or fan voting that goes down tonight, it's just a show.

The Punk Wars Final went down on March 4 at the Bottleneck. It was a great turnout and a great way to cap off this first outing of Punk Wars. The line up was: A Single Shot, Sweet Action Hero, V Card Vengeance, Skate-O Masochists, Idiot Box and Delorean. Now some of the bands may have been a little more punk than others. One guy got onstage during the Skate-O Masochist set and said "It's about time we had a punk band in Punk Wars." Someone else wrote on one of the posters "Kind Of" over the Punk Wars logo. I thought it was funny. We filmed this for the Club Wars DVD series. The guys in Sweet Action Hero gave a very entertaining interview. After all the votes were counted, the Skate-O Masochists were announced as the winner. I was very happy that a punk band won Punk Wars.

Sunday, March 5 was the last of the Cover Wars semi's. The bands Kan Eyed, Damaged Goods and Identity Crisis played the show. Each band had a female vocalist. That's the biggest difference between Cover Wars and everything thing else in the Club Wars Universe. Many of the bands in Cover Wars have girls in the group. The show kind of built up. The opener Kan Eyed had sort of a laid back approach. Damaged Goods started to get the crowd rockin. Then Identity Crisis had 'em dancing. Identity Crisis pulled the biggest crowd and pretty much won by a landslide. The Final is going to be on April 14 at Davey's. I had originally planned on that being the start of Country Wars. But it was the only weekend night all the Finalists could do in April.

It won't take me a week to post this one. The 3rd of 4 Cover Wars Semi's wrapped up an hour or two ago at the Grand Emporium. The band Hemispheres, a Rush Tribute band, was the group that advanced. The Stolen Winnebagos and Sabbath Disciples were also on the bill. The guys in the Stolen Winnebagos hung out in the club before their set in suits and ties. They changed into some goth wear before they took the stage. It was some sort of joke or something. I don't know if it was necesssary because they played some cool stuff. Pink Floyd's "Time" and "Underground" by Ben Folds were my favorites. It was a very close finish, only a few points separated all 3 bands. Hemispheres, the Rush band, edged Sabbath Disciples, the Black Sabbath band, by one point. I was one of the judges at the show. I probably would have scored Sabbath Disciples higher had the bands vocalist Jonathon done a better job of dressing for the part.

It's been a busy week. Tonight Cover Wars returns to the Grand Emporium. Here's the the quick rundown on some of the recents events in Club Wars:

The deadline for the Spring Club Wars was on Friday the 17th. It was also the Club War DVD release party at Davey's. I figured having a show on the same day as the deadline would get a bunch of bands to enter at the last minute. That's pretty much how it worked out, I think 10 bands entered between 7-midinight. The DVD Party had Sick With It, Conspiracy and Until Broken on the bill. I'm encouraged by the response the DVDs have been receiving so far. Even though it took longer to get them released than I anticipated. I think they are going to give Club Wars the added dimension I hoped they would.

The 18th was the last of the Punk Wars Semi's at Yahweh House. The line up was A Single Shot, Jedi Superstar and Delorean. The Punk Wars has gone well and I'm thinking that there could be another edition of it in the Fall. But, truth be told, I haven't been overly impressed by the bands in Punk Wars. It could be mostly due to the youth and inexperience of some of these bands. It's things like Punk Wars that give them the oppurtunity to get that experience.

The second week of Cover Wars was on Sunday the 19th. I'm liking this Sunday night thing. The shows get started and end earlier and the turnout has been decent. The bands at this show were The Last Call Band, The Doghouse Band, The Mooreheads and The Realm. From a judges standpoint it was a close call. These bands were all really good. I gave my 1st place vote to The Realm, I liked how almost every guy in the band sang lead on one song or another. It was, however, Last Call that got the most points and they are going to the Cover Wars Final in April.

Wednesday the 22 was the Spring Draft at Karma. Attendance was high among the participating bands. Right now there are over 40 bands on the schedule and honestly I need a few more to fill it out. The Spring Club Wars will start on March 12 at Jerry's Bait Shop in Lee's Summit. It's the first ever CW date at the club.

I'm falling behind a little. I didn't make an entry after the Punk Wars date on February 4 at Ground Work. Then there was another Punk Wars Semi on February 11 at Yahweh. The turnout was pretty decent at both these shows. None of the dates in Punk Wars have been huge, but on avergae I'd say we've had a 100 people at each show. The bands at Groundwork were What's Left, Figure 70, Skate-O Masochists and The Akanes. The Skate-O Masochists edged out Figure 70 in the fan votes for the right to advance. Figure 70 has been the only hardcore punk band so far to play in Punk Wars. Most of the other groups have been pop punk, emo/punk or just punks with attitude. The Yahweh date had Idiot Box, One Punk Less and A Day In Attica. The band No Man No cancelled about an hour before the show started. The guitar player hurt his back at work was the reason they gave. I usually mention no moshing or cussing before shows at Yahweh. I forgot and Idiot Box cussed and people moshed during their opening spot. Idiot Box got the most combined points from the fans and judges. They are the 4th band to advance to the Punk Wars Final on March 4. I've also gotten that show switched from 18+ to an all ages one.

Friday, February 10 was the Final for Metal Wars at the Beaumont Club. It was a big turnout and I thought all the bands got great response and played good sets. I think of the Club Wars Spin-Offs that I'm going to produce, Metal Wars could probably the biggest. Vermilion Sky took The Cup at this inaugural battle. I've almost got to think that if they play in the Spring Club Wars, they would be a favorite to win. Todd Sheets filmed this show for the Club Wars DVD series. I thought the band interviews we did went much better than the ones that appear in the Fall DVD that just came out. I'm hoping Todd can make this into a 45-60 minute film that we can release on it's own instead of pairing it up with another spin-off like Punk Wars.

Sunday the 12th was the opening night of Cover Wars at the Grand Emporium. After getting a good turnout on a sunday night at the Cover Wars Final last September, I decided we might as well try the whole thing on sundays. After what I thought was a decent crowd on this first night, I think it might be a good thing doing this on sundays. The show opened with Alibi. They've played in Club Wars a bunch of times and played covers in their set. This time they went the all cover route with some tunes like "Little Sister" and "Breakin The Law" but they skipped "Fairies Wear Boots." "We didn't have enough time," is what bassist Dave McBath told me. Teacherz Pet was second on the bill. Sam Lee, former bassist for Rampage is in this band. They played some classic and modern hard rock and metal tunes. I honestly thought the vocals were the weak link in this band. I saw a few people cringe to the screams of vocalist Steve Waters during AC/DCs "Back In Black." I thought the only song he really nailed was "Piece Of Your Action" by Motley Crue. The third band Implement was the winner at this show. They drew the biggest crowd and they came out on top with the judges as well. Their set included tunes by Stone Temple Pilots and System Of A Down. I don't think they played anything older than 1993. I booked these guys at the GE last Summer and I don't remember them being that good and they didn't draw anyone. I guess things change. Closing it out was Flying Debris. This band played the classic rock stuff that dominated in the first Cover Wars. The bands vocalist Missy switched places with the bassist Marty on a cool Zeppelin/Sabbath medley. I thought they were good but they didn't pull much of a crowd. I'm looking forward to next weeks installment.

It's been a few days since last weekends shows. We had a Punk Wars date at Yahweh on January 28. The line up was: V Card Vengeance, Under The Black Sails, So Far Lucky and Midnight At Galaxy. It was a good turn out and it was the closest final score so far in 2006. Under The Black Sails had the lead as the last band Midnight At Galaxy finished their set. V Card pulled into a tie and I was fearing a tie, just as the last few votes came in for them. Though I would say that the show went well and the bands rocked out, I wasn't really too impressed by these groups. I think it was probably a mix of youthful inexperience and Yahweh's sound.

Metal Wars invaded the Grand Emporium on Sunday the 29th. The bands were: L.I.E., Occam's Razor, Mythadus, Terror Tractor and Skarecro. Another good turn out but a lopsided score. Mythadus became the 5th and final band to advance to the Beaumont on February 10. The band that caught my attention was Skarecro. Lead vocalist Ryane Keithly belted it out on the Saxophone during a couple of their songs. At 29 days, this is the shortest Club Wars series to date. The Final on February 10 should be a feast for the metal masses.

Got home from Karma just a little while ago. We had the Viewing Party for the Spring Club Wars DVD earlier this evening. I made a crockpot of ham chili and feedback was positive for both the chili and the DVD. There's a part of the film where we are determining the order the bands will play at the Championship. It took place at Johnny Dare's, the club that is now called Karma. For some reason I found it funny when that segment came on. Anyway, the official DVD Release Party is at Davey's on February 17. The film of the Fall Club Wars is close to completion. I hope to have it completed by that show also. I really want to throw another one of these viewing parties for the Fall DVD before February 17. I guess we'll see what happens.

A weekend of Metal Wars has passed. We started at Davey's on Friday night the 20th. There were some snowflakes and some cold rain fell during the day. The weathermen were telling everyone to stay home during the 6 o'clock news. I know it kept a few people from coming out, but I still thought it was a good turn out. The band Bent was also a casualty for this show. The bands drummer Matt called me earlier in the day. His father-in-law had been in an accident, so he had to attend to the family. The bands Nocturne Noir, Bound By Disaster and Grimstone all were able to make it. Most of the crowd came out in support for Nocturne Noir, they advanced to the Metal Wars Final. I thought they were pretty good but I scored Bound By Disaster, a band from Sedalia, higher on my scorecard. I thought they had more intensity in their music.

Saturday night it was off to Groundwork in Leavenworth. Though I've said the Club Wars Regional is in the past, the Metal and Punk Wars are continuing to expand CW on a regional basis. This was the first show that I have ever booked at this club. I'm glad I did the date with them, it pretty much kicked ass. The line up was Vermilion Sky, Eyes Of The Betrayer, Synesthetic and Radiance. I had a feeling that this show was going to be almost as good if not better than the Metal Wars Final itself. Therewas a line of people as the doors opened and the place quickly filled. I thought all the bands put on top notch performances and other than slow changeovers, the show went smoothly. Vermilion Sky pulled the biggest cowd and they advanced with the help of the Fan vote. 4 of the 5 Finalists for Metal Wars have been determined and the last Semi-Final date is on January 29th at the Grand Emporium. Should be heavy.

Tonight is the "Viewing Party" for the Club Wars DVD filmed last Spring. I was more than a little frustrated that it took so long to produce, but I'm glad that it's finally completed. I'm anticipating that the Summer and Fall films from last year will be completed soon as well. I think the DVds can open up some new avenues of promotion for Club Wars.

Club Wars 2006 is out of the gate. This past weekend the latest spin-offs, Metal Wars and Punk Wars debuted. Last year seemed a little ambitious when I planned 3 Club Wars tournaments and then added Cover Wars. This year I'm planning on one version or another of Club Wars going on all year long. Aside from those happenings, I have devised a different way that judges are going to score bands. I kind of thought about just testing it out at Metal/Punk Wars but then going back to the old way for Cover Wars and the Spring Club Wars. I kind of like the new way better, it seems to simplify the process.

Friday the 20th at Davey's was Metal Wars. The line up was The Messiah Complex, Cause For Retribution, Dreamscrape and One More Grave. It was a pretty good turn out and all of the bands delivered the metal. I think people that like heavy bands are going to enjoy Metal Wars. The band Cause For Retribution was the band that advanced at this show. They played their set without a bass player. When they signed up for Metal Wars they had a bass player but he left town or something. One of the eligibility requirements is for bands to have a minimum instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums. It became a question of whether or not these guys should be disqualified. I thought they played a very high energy set and they had a good pit going. It was a judgement call, I told them that they needed to have a bass player when they showed up for the Final at the Beaumont Club on February 10. If they didn't, then I would have to disqualify them at that time.

Saturday the 14th it was Metal Wars at the Yahweh House. On this bill we had: Insignifica, Manhattan Massacre, Enemies Laid To Rest and Taken In Vain. It was another all out metal assault. They don't go for moshing at Yahweh but at times the music was brutal. Manhattan Massacre scored the most points at this show. They are the second of 5 Finalists in Metal Wars.

Last night was the first Punk Wars date at the Bottleneck. The bands were: The Havok On Polaris, Fight Biff, Sweet Action Hero, Hooray For Me and One Jack Short. It was a good crowd and set changes went quickly. The show was over and I was on the turnpike by midnight. I really enjoyed the bands that played this show. With a new judging format in Club Wars this year, I found it a little harder to score this show, than the 2 previous Metal Wars nights. Sweet Action Hero was the top scorer and they will return to the Bottleneck for the Punk Wars Final on March 4.

I also want to note that I have copies of the Spring Club Wars film in hand. It took much longer to produce than I expected. I will feel better about the whole project if we can get the Summer and Fall films finished by the official Club Wars DVD Bash at Davey's on February 17. I'm also planning on setting up a little viewing party for the DVD at Karma in Westport next week. I'm anxious for people to see it.

Saturday night was the "Best Of The West" Season Finale at the Bottleneck in Lawrence. The line up was all of the winners of Club Wars this year (Flak, The Leo Project, The Stillborn and Until Broken). There were no judges and no voting, it was all just for fun. There wasn't a bad crowd considering it was a holiday weekend and there were probably tons of people that had left town. I would say most of the crowd was there from KC.

Though it was the last Club Wars show of the year, it's only a month and a half until we kick off the 2006 season. The Metal and Punk Wars start the weekend of January 13-15. In fact, Punk Wars will have it's opening night at the Bottlneck on January 15. I'm going to enjoy the Club Wars "off season" even though it is short. Only 7 weeks until people will start ranting on the Club Wars Guestbook again.

Last night the Club Wars Regional wrapped up at the Granada in Lawrence. I'm going to give my thoughts and comments on the Fall Club Wars and then I'll close this out with something about last night and things to come.

I think that the Spring, Summer and Fall Club Wars were each a success. The "bottom line" was about equal each time out. I'm going to say though, the Fall CW was the least successful of the 3. There's a few contributing factors. First of all, there wasn't a marquee prize of getting to open a big show like Freaker's Ball. I knew going in that it was going to be hard to top the Summer War after the winner got the opening spot at Freaker's Ball. I did end up working something out with The Rock for the winner of the Fall War to play their Harley Giveaway Party next month at the Voodoo Lounge. This created some excitement for CW, but it was after all of the finalists had already been determined. Another thing was poor turnouts at most of the Qualifier dates. This probably had a lot to do with them being Judges only shows on week nights. I also had anticipated the Club Wars films adding a little boost to the image of the event. Parts of the Spring and Summer War were filmed for a DVD, but it has yet to see the light of day. The DVD for the Spring CW is very close to being completed, but for all intents and purposes Club Wars is over for 2005.

Now, let's look at the Fall Club Wars from two different angles. One angle is Club Wars as a sport, the other is Club Wars as an actual armed conflict. The Fall Club Wars was divided into two parts, the Battle Of Rocktober and the Regional. I think when I set up the Regional as it's own tournament it confused the hell out of people.

The Battle Of Rocktober was like a football game. Now, the game was won, but there was a fumble and some dropped passes. The referees made some disputed calls and the head coach strayed from the game plan a little. The opposing team put themselves in a position to tie the game with a field goal in the waning seconds. Then securing the prize of playing a Rock sponsored event was like their field goal attempt sailing wide right as time expired. Team Club Wars won but we almost choked in the 4th quarter.

Now, I'm going to compare the Club Wars Regional with Operation Market Garden. This was a WW2 battle made famous in the movie and book "A Bridge Too Far" by author Cornelius Ryan. The Club Wars Regional and Operation Market Garden failed to reach their objectives and were possibly a waste of time, manpower and resources. The objective of Operation Market Garden was to secure three bridges so the Allied Forces could cross the Rhine River into Germany. The objective of the Club Wars Regional was for a band from outside of KC to win a Club Wars. Neither worked, but like the Allies, Club Wars will continue to march forward. However, I think it's the end of the Club Wars Regional. Bands from across the region will continue to play in Club Wars and Club Wars will seek dates at clubs and venues in the Mid-America area. But the Regional on it's own or as part of a Club Wars tournament is pretty much done. I just don't think it was consistently successful.

As far as last night. The bands Gil, Conspiracy, Until Broken, Burning Existence and Insignifica were on the bill. The group Initium was also scheduled but they dropped out days before when their singer went to jail for a couple of years. There were maybe a 120 or so in attendance including band guys and guests. It didn't suck, but the part that did suck began around 7:15. On the way to Lawrence I got a call from Andy, the guitar player for Conspiracy. They were loaded up and ready to pull out of the driveway when the bands bass player, Dave, got a call. His dad was on his death bed and they did not expect him to last much longer. Dave left for the hospital to be with his family. Andy said they weren't sure what to do. I told him that if they didn't show it was completely understandable. He said he would call me back and about 20 minutes later he called and said they were on the way. They wanted to do it even if it meant only guitar, drums and vocals. A couple of the guys were at the Championship last Friday at the Beaumont and they were pumped about playing this show. When they arrived at the Granada they almost looked like they were each about to lose a father. Andy told me later that Dave's dad was a stubborn old dude that didn't ever want to go see a Dr. and had a heart attack a few days ago. This kind of set a depressing tone for me the rest of the evening.

Anyway, after all the Fan votes and Judges scores were counted, Until Broken was announced as the winner. A "psychic" predicted this on the CW Guestbook a couple of days ago. Honestly, I don't think it took a psychic to figure it out. Until Broken has a decent little following. It was an all ages show and the guys in the band and their friends are all in the 20-21 range. The kind of people that go out frequently, especially on a week night. They were presented the first and last Regional Cup just as the club turned on the house lights.

There is only one show left on the schedule for this year. The Season Finale on November 26 at the Bottleneck. Each of the winners of Club Wars this year will share the same bill. However, there will be no judges or voting, it's just a show.

With the competition part of CW 2005 over, I'm looking to next year. I think 2006 is another ambitious year for Club Wars. It's an election year and I expect almost all of the shows to have fan voting. I think we'll stick with the fan voting system much the way it is. The way the judges score though, I think that is going to change drastically.

It's been a few days since Club Wars Championship VIII at the Beaumont Club. The turnout was maybe a little less than the Spring and Summer Championships, but not by much. I think there was a big portion of the crowd that didn't vote. I saw at least 5 ballots just laying around and I wasn't even looking. The bands played in the order that they qualified for the Championship: Sonic Voodoo, Large, The Stillborn, Mr. Gribber and Ares To The Ninth. I thought the show itself went well. The only hitch that I noticed was when the guy with video camcorder interrupted me as I was about to announce the winner. Todd Sheets was standing a few feet away from me filming with his camera. The guy came up pointing his camera and asking "Why are you filming? Do you already know the winner? Is this political?" I don't think he realized that we were filming this as part of the Club Wars DVD Trilogy that's going to be released. Now, this guy was probably like a lot of the others that were there. He had some alcohol in him and it was getting late. People boo when their favorite band doesn't win and others think it's rigged. There has been some heightened emotions at The Battle Of Rocktober, to say the least. Well, after all the votes and scores had been counted, The Stillborn was awarded the Championship Cup. They drank beer out of it and poured it over each others heads. Congrats to the band!

The Regional Semi's wrapped up last night at the Beaumont. The turnout was greatly improved from the date we had there 2 weeks ago. This was another show I set up for the Emporium that got bumbed when they booked another act there. Anyway, it was also the last Tuesday night I'm going to book for awhile. I'm lining up all of the dates for Metal and Punk Wars on weekends in January/February. I don't see me doing any Tuesday night dates until the Spring Club Wars starts at the end of March.

The bands were: Lucid Fiction, Cripple Fight, Dora Dank, Cassiopia and Burning Existence. This was a Judges Only show and Burning Existence came out on top. That will make 3 Kansas City area bands that have made it to the Regional Final on November 16. It seems a little funny. I set up the Regional so bands from across Kansas and Missouri could get a chance to win a Club Wars Cup. Now it almost looks like a band from KC could win it . I guess we'll see how it comes out. I think it's going to be a good show and will continue to establish Club Wars in Lawrence.

Yesterday also came word that the winner of the Club Wars Championship on November 11 will get to play at The Rock's Harley Giveaway Party in December. This is something that just sort of came together in the last week. I really would like to see this kind of thing happen at each Club Wars. I've got my fingers crossed for the winner of the Spring War playing at Rockfest next year.

I'd like to think that the bad luck of last week has passed Club Wars by. It may though, have transferred over to the bands. Last week we had a disputed finish, bands playing to no one, a set getting cut short and some confusion over the order. Last night at the Grand Emporium the aspects of the show went smoothly. We just had a band member hop out of the club on his way to the hospital after re-injuring an achilles tendon.

A few songs into their set, Cause Effect Theory bassist Brandon Kalthoff lept off the stage and spun around the dance floor. The song ended and he plopped down on the stage and started unwrapping his ankle. The bands guitarist/vocalist Dave Shafe started an acoustic number that ended by Brandon limping off stage and hopping out the door towards the emergency room at St. Luke's. The other guys in the band told me he injured his achilles tendon 4-6 weeks ago and hasn't really taken it easy. The guy has pretty much been a wildman at the two previous Club Wars dates I saw. A minute or two after Brandon left the club, the bass player for Mr. Gribber, Adam, jumped onstage and finished the set with them.

The other bands on the bill, The Messiah Complex and Until Broken, fared better. They were able to make it through their sets injury free. Until Broken had the top score from the judges. With 5 judges in the house it made for the most score sheets filled out yet in the Fall War. It was nice to have that many judges, I wish it could be that way all the time. Getting people to come out and judge is still one of the hardest parts of producing Club Wars. There is just one more Judges only show this year, next Tuesday at the Beaumont.

It's locked and loaded for Club Wars Championship VIII on November 11. Last night at Davey's the final spot was claimed by Ares To The Ninth. This was another close one with all the bands putting on really good shows.

Lucid Fiction kicked off the show. They came in second and will advance to the Regional Semi-Final on November 1 at the Beaumont. They opened with "Young Lust" by Pink Floyd and closed with "Stillborn" by Black Label Society. I don't know if they were trying to say our style fits somewhere between these or not. I thought they had kind of a modern sound with an old school mentality.

Next up was Seventh Day. They played well and they've got some good tunes. The bands vocalist Dustin sounds like he's singing from the heart in most of their hard rocking songs.

The third band was The Duo Trio. Something came to mind while watching these guys...Reggae Wars. I thought they had some catchy tunes. A few girls got up on stage and danced during one of their songs. That benefited their score in the Stage Presence category on my judge sheet by a point or two.

Ares To The Ninth closed it out. I was getting more of a Dream Theater vibe from them this time. They have a good sound and the vocals are a strong part of it. They closed out their set with "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin.

The turnout was good and the sound has been very favorable for the Club Wars shows at Davey's. I'm looking forward to more dates there next year.

Maybe I should be pissed off. I'm sitting here thinking that tonight might have ended different if I had gotten mad at somebody before they cut the vocals on Pariah Syndrome at the Grand Emporium. I try to work with people and be an easy going guy. I'm chalking this one up to experience. Next time, I will bring out the sharks with laser beams attached to their freekin heads.

This time, however, I'm going to blame it all on Lunkwicz. He went out of town last weekend. That's what beset the controversial endings of the last 2 CW dates at the Grand Emporium. That's the real reason that the Semi-Final last Sunday wasn't all ages at the Beaumont Club. He was in Nashville at a Green Day concert. He got back a day or two ago and somehow through the chain of command he thought I knew that Salsa Night started at 11. I didn'tknow that until 20 minutes before the show. Supposedly Tyler, the night manager of the GE, quit this afternoon because he didn't want to be the one to tell me that Club Wars was supposed to end early so there could be Salsa Night. Lunkwicz took blame for it when I went to his office at the Beaumont after I left the GE a couple of hours ago. Well, I'm still going to say, the sharks with the laser beams attached to their foreheads are off the endangered species list.

Now, on to the show. The band that advanced was Mr. Gribber. They made it to the Championship in part because the bands drummer Maddog played with 2 other bands this Club Wars. His other band mates came out to vote for him. They also networked it pretty good, I think there were some guys from other Club Wars bands that came out and voted for them as well. That really was the difference and you could say they worked the system. Cripplefight edged Sick With It by one point to snag a spot at the Regional Semi-Final on November 1.

I was not a judge at this one. I did not bring my judge antenna with me to the club. There are only 2 dates left this year that I might need fill out the judges score sheet. It's going to be nice to take a little bit of a break.

Last night was another Semi for the Regional Round. I originally booked the date to be at the Grand Emporium but it got moved to the Beaumont when Beaumont/GE general manager Lunkwicz booked another show at the GE. So he moved Club Wars to the Beaumont. We've done this a couple times before, it's happening again on November 1. This time I wish it would have stayed at the GE because we only drew 40-50 people. That kind of turnout at the GE looks like a small crowd. At the Beaumont it looked like the place was empty. It was almost depressing.

The line up was Lethe, Schemata, Conspiracy and Censura. I thought all the bands did a good job. Lethe and Censura are from Lawrence. Lethe was an all instrumental band and Censura is more in the Alt. Rock vein. Schemata is sort of a Topeka/KC band, they played in the Championship of the Summer War. They've got a good sound comparable to maybe Creed or Nickelback. KC rockers Conspiracy made it onto this bill by finishing in 2nd place at a Semi for the Battle Of Rocktober. I scored them highest in the Crowd Response category, they were the only band that really brought any kind of crowd. Actually the high score in that category is probably what put them over the top on the judge sheets. They will advance to the Regional Final on November 16 at the Granada.

A big Club Wars weekend has just passed. We've now got 3 of the 5 finalists for CW Championship VIII confirmed.

Friday night Club Wars landed at the Record bar in Westport. This club was formerly called Molloy's and it was recently taken over and renamed by musician/dj Steve Tulipana. I think it's a pretty cool place. It's not a real big room but it has a decent sized stage and the sound was good. I would put the turnout in the 175-200 range including band guys and guests.

The show kicked off with Pittcore and they got a few people moshing. The crowd started to build as This Alibi took the stage. These guys kick some ass. I started wondering what it would be like for an instrumental band to be in the Championship. Large was third on the bill. I thought their singer Kelly did a good job of working the stage. Cause Effect Theory closed it out. Their set basically rocked the still SRO crowd from start to finish.

This was a Fan and Judge vote show. Two of the bands advanced. Large to the Championship and Cause Effect Theory to the Regional Semi on 10/25. It's the second trip to the Championship for Large, they made it their at CW2.

Last night was at the Grand Emporium. This was the Semi-Final that I had originally booked to be an all age show at the Beaumont. I made the decision to make it a Judges only vote when it got moved and became a 21 and over show. I thought it was really going to kill the attendance by it not being all ages and effect several of the bands chances to advance. In hindsight, I should have just kept it the same. There was a big turnout and all of the bands drew a crowd. Would the outcome have been different if there was a Fan vote? It's possible, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. Having said that, I do feel the two best bands of the night advanced.

The bands on this bill were: Until Broken, Sutter Cane, The Stillborn, Restraint and Vermilion Sky. I was a judge and these were the points I gave to each band:
The Stillborn - 38
Until Broken - 37
Vermilion Sky - 36
Sutter Cane - 35
Restraint - 32

The Stillborn advanced to the Championship and Until Broken stays alive in Club Wars by gaining a spot at the Regional Semi-Final on 10/25. Vermilion Sky played last and they and their fans went home with a full head of steam and let their frustration be known on the Club Wars Guest Book. Now, I thought they were a good band and played a ferocious set. But I thought that The Stillborn and Until Broken were the slightly better bands in the Stage Presence category. In the Musicianship category I gave The Stillborn and Until Broken the edge because of the vocals. There was plenty of screaming from each of these guys (Pat of The Stillborn and Mike from Until Broken) but that's all that Adam from Vermilion Sky put forth. The singing part of the vocals in Vermilion Sky's music was done by the guitarist Nick. I'm not scoring them lower because Adam sang like Cookie Monster, I scored them lower becasue all he did was sing like Cookie Monster. I scored each of these 3 bands even in the Songs category. I gave the high scores to The Stillborn and Vermilion Sky in the Crowd Response category. That's how it came out, I'm sorry if they don't like it. Maybe we'll see them at Metal Wars.

As far as Restraint and Sutter Cane. I thought Restraint played a good set. I honestly was a little more impressed with them when they played the Summer War. It could have been that they were really the only band without a big draw. They didn't get to feed off the energy of the crowd like the other bands did. They were hurt the most by it being a 21 show. Sutter Cane really impressed me. They played in the Spring Club Wars and they weren't to bad. They played in Cover Wars and I wasn't to impressed. Last night they seemed like a whole different band. I thought they were tight and their overall sound was full.

Club Wars has had a few developments in the last couple of days. Tuesday the 11th at the GE was the final Qualifier date for the Battle Of Rocktober. The line up was Death & Desire, Missing Tully, Stim and Ares To The Ninth. It was another show of some slightly varying styles. Death & Desire was more in the hard rock end of things. Missing Tully is sort of a Reggae influenced rock band. Stim is just a straight forward sounding rock trio. The closer and the band that adavnced, Ares To The Ninth, is almost in the progressive rock vein. I thought they had a big full sound that reminded me a little of Kansas.

Wednesday the 12th, Club Wars returned to Lawrence, KS for a show at the Granada. This was a Regional Semi-Final and the line up was The Noise, Head Change, Initium, Gil and Moniker.

The show kicked off The Noise. These guys recently changed their name from the Pond Monkeys and they've played Club Wars a few times. I thought they had some really good tunes and they probably would have scored higher had one of the guys not been leaning on a crutch during their set. The bands bassist, Duncan, got in a car accident a few weeks ago and has a broken femur.

The second band was Head Change from Topeka. They had a good crowd there and I thought a few of their tunes had good hooks. Their stage presence was a little lacking though.

The third band was Initium, the heaviest band of the show. I'm not big on the vox but they put on an energetic show. Hair was flying and I thought the guitar players did a great job of shredding.

The 4th group was Gil from Emporia. Following Initium, I thought these guys were going to sound weak, but they more than held their own. They reminded me of an alternative rock version of the Black Crowes.

Closing it out was Moniker from Lawrence. Their style seemed to be kind of a commercial rock sound. They lacked a little stage presence and I didn't really hear any hooks in their songs that grabbed me.

I only had 2 judges at this show and they scored it closely. So closely in fact, we had another tie. Initium and Gil will return to the Granada on November 16 for the Regional Final. I don't know if the Fall Club Wars can handle anymore ties.

Yesterday Club Wars got a little bad news. Maybe it's typical for the juggling act I've had to do a few times so far this Fall. The Semi-Final that was scheduled for this Sunday at the Beaumont has been moved to the Grand Emporium. The move itself isn't as bad as the fact that it was going to be an all ages show and now it's not. I know several of the bands had really been promoting it and I hated having to tell them all that it got moved. The show was supposed to be a Fan and Judge vote. Now, since it won't be all ages, I think it will hurt a couple of the bands chances to get some votes. I've made the executive decision and it will now be a Judges only vote.

A couple have shows have taken place in the last few nights. We are starting to round the bend of the Fall CW.

Friday the 7th at Davey's was the first of the Semi-Finals for the Battle Of Rocktober. The bands were: Ancient Creation, Crazy Talk, Conspiracy, Sonic Voodoo and Motus. I didn't judge this show. Since it was the first time we've done fan voting at Davey's, I spent most of the show working the door. I checked out parts of each set and I could hear the bands in the main room. The sound was top notch and the crowd of 125+ soaked it up.

There were 2 bands that adavnced from the show. Sonic Voodoo had the top score and they are now in the Championship of CW VIII. Conspiracy was second. They stay alive in the Fall War and will play at a Regional Semi-Final on October 18 at the Beaumont.

Last night it was a Qualifier date at Yahweh. The turn out was good and the show went smoothly. I like doing Club Wars at this venue. I was a judge at this one. The bands that have played the CW dates at Yahweh have been younger players. While I think that for the most part all of these groups have some room for improvement. They all displayed some talent in one part or another. Vermilion Sky was the band that advanced from the show. They will play the Semi-Final on October 16 at the Beaumont. I gave them the highest score in the Musicianship, Stage Presence and Crowd Response categories. I had A Day In Attica at the top in the Songs category. I'll throw out a special mention to Pancho from Aduro and Laura of Odius. They did a great job in their repsective front person roles.

We continue to move through the thick of the Fall Club Wars. There have been a couple of shows in the last few nights, here's my recap:

Tuesday the 4th it was back to the Grand Emporium for the scheduled line up of 90 Proof, Cripplefight, Pittcore and 8 Over X. 90 Proof didn't show and didn't call. I left a message with one of the guys in the band and he never called back. Bands cancelling out of their spots is why the entry fee was created in the first place. The show opened with Cripplefight. I think these guys are emerging as one of the better bands around. Dual guitars and dual vocals make these guys kind of a unique band on the local hard rock scene. Pittcore took the stage second. They started off a little slow but the energy of their music seemed to build as the set went on. They also pulled the biggest crowd of the night who filled the floor in front of the stage. Closing it out was 8 Over X. This band made for the most variety so far in a line up at the Fall CW. Their lead vocalist Jenn gives the group more of an alternative rock feel. I liked their cover of "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult. I want to have variety in the acts that play Club Wars. I'm still undecided though if bands such as this get a little overpowered by being on the same bill with metallers.

Cripplefight got the top score at this show and they move on to the Semi-Final on October 21 at the GE. I was in need of a 4th band on the bill for the Semi next Friday at the Record Bar so I tossed it to Pittcore who came in second at this show.

Last night was at the Hurricane with Burning Existence, Moral Decay, Mr. Gribber and Ominous. Burning Existence is another band of young guys playing some Iron Maiden inspired music. I thought they played some tasty guitar licks but I'm still not a big fan of the growling vox. Moral Decay was second on the bill. They played some straight forward power metal type stuff. I think they need to come up with some diversity in their tunes and their stage presence isn't much to speak of. The third band, Mr. Gribber, wasn't of the heavy variety like the other bands on this bill, but they did do some screaming. I thought they were pretty good and they got some great response from the crowd. The bands drummer Maddog was in 3 different bands in this Club Wars: Push, Sabbath Disciples and Mr. Gribber. Gribber was good and all, but I liked his band Sabbath Disciples the best out of the 3. Closing it out was Ominous. Now, I've seen these guys a number of times in the last few months. They played in the Summer CW and I wasn't too impressed. I commented on here that they needed some more rehearsal time. They must have put it in or something because I thought they showed a lot of improvement in their set last night. They still had a few missteps but they played with an intensity that seemed to cover it up some. If these guys can continue in this direction they'll be a good band.

For the second time in CW history we had a tie. Burning Existence and Mr. Gribber tied with the top score from the judges. They will both advance to the Semi-Final at the GE on October 21. Sunday night we had 2 bands advance. Tuesday night we had 2 bands advance. Last night 2 bands advanced. Tonight at Davey's 2 bands will advance. The top score goes to the Championship on November 11. The second place band is scheduled to advance to a Regional Semi-Final on October 18. Who knows, maybe we'll have another tie or something tonight and 3 bands will advance.

A weekend of Club Wars shows have just passed by, here is the rundown:

Friday, September 30 saw the return of Club Wars to Warrensburg, MO. The show took place at The Setlist. This was the first time for Club Wars at this club. I did a date at the Star Bar right down the street from the Setlist as part of CW3. That place is now called Club Blue. There was a pretty good crowd on Pine Street this night and we got a turnout of just over 100 inside The Setlist.

The show kicked off with Berlin Drop from Nevada, MO. They're a young band and I think they can get better with some more experience. The second song they played was probably their best tune. I also thought their cover of "I Ran" by A Flock Of Seagulls was a nice touch.

The second band was Eleven 27, also from Nevada, MO. These guys played in the Spring Club Wars and I think they're a pretty good band. They had good stage presence and overall a decent sound. I think they need to come up with some variety in their tunes however, lots of the songs seemed to sound the same.

The third band was Insignifca, from Warrensburg. The crowd peaked before these guys took the stage as many in the crowd were sporting the bands t-shirts. Several times the crowd started chanting the bands name. Insignifica isn't the easiest band name to chant. For some reason I was expecting these guys to be more of a Cookie Monster band and they weren't. They had some harsh vox and heavy crunch but that wasn't their whole sound.

Closing it out was Kaivus, also from Warrensburg. They were in the Summer War and made it to a Semi-Final. I think they put on a kick ass show and they had a good crowd up front. I'm impressed with their playing but nothing jumps out at me in their songs. Maybe I should go check out their Myspace a few times before they next play Club Wars.

I think I would do Club Wars at The Setlist again. I'm not to crazy about the drive back though. Insignifica was the band that advanced from this show. They are the first of 5 finalists for Regional Final on November 16.

On Saturday, October 1 it was on to the Yahweh House.

Opening it up was Until Broken. They were heavy and the vocals were pretty harsh but their tunes didn't all sound the same. They had good stage presence. I also thought they had the biggest crowd of the night and they got the people into it.

The second band was Roanoke. These guys basically rocked out during their set, bouncing back and forth across the stage. The back up vocals had lots of screamo in them. They just list themselves as Rock on their Myspace.

The third band was Mythadus. They were heavy and the vocals were too. They pulled a bit of crowd and they played some good stuff. I think they could mix up their songs a little and they were a little stiff onstage. The drummer played some of that cool double bass stuff.

Closing it out was Poor Bastards In Jail. They hadn't played since Club Wars last Fall. I thought they sounded pretty good and they had a bunch of people in front of the stage when they played. The guys must have been a little nervous because they didn't move much onstage. I scored them highest in the Songs category.

This was the first time for CW at the Yahweh since they opened in the new space. The show had a good crowd and I really like the place. Until Broken had the highest score from the judges, they advance to the Semi-Final on October 16 at the Beaumont.

Last night was a date at the Grand Emporium. This was a date that got added after the Draft. There wasn't much of a crowd as customgrind opened the show. They were better than I was expecting. Their songs don't have a real hard edge to them. A couple of them even sounded a little like they could be country rock.

The second band was Stone Shelter. I would describe them as hard rock. They weren't very exciting and the only tune that stood out was a cover of "Voodoo Chile" by Hendrix.

The third band was Cause Effect Theory. It was some high energy power chords they belted out. A couple of their tunes seemed to have a good hook.

Closing it out was Motus. The small crowd peaked during their set. I thought they had the best songs of the night. The vote was a close one, Motus edged Cause Effect Theory by one point. Both bands will advance. Motus is unable to play the date that the winner of this night was scheduled to advance to. They have been added to the bill this Friday the 7th at Davey's. Cause Effect Theory will take the spot at the Record Bar on October 14.

I have just returned from another Qualifier date at the Grand Emporium. The line up for the first of 5 Semi-Finals is set. Ancient Creation advanced from this show tonightl. They will be the opener at Davey's on October 7.

The show kicked off with Sixxy Sixx. They're a fuel injected glam/punk rock trio. The band ripped through their 30 minute set in about 25 minutes. They came in a close second. They're a candidate for the Punk Wars that will debut in January of '06.

Second up was Sabbath Disciples. These guys played all Black Sabbath covers. When they entered Club Wars they had just missed out on getting in Cover Wars. I went ahead and included them this time and they will get a spot in the next Cover Wars also. I thought they were pretty good for what they were doing. The guitarist Perry looked like he could be Tony Iommi's right handed brother. But I think the bands singer Jonathon should wear a long sleeve fringed shirt or something.

Next was Astoria. Following the first two bands of this show they kind of seemed a little flat. They were in the Summer War and I thought they played a decent set then. This time I noticed a couple of the guys looking a little lost during songs. And then they messed up altogether on one tune. I wish these guys better luck next year.

Closing it out was Ancient Creation. They are of the late 80's variety of progressive metal bands inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen. They feature dual guitar players and they shred. Their drummer Mike Burns is pretty damn good too. I think the judges points they got in the Musicianship category is what gave them the top score.

It's time to report some action in the world Club Wars.

The Club Wars Battle Of Rocktober moved forward with a third qualifier date at the Grand Emporium this past Saturday. It was only a 3 band bill: Black Attic, Mortimer Skroon and This Alibi. Since it was a Saturday night I kind of expected to see a little more of a turn out than we had. Anyway, the show started with Black Attic. This might have only been their second time out. They played some straight ahead rock stuff. I thought their tunes had a little variety to them. They might be a decent band with a little more experience.

Mortimer Skroon was second on the bill. These guys are a joke rock band. Tunes that would fit in on the Dr. Demento Radio Show. The singer was an animated looking chap but I didn't hear anything in their tunes that really hooked me.

Closing out the show was This Alibi. They played the Summer Club Wars and they didn't have a singer. They still don't and I don't think they're really looking. I almost think a singer might get in the way because these guys shred. I can't remember if there has ever been an all instrumental act in Club Wars before. I'm almost sure that there's never been one that advanced in a show until now. They will play the semi-final at The Record Bar on October 14.

Last night was the Final for Cover Wars. This pretty much kicked ass. From the opening chords of Led Zep's "Moby Dick" performed by Voodoo Kitchin to Lost Dog closing it out with "Never Been Any Reason" by Head East, this show rocked. The bands were awesome and the crowd roared in approval after each song by every band. I judged each of the semi-finals but I didn't even want to try and score this one. I had a feeling that the band that got the most votes from the fans was going to win. That's the way it went because the group Voodoo Kitchin got the most fan votes and won by an incredibly narrow margin. The other bands on the bill, X-Ray Glasses, Nervous Rex and Lost Dog are great bands as well and it was a blast hearing all those songs. I had fun doing Cover Wars and I think I could do this again in a few months.

The Battle Of Rocktober carried on last night at the Grand Emporium. Sonic Voodoo was the band to advance from this show. None of the bands really blew me away but I thought they all played well. It was also a close one in terms of the way the judges scored. Two of the judges had Sonic Voodoo as the top band, one had Shack and another had Shack and Push even.

The band Shack started it off. I would almost describe this group as a jam band. That may not be an accurate description but that's what it made me think. I scored these guys highest in the songs category. They played a cover of "Blister In The Sun" by the Violent Femmes and "Tied To The Whipping Post" by the Allman Brothers.

Second up was Shadow Faction. These guys are more in the modern metal style. I gave these dudes the highest mark in stage presence. They are a young band and they played with some intensity. I also thought they seemed to have a very positive attitude.

Next on was Push. The bands drummer, Maddogg, is actually playing in 3 different bands in this Club Wars. Next Tuesday he's playing in the band Sabbath Disciples at the GE and then on October 6 at the Hurricane with Mr. Gribber. Now, several people came up to me and said they thought this band sounded like old Rush. I thought that a little bit after I heard these comments. But I guess it's been a long time since I've heard some old Rush because it wasn't jumping out at me that way. I had this band and Shack even in the Musicianship category. I liked how Push had more than one guy sing lead.

Closing ot out was Sonic Voodoo. They played Club Wars a couple of years ago and thought they improved dramatically. They seemed to have much more energy onstage and their crowd response was good. They're heavy but the vocals are not really in screamo mode. Sonic Voodoo advanced to the Semi-Final on October 7 at Davey's, they will close out the night at that show as well.

The Fall Club Wars kicked off hours ago at the Grand Emporium. I really thought this Club Wars was going to start off slow, but it turned out much better than I expected. The turnout wasn't huge, but I thought it was pretty solid. That's also taking into consideration one of the bands cancelled yesterday and probably hadn't been planning on playing for a few days due to an injury in the band.

The show kicked off with Columbian. I though they had some decent melody in their stuff but none of their songs really grabbed me. Someone commented to me that they thought the band sounded like a laid back version of Sublime. I thought the singer lacked some stage presence but they did get the best crowd response of the night.

Junk Lust was second. They are pretty much a straight ahead rock band. They had some hooks in their tunes and they played a speedy version of "Here Comes The Sun" by The Beatles.

Closing it out was Crazy Talk. Probably the heaviest band of the night but not really metal. More like a punk-metal style in the vein of Motorhead. They even closed out their set with Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades." They came out on top in the judges scoring by one point, it was that close.

The Fall Club Wars has the most bands and the most shows of all of the Club Wars tourneys this year. I hope my liver can take it.

The Semi-Finals of Cover Wars wrapped up last night. It was a good show. The turnout was much improved over last week. I would still say though, that the weakest Club Wars turnout has probably been better than the best Cover Wars turnout on a Tuesday night at the GE.

All of the bands at this show were pretty good. We had more of a wider range of cover tunes and all of the groups had a chick in the band. It seems like we had more females in this one Cover Wars than in the last 3 Club Wars combined.

Kicking off the show was Blind Date. They played tunes by Joan Jett, The Beatles and Neil Young. The bands bassist Scott Jensen was the guy that more or less gave me the idea to set up Cover Wars. A few months back I was trying come up with an idea for some other kind of competiton/showcase that I could do at the GE. I ran an ad in The Pitch looking for bands. He called me up and and after talking for awhile he said "What about Cover Wars?" I had already had several people suggest something like Punk Wars, but the idea of Cover Wars had a little more appeal to me. So far, it's worked out well.

Second up was Last Dog, the band that advanced to the Final from this show. I put this band on the bill just last week after Jedi Superstar had to drop out. Two things impressed me about this band. First of all, each band member sang lead on at least one song. Second, they played a right on version of "Never Been Any Reason" by Head East. You know, there's a few people out there that consider that song the National Anthem of Rock-N-Roll.

Third on the bill was Phyllis Killer. Pony, from Albino Fly, was in the house and he thought their singer was sexy. "They should win Kilroy," he said to me more than once. He took shots up to her onstage a few times. They played mostly newer stuff by No Doubt and Incubus to name a few. The oldest tune they played was "Seek & Destroy" by Metallica.

Closing it out was Last Call. The bands guitarist, Teak, told me after the show that they didn't even have a drummer a week ago and that they had only practiced 3 times. For only practicing 3 times I thought they were very tight and they put on an energetic performance. They played everything from "Rock-N-Roll" by Led Zep to "Harder To Breathe" by Maroon 5.

Okay, so we have the line up set for the Cover Wars Final, I just need to confirm a date for it. I've got it narrowed down to two different dates. I hope to announce it later today.

Well, it's been a few days since the Championship of the Summer War. Was it the best Club Wars ever? Was it the biggest turnout at a Championship? I think the answer is yes. I mean, we've had nearly 800 people at the two previous Championships but I think this one was closer to 850. I think if it wouldn't have been raining so much throughout the evening we might have actually gotten a few more heads through the door. I'm thinking the Fall Club Wars is going to be strong but I'll admit it's going to be hard to top this one.

Earlier today the Galactic Celt posted his review of the show on the Banzai Message Board. I can come nowhere near his recounting of the evening. I notoriously am somewhat lacking in my attention span at the Championship shows themself. It seemed once the show started I only stopped occasionally to catch the action onstage. I remember being outside the club right before the show filming something for the Club Wars movie when Dark Matter Dave appeared out of nowhere and kissed me on the cheek. (That might make the Club Wars "Bloopers" DVD.) I remember delaying the start of the show 10-15 minutes to allow more of the crowd to get into the club. There was a line of people halfway down the block. I remember telling the guys in The Leo Project to go check on their gear because it was raining in that part of the club. And, I most vividly recall the lack of response I got as said "Let's hear it for that last set from..." It was a very partisan crowd on this night.

Congrats to The Leo Project on their victory and the securing of the opening spot at the Freaker's Ball. I'm not going to spend much time looking in the rearview mirror at the Summer Club Wars. The deadline to enter the Fall Club Wars is just one week away.

We are now 3 weeks into Cover Wars and the bands have been consistent even if the crowds haven't been. I would call last nights turnout light. This is something that I kind of expected in this deal. The players in Cover Wars are older for the most part. Whereas bands in Club Wars are younger and have friends and fans that will go to the GE on a Tuesday night. The bands have been consistent from the standpoint that there has been one killer band. One or two really good bands. And a band that could use a little tweaking.

The show kicked off with Hijack. The band is fronted by Tamie Hoppe, she undoubtedly had the most stage presence of anyone onstage this evening. They played stuff that ranged from the 70's-90's including "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes. I dig that tune. Second on the bill was Nervous Rex, this was the band that advanced from the show. They had some great vocal harmonies going. They played "No Excuses" by Alice In Chains but other than that it was mostly classic rock stuff like the Doobie Brothers, Kansas, Pink Floyd and Elton John. Closing it out was Budd Ugly. This band got added after the group Unknown Pleasures cancelled about a week or so back. Then a few days ago the band G-13 cancelled out of their spot. So we only had 3 groups on this bill. Budd Ugly was another female fronted band. They played some classic rock and old school metal like Kiss and UFO. I can't remember the last time I heard "Rock Bottom" by UFO.

With one week of this left, I'm hoping I can officially announce the date for the Cover Wars Final before next weeks show. Regardless of when it is, I think it's going to be a hell of a show.

The order for the Championship has determined. I had all the bands meet me at the NKC Pro Bowl last night and we bowled to select the order. Davy B of Stonewalk and Lance from The Leo Project battled it out for the lead most of the game. Davy B had it in the bag until he put one in the gutter on the last frame. Dave and Andy from Penumbra proved that their better guitar players than bowlers.

It's time that I made another entry. A few shows have taken place in the last several days. I'll start with the Semi-Final that happened this past Saturday at the Bottleneck.

So far, Club Wars and Lawrence are going very well together. I'm going to say the turnout was in the 150 range. The 3 Club Wars dates that have been held in Lawrence this year have all gone well and I really like the no smoking thing. This was the 5th Semi-Final of the Summer Club Wars, the line up for the Championship would be set after this show.

The night kicked off with Cival Bell, from St. Joseph, MO. You know, there actually ended up being more regional bands in this Club Wars than I expected. Anyway, these guys are in the Godsmack vein of metal. I thought they were pretty tight and had a few decent tunes. I did kind of think that the bands vocalist, Jeremy, at times almost seemed to be yodeling. Side Wise took the stage next. They had a big crowd up front and their set was solid. They must've added some new stuff to their set because I didn't seem to recognize as much of the material. Dora Dank and psycho frontman Clint took the stage after Sidewise. I think these guys have got some good songs and they seem to really be building up a name for themselves. Closing it out was Restraint who put on a high powered performance. They seemed to rock out with a vengeance. I thought that their sound was comparable to Tool and they even threw in a Tool cover at the end of the set.

The bands did a great job and like I said the show was another success in Club Wars westward expansion. Sidewise got the top scores from the judges. They will return to the Club Wars Championship for a second time. They are also the first band in Club Wars history to return to a Championship after previously winning one.

Last night at the Grand Emporium the Cover Wars continued. The turnout at this show was an improvement over last weeks. It was more comparable to what we've seen on some Tuesday Club Wars nights at this venue.

Kicking it off was X-Ray Glasses. This band is pretty damn good. They covered a wide range of tunes: Creedence, Badfinger, Cheap Trick, The Outfield and Jet. The most variety I've seen yet in the bands playing this deal. Second on the bill was Sutter Cane. They chose to play Cover Wars over Club Wars this Summer. They indicated after the show though, that they are ready for the Fall Club Wars. They did an adequate job covering Black Label Society and some Skynyrd, but playing after X-Ray Glasses showed that these guys could use some more seasoning. Third up was Firebox a band that I had been hearing about for awhile. They played some classic hard rock stuff and some more modern rockers. The bands lead vocalist Lory Lacy played Saxophone and the Flute during their set. She also showed off some screamo vocals during a cover of "Sober" by Tool. Closing it out was Mr. Crooked Nose, a group that has only been together about a month or so according to band memebers. They opened with "Rockin' In The Free World" by Neil Young, I thought that was cool. The rest of their set reminded me of a bunch of guys that just got together and started jamming on covers.

X-Ray Glasses came out on top in the judges scores. They become the second band to advance to the Cover Wars Final. I've got two dates in mind right now for the Final. I'm going to check the schedules of the remaining bands, I would like to announce the date for it before next weeks show.

I have just returned home from the first night of Cover Wars at the Grand Emporium. I have yet though to make an entry for the Semi-Final of the Summer Club Wars that took place this past weekend at Davey's. So, I'll start there.

It was Saturday, July 30 at Davey's Uptown. The 4th of 5 Semi-Finals for the Summer Club Wars. The line up was Kaivus, Stonewalk, Flak and The Duo Trio in that order. Now I haven't mentioned crowd size in my last few entries. On this night I'm going to say we had 150-200, it was pretty crowded. Let me say a few words about each band:

Kaivus, pronounced Kive-us, is kind of high energy version of Tool. These guys were doing so much rocking out onstage that the bands lead singer Joshua got hit in the face by the end of a guitar. He had a cut on his nose when we interviewed the band for the CW movie.

Stonewalk - These guys laid the smack down on a sizable crowd during their set. I think the band came in to this show wanting to prove they are one of the best around and they did.

Flak - The defending Club Wars Champs played to a big crowd as well. The guys in the band seemed to play with a little more intensity than I've seen from them in the past.

The Duo Trio - There was still a decent crowd for this band. They kind of strike me as a reggae influenced rock band. They had people dancing throughout their set.

Going into this show I had a feeling it was going to come down to Stonewalk or Flak. It was a close score, but Stonewalk came out on top. It's their third trip to the Club Wars Championship.

Now, on to The Cover Wars. The first night of it went well. I'll describe the turnout as light. I wasn't really expecting a big crowd, but I did think that a few more Club Wars VIP passes would be used. The bands were all pretty good, The Bolt Ons, Salamander, In My Youth and Voodoo Kitchin made up the bill. The evenings selections were mostly from the classic rock era. There were a few songs from the 80's and 90's in there but it was mostly lots of stuff by Hendrix, The Beatles, The Stones and The Doors. Lead guitarists Bruce Ward of Salamander and Bill Royce of Voodoo Kitchin are probably two of the best showmen I've seen around town in quite awhile. Several years back at a Banzai Awards Show, I gave a Lifetime Rocker Award to Robert Hoover, lead vocalist of In My Youth. He's been playing in hard rock and metal bands in KC before I even started Banzai. He said to me before the show that since he's still around I should give him a Lifetime II award.

Like I said, I though all the bands were good, but I think that overall Voodoo Kitchin had the best musicianship and that's what gave them the top score. They will play in the Cover Wars Final in September. I have announced that I won't pick a date for it until all the bands have been determined. I think though, I'm going to start narrowing it down and I would like to pick the date soon.

I'm going to start towards the end on this one.

I'm in the basement of The Hurricane. I just settled up on the show with Stan and I walked out of the office and glanced over at a computer in the next room. My first thought is that I want to post something about the show on the Banzai Message Board. I quickly sit down at the computer and within a minute I'm ready to post that Penumbra has won. I hit the preview button and then I decide against it. I hadn't even collected the judges score sheets yet.

Penumbra was once again the unanimous decision by the judges. This will be Penumbra's third time playing the Club Wars Championship. They narrowly missed winning it in their two previous trips. I don't want to predict they will win the Summer Club Wars. I feel much more comfortable predicting Sick With It will win the Fall Club Wars.

Even though Penumbra more or less walked away with it. I thought the rest of the bands on the bill brought their "A" game to this show. Alibi, playing in their sixth straight Club Wars, put on a much better performance than they did at the Qualifier Playoff in the Spring War. Sick With It flexed their metal muscle for probably the biggest crowd of the night. Pariah Syndrome made their debut with what I thought was a very impressive set. I also want to add that I thought all of the bands had at least one song with a decent hook to it.

I have just returned from the El Torreon. The 4th and final Qualifier for the Summer Club Wars has been completed. It started off very slow, the opener Agathy began their set and almost no one was there. I guess I wasn't really surprised, they are from a town in southeast Kansas. The crowd picked up a little bit for Ominous and Stim, but it was in the high teens as Cival Bell finished the evening off. A band called Blind Idol was scheduled to play but they didn't show.

I wasn't overly impressed by any of the bands on this bill. Cival Bell, the band that advanced from this show, and Stim were decent enough. They are both fairly new on the local scene. It would be easy to toss the old "they've got potential" tag at these bands. The other bands Agathy and especially Ominous are in need of a tighter sound. I thought Agathy had a few catchy tunes, they just weren't very tight and the bass player was looking down too much.

The 2nd of 5 finalists for the Summer Club Wars is The Leo Project. It was another tough call and once again my scores had the 1st and 4th place bands within points of each other. A very large portion of the crowd were VIP card holders. It was like "clique" night at the Grand Emporium.

I'm going to do this two ways. First, I'm going to break down the categories that we judge on. Then, I'm going to comment on each band.

Musicianship - I scored One Degree Difference highest in this category. I think that bassist W2 and guitarist Miah put this band on a different plane than the other groups on this bill.

Stage Presence - I gave this one to ODD also. I thought all of the players had good stage presence. However, I thought ODD frontman Sean gave them the advantage in this category.

Songs - I gave this one to The Leo Project. Maybe I want to say that I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt on this one. All the other groups I've seen numerous times. I've only seen this band once before and I only caught a few of their songs then. I didn't leave the club with one of their tunes in my head. But all of their stuff seems very listenable.

Crowd Response - I gave this one to The Leo Project also. I thought all the bands had good crowds up in front of them and the actual amount of people probably peaked with ODD. However, I thought The Leo Project crowd seemed really pumped about them.

Conspiracy - These guys are the Iron Men of Club Wars. I would probably have to look up the stats on it but they've surely played more Club Wars dates than any other band that has taken part. They're also one of the few bands to play it that can get the crowd in on a chorus of a song.

Local Stranger - They're still a new band on the scene but they are from the Old School. I've been a fan of Dio for a long time, so it's hard not to like 'em. These guys scored lowest in the Stage Presence category. I just don't think their music is geared toward as much action onstage as some other bands.

One Degree Difference - I think the reason these guys did not win tonight is because of their songs. I've seen them maybe 15 times and none of their songs stand out to me. I was thinking that all the way through their set until the last song. I seem to recognize that one, but that's about it. In comparison, I've seen Local Stranger 4 times and I think I recognize 3 of their songs.

The Leo Project - There seems to be a growing buzz on this band. There was a thread on the Banzai Message Board a few weeks ago. It said that the scene was handed their ass after The Leo Project played at The Hurricane on July 1. I posted that I didn't think they handed the scene it's ass because not enough of the scene was there. I think enough of the scene was there tonight if in fact The Leo Project was handing anyone their ass.

I have just returned from the first of the Summer War Semi's at One Block East. This was the first time for Club Wars at this location. It went fairly well. I mean there were some issues, but I'm going to chalk it up as a successfull show. I found out earlier in the day that the club didn't have microphones, stands or cables. Luckily, Bryan Gordon from Afterburn Recording was able to provide some gear from his studio. Afterburn has been a big sponsor this year and look for Bryan to get some screen time in the Club Wars films. Also, upon arriving at the club, it was discovered their air conditioner had ceased to work. Yes, it was hot, but it is the Summer Club Wars. Well, the AC got fixed and the sound was handled, then came the hard part. In my previous entry I mentioned how on some shows I thought I could predict the advancing band. This wasn't one of them. Going into this show I felt that each band was deserving of a spot in the Championship. I knew it wasn't going to be easy judging this show. I figured that my final scores would be so close that it would end up being another judges score that put one band over the top.

Here's how I saw it: I gave top score in the Musicianship category to Dark Matter. I think guitarists John and Brad really create a diversity in this bands sound. The fact that they've been playing together for 15 some odd years doesn't hurt. I had Dark Matter and Conspiracy scored even in the Stage Presence category. When I score this category I'm looking for movement on the stage and these bands have 5 guys each and they rocked out. The Song category I scored evenly between Dark Matter and Conspiracy as well. Is it because I've seen these bands numerous times and I'm more familiar with their stuff? Conspiracy has the anthems and Dark Matter mixes it up. I also noticed that Dark Matter left the songs with harsh vocals out of their set this time. In the Crowd Response category I scored all the bands evenly. Everyone had a crowd in front of them and none seemed larger than the other. As far as Seventh Day, since their only a 3 piece they just can't generate the kind of stage presence of these other bands. I will also say that I thought their best song was the last tune they played. The bands vocalist/guitarist Dustin announced to the crowd it was a new one that they had just wrote. The only band I haven't mentioned is Schemata and they were the band that advanced to the Championship from this show. The ultimate winner of this Club Wars is going to play at The Rock's Freaker's Ball in October. Now I had Schemata in 3rd place on my judges sheet. Honestly though, I think this bands style sounds more like something you might hear on The Rock. More than almost any other band I've seen yet in the Summer Club Wars, Penumbra included. Congrats to Schemata, see you on August 19th.

Club Wars resumed this week after I returned from my honeymoon in Mexico with my lovely new bride Janice. Hurricane Emilly kind of ruined it when she rolled through around midnight last Sunday. Fortunately, we returned to KC as scheduled and the Summer War kicked back into gear.

On Wednesday the 20th, the first ever Club Wars date was held at the Granada Theater in Lawrence. The head count, with guests and all, was over 250. The sound was good and the show flowed smoothly. Other than the fact that it was one of the hottest days of the year and the place is and old movie theater with limited AC. I would say this was probably the best non-Championship turnout since the last time a Club Wars date was in Lawrence back in March. I think this show went a long way in establishing Club Wars regionally.

The bands on the bill were Cripple Fight, Penumbra, Piston, Astoria and The Project. All of the Qualifier and Semi-Final dates are judges only shows. I'm going to be scoring lots of bands I've seen numerous times. Some of the dates I think I could predict a winner and some I couldn't even guess. On this night I had a feeling that playing it was only a formality for Penumbra to advance. Cripple Fight and The Project are veterans of Club Wars and they put on good shows. Astoria is a fairly new band from Kansas City. They played some high energy metal that I thought had some elements of old school metal ala Iron Maiden. The vocals featured some gruff stuff but it wasn't all Cookie Monster. Piston is from Topeka and they are some newcomers on the scene. They kind of reminded me of old Sabbath and they had a few hooks in their lyrics. It was a unanimous decision for Penumbra. We'll see them again at the Semi-Final on July 29.

The following night, it was back to the Grand Emporium for another Qualifier date. On the bill was The Duo Trio, This Alibi, Tripp Algiers and Kaivus. The band Grim Stone was on the bill but their bass player quit and they couldn't find a replacement. I would say we had 125 or so for this one. The bands The Duo Trio and This Alibi drew the biggest crowds of the night. The Duo Trio had people dancing through most of their set. This Alibi got a big response from their crowd even though they are a singerless band. I thought Tripp Algiers had the best songs and Kaivus had the best stage presence out of all the groups. I thought they all did a good job even though I wasn't really wowed by any of them. Albino Fly dropped out of their spot in CW earlier in the day. I decided that 2 bands would advance from this show to the Semi-Final next Saturday the 30th at Davey's. The top score was The Duo Trio and second was Kaivus. See ya next week guys!

The Summer Club Wars began last night at the Grand Emporium. This is the first time I have held a CW tournament during the Summer and I have a feeling it's going to be a good one. The winner gets to open the Freaker's Ball in October. I'm estimating that I will announce that at least 55 times to the crowds that attend these shows.

Most of the shows this time are judges only nights. Fans are only going to vote at the Championship. Around 9:15 last night I was thinking the decision to do it that way might hurt the turn out because there wasn't much of a crowd. However, a crowd did show and I'm thinking we had around 100 people come through the doors. That's about what the Tuesday nights at the GE averaged at the Spring Tourney.

There were 5 bands on the bill: Kawarus, Delorean, Burning Existence, Addictive Behavior and Schemata. The clubs sound guy Conrad "resigned" his post the day before, so we had Nick as the sound man. Maybe we were just lucky. Maybe it was me playing roadie but the show clocked in at almost the same time as the 4 band bills of the Spring War.

There were 3 different styles represented at this show. Kawarus and Burning Existence were in the cookie monster/screamo metal vein. Delorean and Addictive Behavior were from that pop/punk school and Schemata was a hard rock/metal band with more of a modern sound. If it would have been a fan vote, Burning Existence would have been the band advancing from this one. I thought they did a good job and they are a new band on the scene. Getting a few more shows under their belt will give them some good experience. The band that did come out on top of the judges scores was Schemata. All the bands did a great job and played well but I did think that Schemata was the best of the evening.

Last night was the finale to the Spring War and I must say it was a tremendous show. I was expecting a good turn out but the crowd of close to 800 that showed up surprised me. There have been some solid turn outs this Spring but nothing that has blown me away until this one. If every Club Wars went this way, I could have 4 of them in a year.

The day started out at the Fox 4 studio on Signal Hill. I was able to get myself and the band Sick With It on the morning show. I gave them the oppurtunity to do it since they were sort of the first band to qualify for the Championship. I thought that it went well and was some good exposure for Club Wars.

Seventh Day took the stage right at 9pm and the place was getting crowded. Things went smoothly pretty much the whole night. About the only issue that came up was regarding the ballots. We almost ran out of them. I think it was the best sound production of any previous Club Wars. I also thought all the bands brought out some very vocal supporters and put on good performances. Beaumont GM Jon Lunkwicz told me he thought that the first two groups on the bill, Seventh Day and Local Stranger, were the best out of all the bands that have played in Club Wars Championships.

It took the girls a little bit of time to sort through the ballots and get the final scores. I kind of thought the final standings were going to be a little bit closer. Then again, I only thought we would get a crowd of 400-500. Congratulations to Flak on becoming Champions at Club Wars VI.

It's Tuesday again. Time for a little reflection on the semi-final that was this past Saturday. Davey's was the scene for this one. I'll put the head count in the 125-150 range. I haven't really kept track of the amount of people using the VIP Passes. There were a bunch at this show.

This was the last show before the Championship and the line up was Sutter Cane, Local Stranger, Corpse Collector and Conspiracy. I was a judge, here's how I scored em:

I gave Conspiracy top score in this category. All the band members seemed energized onstage and vocalist Rob Strutton worked the crowd. I thought that in all the other bands that the drummer was the guy with the most stage presence.

Local Stranger had my high score for this one. I thought their playing was solid and the vocals stood out over the others on the bill.

I had Local Stranger and Conspiracy even in this category. I think that Conspiracy has some good crunch metal stuff that you can bang your head to. They've also got some lyrical hooks and some anthem type stuff that's catchy. Local Stranger's stuff almost sounded like they could be covers. Maybe that's what caught my attention about them. One tune sounded like it could be a Dio song. Another sounded like Alter Bridge and one like Jackyl. They closed their set with a dead on cover of Heaven And Hell by Black Sabbath.

People were chanting Sutter Cane before, during and after their set. As I went onstage at the end of the show to announce who was advancing they started chanting it. These guys played an inspired set. With a little more experience they could do well.

I think Corpse Collector suffered from the fact that the bands vocalist and bassist had just joined the group. They had a different line up at their preliminary date back in April.

This was literally the closest vote of any kind in the history Club Wars. It was a tie between Conspiracy and Local Stranger. I've wondered if this would happen. There has been the difference of a few points in bunches of shows but never a tie. Well, it means we are going to have 6 bands in the Club Wars Championship on June 3. We had 6 in it last year and I really thought that was too much. I think things will be run a little smoother in the sound production department at this show. I guess it could make for a bigger party with 6 bands.

Last night was the Semi-Final of the Regional Round at the Beaumont. The line up was Synesthetic, Placate, Dora Dank and 4 King Stud. I originally booked this at the Grand Emporium but it got moved after a band called Blue Merle was booked into the room. I think the switch worked out very well for Club Wars. The show being in Westport boosted the attendance. The turn out was in the 250-300 range, I was thinking we might do 125-150 at the GE. I also added Penumbra to the bill after the show was moved to the Beaumont. I thought that putting them on the bill would give the night a little extra firepower, and it did.

Dora Dank will be the band to advance from the Regional, the judges seemed very impressed. I'm happy to see these guys make it this far after a few attempts in the past with the band Electric Orange Creme. I'm going to say that the Regional went well this time around. I'm not planning on dividing Club Wars into different rounds like this again for awhile. Bands from out of town and local bands will play on the same bill together at Judges only shows in next few Wars. I think Club Wars is going to make some real strides regionally by the end of the year.

I was planning on judging this show. I have thought that at past CW shows at the Beaumont I haven't really paid close attention to the bands. I was going to try and do it for this one. I started having a little trouble with this during Placate. Fortunately, there were 5 judges that filled out the score sheets. I'm not even going to think about judging at the Championship.

Todd Sheets was out filming the show. I think we are going to eventually have enough stuff for 2 Club Wars movies. I'm anxious to see how some of it looks. He said he was going to bring me a vhs tonight at Davey's. After the show tonight the line up will be set for the Championship.

It's Tuesday night and I'm not at the Grand Emporium. I've been booking Tuesday's at the GE since the middle of January. I'm taking a few weeks off.

There are just 2 dates left before the Spring Championship. This past weekend was the Wild Card Playoff at the El Torreon. The line up was Blah Blah Blah, Cripple Fight, No Cause No Cure, Conspiracy and Grim Stone. The turn out wasn't bad. Almost everyone that came in the place got a ballot and 120 votes were cast. I told people that there was going to be alcohol served at this show. I found out about an hour before doors that they got turned down on the permit to serve. It was a bummer, but it didn't effect the turnout any.

I was a judge at this show. There are 4 categories bands are scored in. Here's my breakdown of each category:

I scored 4 of the 5 bands even in this category. Grim Stone was the only band that seemed a little stiff onstage. The other bands all seemed to rock out with earnest.

I had Cripple Fight with the top score in this category. I think having two lead vocals set these guys apart from the other bands on the bill.

I scored Conspiracy highest in this category. They had people singing along with a tune "Life On Death Row" and I think they've got some decent hooks in a couple other songs. Coming in a close second in this category was No Cause No Cure. I think they've got some catchy stuff and I liked their cover of "My Sharona." For the record, I've often given higher scores to bands that play a cover in their set. Especially if I don't think any of the other bands have any stand out stuff.

Conspiracy took this one as well. The only band of the night that had people singing with them. These guys pulled a good crowd at this one. They literally showed up with a bus load of people.

Conspiracy will advance to the Semi-Final at Davey's this Saturday.

The 4th and final Preliminary date for the Regional Round was last night at the GE. It was a good show, the head count was in the 50-60 range. Not bad for a Tuesday night with bands from out of town.

Opening the show was Social Rex from Topeka. These guys played at the Club Wars Draft last year. I wasn't really too impressed with them at that time. At this show they seemed to have a lot more energy and they rocked out for the whole set. The guitar player was sporting a mullet.

The second band was Boris Pitch from St. Joe. The bands vocalist Jessyca was in Fatal Candy Machine, a group that played in Club Wars a couple times. She asked me after the set if I liked Boris Pitch better. Yeah, I thought they were a lot better. I also thought they had the biggest crowd of the evening in front of the stage.

The third band was 4 King Stud from Wichita. This was the band that scored highest with the judges. The frontman had a ton of energy, but vocally it seemed he was mostly in screamo mode. Their intense musicianship got the crowd moving.

Closing it out was Deviator from St. Joe. Simon Cowell might say something like, "You have to be one the worst bands ever. I mean, in the whole history of music you could be the worst." That's what Simon might say to these guys if they were on his TV show.

Tonight the Regional Round draws to a close at the Grand Emporium. By shows end all of the bands in the Spring Club Wars will have played their first show. We've been averaging 80-100 people each week. I'm not expecting that tonight since we've got 2 bands from St. Joseph and one each from Topeka and Wichita.

This past weekend was the first back to back shows of the tournament. By spreading 16 shows out over 2 months, I've made it easier on my liver. Friday the 6th was a Regional date at the Hurricane. I'm guessing we had 80-100 people at this one.

Opening the show was Shaggy Green Carpet a band from Great Bend, Kansas. I put these guys on the bill at kind of the last minute. The band Caenum was on the bill but officially dropped off a week and half before the show. I wanted a 4th band on the bill and an e-mail from SGC was near the top of my inbox, so they got the spot. I thought they had a touch of punk rock but were for the most part just straight ahead rockers. They closed their set with a rocked out version of "Devil Went Down To Georgia."

Second on the bill was Dora Dank from Lawrence, KS. The band came out on top in the judges scores at this show. I thought they had the best stage presence, their vocals and their overall sound was better than the other groups. They also had the biggest crowd of the evening in front of them.

The third group Qandu (prounounced can do) was more in the alternative rock vein. They could almost be one of these rock-n-roll bands that's hard to categorize. At times the bands vocalist John sounded like he could fit in a 80's hair band with those pipes.

Closing it out was Imaginary Foe, a band from Warrensburg, MO. They're a fairlly new band on the scene and I thought they were a little similar in style to the first band Shaggy Green Carpet. They had a pretty good crowd during their set.

Saturday night it was the first ever CW date at Davey's Uptown. This was the Qaulifier Play-Off and there were 5 bands on the bill. One of the bands Corrosive, didn't show. I don't know what happened to them.

Kicking it off was Alibi. They played "Heat Of the Meat" in their set this time. I found out why they haven't played it in so long. They don't like playing it and their wives like the song even less.

Second on the bill was Blah Blah Blah. This band had some energy and got a big crowd response. It's what put them on top in the judges scores, they advance to next weeks Wildcard Play-Off.

Third was Echo 7. The bands guitarist Chris brought so much gear he couldn't fit it all on stage. I think they should have played a Led Zep cover.

Closing it out was The Project. They came in second on the Judges card. I think these guys started their show by slowly filling the room with sound. They overcame a little adversity to make this show. Earlier in the week some band gear got a little water damage in an apartment fire.

Todd Sheets came out and filmed some more stuff for the CW film. I think we got some good stuff. The guys in Blah Blah Blah got a little crazy when we interviewed them outside the club. I'm having fun with this and I'm hoping that it's something that's going to always be a part of Club Wars now.

The Open Round Preliminary wrapped up last night at the GE. Another turn out of just over 100 people. That has been about the average attendance for these Tuesday night dates. Next Tuesday's show is part of the Regional, I'll be surprised if we get anywhere near 100 people at that one.

Since Heltz Black dropped off the bill, we started the show with Anime Jane around 9:30. In my never ending quest to categorize bands and their styles. I'll say these guys fit into the Alt/Rock category. I sometimes say that bands have a sound that might fit on "The Rock." Anime Jane has a sound that might fit on "The Buzz."

Second on the bill was Stranger Than Fiction. These guys have had a different line up almost every time I've booked them. This 3 piece band plays straight ahead rockers. Stuff that's reminiscent of tunes you might hear on "The Rock."

Closing it out was Flak, the band that drew the biggest crowd of the evening. They had some pretty vocal fans and there were a bunch of hotties. I'm going to throw my comparison of these guys in the Tool direction. I've been waiting for the next Penumbra or Side Wise to emerge in this Club Wars. This might be that band.

Todd Sheets brought a couple of his cameras down and filmed parts of the evening. It worked out that he got some of Flak performing and then I announced that they were one of the bands advancing to the Championship. Some of the musicians from other advancing bands came out last night. We did some interviews with them and we also got some of Flak's crowd screaming their heads off for the band out in front of the club after the show. He'll be at the Play Offs and Semi-Finals as well as the Championship. We might even film some of the winning band using their recording time at Chapman.

I thought the guys who filmed the Club Wars Championship last year did a great job. This time I wanted to do something a little different, something more like a documentary. I met with some other guy about doing this back before The Draft, but it didn't pan out. In the last few weeks I started giving the documentary idea some more thought, that's when I called Todd. I think this could turn out to be a good thing for Club Wars.

Today is the first day of May and we are half way through the Spring Club Wars aka Club Wars VI. I think things are going well, this might be one of the easiest Club Wars to manage. It wasn't until this past week that any bands cancelled out of their spots. The bands Heltz Black and Caenum dropped out of their spots in this past week and they were both scheduled to play in the coming week. I didn't fill the spot vacated by Heltz Black but Caenum's spot in the Regional got filled by a band called Shaggy Green Carpet. Since I didn't fill the Heltz Black spot, it automatically clinched post season berths for Blah Blah Blah and Echo 7.

The show this last Tuesday the 26th at the Grand Emporium had a good turnout. We had between 80-90 people, I really thought we were going to get 120-130. That's a Tuesday night for ya.

The show kicked off with Alibi. Once again they left "Heat Of The Meat" off the set list and the cover tune they played was by some band I'd never heard of called The Hazies.

Second on the bill was Mi Dixie Wrecked. Clever name huh? The Dixie part might be a slight indicator of their sound. I thought it was hard rock with a southern twist.

Conspiracy played third. It was their first show since they played in Club Wars last Fall. The bands drummer Clarence recently returned to KC and they were pretty pumped up for this show. I was really pulling for these guys to get enough votes to make it to the Championship. They had the best crowd response of the night and people shouted along with the band during parts of songs.

Both Conspiracy and Alibi have played in 5 straight CW tournaments. The band Large would have been the only band to play in all 6 but they cancelled out of their date a few days after The Draft.

Closing it out was Eight Over X. This is a 5 piece band that had a female vocalist. I'm not sure how to describe them. They weren't metal or hard rock. It wasn' t really alternative or pop. They were a decent enough band. I think it could be hard for an original band like this to find a niche around here.

Time is flying by. It's been a week since the last Club Wars date and it continues on again tonight at the Grand Emporium. The show on the 19th was the biggest turnout we've had so far on Tuesday nights. I would say we had close to 150 people in the house. No band jumped into the lead but all four of the bands could make it to a second show. I have a feeling that we could get some good crowds as we close out this part of the tourney in the next two weeks. I'm not sure if these bands have a better draw or if the attendance for Club Wars kind of builds as it goes. It might be a combination of both. I think this could be the last you see of this style of Club Wars for awhile. I plan on having 1 band advance at all the dates in the Summer and Fall tourney's this year. I think that ranking the bands by votes creates some interest and a little excitement. However, I think having a "winner" at each show is easier for the fans to grasp and might be more convenient for the bands. They'll know right away if they have another date or not.

Opening the show was Echo Seven. This is a band that could fit into the Old Skool category. They were scheduled to play in Club Wars last Fall but they had to drop out when they're singer departed the group. The bands guitarist Chris wasn't sure how long the female vocalist they recruited for this gig would be in the picture. They've got an outside shot at making it in the Top 14. He told me that they could hold together for another show.

Second on the bill was Seventh Day. When I introduced them I mentioned how this was seventh date of the Spring CW and that we had the bands Echo 7 and Seventh Day on the bill (it was also $7 admission). Seventh day is 3 piece and their sound was kind of a gritty hard rock. I'm not sure how long these guys have been together, I don't think it's been long. Club Wars is a great thing for a band like this, they need a few shows under their belt and they can pull a few people. They were second place in the standings at the end of the night. They are guaranteed of advancing to either the Wild Card or the Semi-Final.

Third of the evening was Cripple Fight. They played a couple dates in Club Wars last Fall. I think they're a good band. They're tight and not only do they have dual guitars, they've got dual lead vocalists. You don't see many of the hard rock bands on the scene locally with more than one lead vocalist. During their set, they had the biggest crowd of the night in front of the stage.

Closing it out was Grim Stone. We almost got through 2 Club Wars shows in a row without any screaming vocals. Scott, the vocalist for Grim Stone , let out a scream at the very beginning of the bands set. Now this band has only played a few shows, but I thought they were pretty damn tight. They've got some heavy stuff, none of it really grabbed me though. At the end of the night they were in the thick of the standings.

Tonight Club Wars rolls on at the Grand Emporium. I've got a few minutes to post something about last weeks show at The Hurricane on Thursday. It was a Regional Round date. The crowd was a little thin as we started the show but by the time I announced the advancing band it was about full. Most of them were there for the band Shots Fired. They started playing as soon as I left the stage. The group New Found Glory played earlier at The Beaumont in front of 700-800 people and lots of them came over to The Cane afterwards. Shots Fired and The Stillborn got booked to play after Club Wars. I guess it was kind of a pleasant surprise.

As far as the Club Wars portion of the night. I was a judge on this one and it was a tough call between Placate and The Rest Of Us. Both of the bands are from Manhattan, Ks and they played in Club Wars last fall. The final judge tally was close, I scored Placate the highest on my scorecard. I thought they had more stage presence. I also thought that they had a few more songs that stood out. The other two groups were Beyond The Fall from St. Joseph, MO and Eleven 27 from Nevada, Mo. I think these bands could get better with a little more seasoning. This was a Club Wars bill that had very little in the way of screamo vocals. Placate frontman Darrel put a little edge to his voice in parts of songs, but that was about it.

We have passed the midway point for the Preliminary portion of this tournament. There have been 2 of the 4 dates for the Regional and 4 of the 7 for the Open. There will be 18 bands that get a second show. We will see 13 of those determined during the next 4 dates.

It's been a couple of days since the last show at the Grand Emporium. It was the turning point in the Open Round. The head count was in the 100-125 range. However, the voting results were much different than the previous weeks. Instead of tightening the standings, this show had one band jump into the lead and the others managed only a handfull or two of votes.

Kicking it off was Sick With It, the band who jumped to the top of the standings with 63 votes. The crowd (including some dude that called himself "Bob Cat") got there early and they were ready to rock. The band crunched through a set of tunes that had some hooks to them. They kept going until I gave them the "one more song" routine.

Second was Apathy or A?athy as they often get billed. These guys are arguably the most underrated metal band in town. I thought they played an awesome set. It's too bad they couldn't get some more votes, I would have liked to see them advance.

In the third spot was Dr. Woo, a band that was probably a little out of place on this bill. After two sets of metal we got a set of light weight sweater rock. These guys had a few good songs. I like to have a little rock-n-roll variety in Club Wars but it seems dominated by hard rock and metal.

Closing it out was H Gage. This band played The Draft as Nebulus but had to change their name. Then, their bassist left the band a few weeks ago and they had to replace him. It didn't seem like they had any real hooks in the lyrics but their sound was comparable to hard commercial rock radio. I thought these guys were pretty good players. For only having a few practices under their belt, they seemed tight.

It's been a couple of days since the Open Round date at the Beaumont on Tuesday. Like the other dates of the Open Round this was scheduled for the Grand Emporium. Another band got double booked and basically Club Wars was the bigger of the two, so it got moved. I've been doing a few shows on weekinights this yeat at the Beaumont . The turnouts have been pretty good, though it still doesn't look like a big crowd in the cavernous room. The 125 or so that we had at this show would have been a little crowded at the Grand Emporium.

We were very lucky to get a good PA for this show. Since shows by national acts Hed PE and Alter Bridge were in the same week, the Beaumont brought in a bigger PA and a 3 man sound crew. I was very happy about this and it made all the bands sound top notch.

It seems like I don't focus very well on the bands at Club Wars dates when they're at the Beaumont. What I did catch from the music on this night was the "progression" of vocal style from one end of the spectrum to the other. We started with No Cause No Cure, the bands vocalist Eric aka "Jager" has more of a wailing style. Like a cross between Rob Halford and Mark Slaughter. Then we had the band Malikai, whose vocalist Brian was more of a Dave Mustaine style. He delivered song lyrics in short burts with a bit of a snarl. The vocals started getting a little more edge with Justin from Corrosive. He mixed it up between some singing parts and some Cookie Monster "Rooowwwwwr." Then Corpse Collector frontman Dustin pretty much was in full on Cookie Monster mode.

The standings are getting a little tighter. I think having all these bands play on Tuesdays is affecting turn outs some. I still think there are going to be a couple of bands that are going to get higher vote totals than we've had so far. At this point, as each show goes by there will be bands that clinch spots to advance. After next Tuesdays show, the 2 bands at the top of the standings are assured of advancing.

Club Wars is going smoothly after the completion of the 3rd show of the Spring Tournament. We had close to 125 at the Grand Emporium last night. I was really surprised not to see a few more faces there. Here are a some of my thoughts on the bands:

Shatterhouse played first. This is a young band, I think they're all 18 or something. They've got this really cute female vocalist and I thought they were somewhere between Metal and Emo. Jules thought they had kind of an Evanessence thing going.

Suuttercane was the second band. They had probably the best crowd response of the night. People were even chanting for them before they took the stage. I would say they are Blue Collar Rock, maybe like Tesla. They had a few good songs. Like Shatterhouse, these guys are also kind of a young band. It's easy to give them the cliched "They've got potential," line.

The Project played in Club Wars last year as Random Energy. I described them as sounding kind of tripped out like Pink Floyd. I still think they have kind of a spacey feel in some of their tunes. At the same time though they create a heavy and hard driving sound. The band members have the kind of continuity you want to see in a power trio like this.

Local Stranger is a new band on the scene but they're old guys. You could almost say they put the Old in Old Skool. I saw them play at this club One Block East a few weeks ago. Playing mostly cover tunes, I thought they were OK. Last night, playing mostly originals (they threw in a cover of "Heaven And Hell" by Black Sabbath) and with a better sound system, they seemed like a different band.

When all the ballots had been counted Local Stranger was in 1st Place of the Open Round with 32 votes. There are still 20 bands to play in this round, but I'm starting to get the feeling that the standings will be very crowded with bands getting 20-40 votes. I guess we'll see how it pans out over the next few weeks.

Last night the Regional Round kicked off at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS. I was looking forward to this date. Not only is it the first time Club Wars has been held at the club, it's my first booking there in 10 years. As expected, the turnout was good. I'm estimating that we had 175-200 people including band guys, guests and all.

Throughout the night I kept thinking about the days when I used to travel to Lawrence for Banzai Magazine. Jeff Shibley, who was the publisher of a magazine called The Note, did the lay out for Banzai in the office over the Bottleneck from 1988-89. In exchange for his efforts, I distributed The Note around Kansas City. I have some good memories of back in those days.

Copus, from Manhattan, Ks , was the first band of the evening. These guys have a good groove and they seemed pretty together. They also had lots of supporters up front. I still think their songs sound a lot like A Perfect Circle.

The Pond Monkeys from Ft. Scott, Ks took the stage second. Some describe these guys as "Indie Rock" and that might be an accurate description. I think they've got kind of a Pop/Punk Rock thing going. These guys had energy onstage and I really thought they had the best songs out of all the bands on the bill.

Next up was Synesthetic. With 2 frontmen and a total of 6 guys in the band, they've got some action going onstage. Their tunes are pretty heavy and have some hooks but I thought the best song they had was kind of a slow one. I thought they also had the best crowd response of the night.

Closing it out was Headkill. The only band on the bill coming from Missouri. I'm going to say that these guys are Power Metal. Their songs have heavy riffs and crunchy parts to them. The vocals were aggressive but were neither Cookie Monster nor Screamo. They might lack a little stage presence but they had a solid sound and and the crowd cheered them on.

This was a judges only show and Synesthetic was the band to advance. They move on to the Semi-Final on May 20 at the Grand Emporium.

Now, one of the best things about this show was that there was no smoking. I loved it, I can't wait for it to come to Kansas City.

The Spring Club Wars started last night at the Grand Emporium. It was a very un-Spring like day in Kansas City. There was cold, wind and snow. I don't think the weather effected the turn out really. We had 80+ people in the house, with about 65 votes cast.

Moral Decay kicked it off. I thought musically and vocally they were like a jack hammer. The vocals are harsh but delivered in more staccato fashion than Cookie Monster.

Next on was Dude. I was really kind of impressed with their set. None of their songs stood out in memory. I thought though, they had a solid sound and vocalist Scott Carter belted it out.

The band Blah Blah Blah was third on the bill. They put on a good show, apparently these guys have signed some kind of record deal. I 'm not going to say they were Old Skool, but it was close. After all the ballots were counted, Blah Blah Blah was the early lead of the Open Round with 18 votes. I'm going to be surprised though, if 18 votes is going to be enough to get a band a second show. I guess it could happen. Half of the bands in the Open Round will get a second show and everyone is playing on a Tuesday night. We'll see how the Standings start shaping up in the next few weeks.

Closing it out was Tear At The Walls. These guys are all under 21. We needed to make sure they all had a parent or gaurdian with them. Anyway, they put on a high energy show. They had some screamo vocals but it wasn't all harsh. It would say you could easily put the old "They've got potential" tag on this band.

Also of note, not only is this my first entry for the Spring Club Wars. This is my first entry since the new site design by W2. The website is now set up so I can update stuff and post my entries as soon as I write them. The new era has begun.

It's taken a few days to get out of the post-championship funk. Tomorrow night the 2 hour show will be broadcast and the "Viewing Party" will go down at the Grand Emporium. At this point I'm kind of wishing I would have put the broadcast off for another week or two. It wouldn't have made the editing process seemed so rushed. I mean, I've only seen parts of what was filmed. I won't see the finished product in it's entirety until tomorrow night.

Anyway, overall I'm going to say Club Wars was a success and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people we had turn out for the championship.

Now the show went pretty smoothly and all the bands did well, but the sound was very disappointing. I'm also thinking that having 6 bands at this was a bit much. Look for only 5 bands to be on the bill at Club Wars Championship VI.

Here are the scores:

Fan Votes
Side Wise - 185
Organic M - 99
Swill - 89
Stonewalk - 81
Slit - 67
Messed Up - 27

Judges Scores
Side Wise - 63
Swill - 56
Stonewalk - 49.5
Slit - 49
Organic M - 42.5
Messed Up - 36.5

Side Wise - 248
Swill - 145

Organic M - 141.5
Stonewalk - 130.5
Slit - 116
Messed Up - 63.5

Side Wise did a great job and the amount of votes they received has to be the most ever in Club Wars. This also marks the 4th band to win Club Wars after playing their first show of the tournament at America's Pub. Was this the best Club Wars yet? I think we might have to see what kind of response the show gets. I feel like this could have been the best Club Wars yet and if it's not, it's tied for the best.

Last night was the Semi-Final for the Rookie Round at America's Pub. The weather might have effected the turnout a little bit at this one, it rained most of the day. I still thought it was a good crowd, 100-125 if you included band guys, guests and people with VIP Cards. I judged this one, here are my thoughts.

Evermourn: Musically and instrumental wise they guys shred and there is a real energy in their sound. Lead guitarist JP has some outstanding chops, but he's from the Tony Iommi school of stage presence. He pretty much just stands there. I also think that this band needs more dimension in their vocals. They need vocals that are a cross between Bruce Dickinson and Cookie Monster.

Jack Hammered: They've got good stage presence and they're tight. I scored these guys second because they didn't get the same crowd response the other bands did.

Heltz Black: They had a cool banner and a fog machine. Playing in between Jack Hammered and Slit made them seem a little flat. They have'nt been together long and have only played a few shows. Maybe with a few more gigs under their belt they'll kick ass.

Slit closed it out and they had a big crowd in the pit during their set. All their songs don't sound the same and frontman Squints brings stage presence and he's got variety in his vocal delivery.

There were 3 judges scoring this one:

Slit - 99
Evermourn - 90.75
Jack Hammered - 86.25
Heltz Black - 85.25

Last night was the Rookie Round Wild Card at the Grand Emporium. Even though I had Club Wars divided into 4 different rounds, this was the only Wild Card Playoff this year. Last year all the bands played in the round and there were 2 Wild Card Playoffs. They both had kind of weaks turnouts. This show at the Grand Emporium had a good turnout, especially when you consider that all the bands found out just days before that they were playing. This was supposed to be the bands that finished 4-8 in fan voting. Well, there was a tie for 8th, so 6 bands ended up qualifying. However, Killing Guilt, who finished 5th, couldn't play the show due to prior commitments. Things went smoothly and it wasn't much past midnight when I announced the band that advanced. I haven't had less than 3 judges at any judged show, there were 5 at this one.

These were the judges scores:

Slit - 157.25
A Certain Cure - 149
Frayed - 135.75
Cripple Fight - 118
Unorthodox - 101.75

It's the last full weekend of Club Wars in 2004. It's been fun but it is kind of a grind.

The last of the Rookie Round shows closed out at The Hurricane on the 22. Originally 5 bands were on the bill but one of the bands Echo Seven dropped off about a week before the show and then the day before the gig I found out that About The Norm wasn't going to play. Jack Hammered opened it up, they had a big crowd. They are Old Skool in a Power Metal sort of way. Vocalist Brad Kinne's style is similar to that of Kansas City's Heavy Metal Godfather Tommy Lee Flood. A Certain Cure took the stage next. Heavy stuff, they worked the crowd up and got a mosh pit going. The crowd was still strong as Killing Guilt closed it out. They are powerful and heavy also, but the vocals are not harsh like many other bands of this style. There was a great turnout and each band qualified for a second show.

Saturday the 23rd was the final night of the Invitational Round at the Grand Emporium. The first week of these shows at the Grand Emporium we didn't turn away any people looking for blues and there were very few that turned out for the late night DJ. We turned away a handful of people looking for blues on the other two nights and they switched DJ's so there was a lot of people that came last week and there were quite a few on this night as well. So, this show started a little earlier and ended much earlier than the previous two weeks. Hooligan Scream started it off. Their bass player Richie quit the band or something earlier in the week, so instead of canceling they kind of toned down their a bit. Lead vocalist/guitarist Jason and guitarist turned bassist Johnny played the show seated. It wasn't really an acoustic set but it wasn't the amped out rockfest that these guys usually try and deliver. They did a cool sounding cover of "Got To Choose" by Kiss. Large was second on the bill. They are the only band to play in all 5 of the Club Wars tournaments. They've been playing a bunch of shows lately and I think they even played the night before this show somewhere, it might have hurt their turnout a little. Intent was next up. They played a great show and the floor in front of the stage was full of people. Stonewalk closed it out. These guys worked hard promoting the show, they even made up key chains with the date on it that they gave out to people. This was a combo of fan and judges vote at this show, here were the results:

Intent - 105.25
Stonewalk - 98.25
Large - 69
Hooligan Scream - 69

Stonewalk - 66
Intent - 34
Large - 31
Hooligan Scream - 13

Stonewalk - 164.25
Intent - 139.25
Large - 100
Hooligan Scream - 82

The second week in a row, a band that I thought would be one of the favorites to win Club Wars is eliminated. In both cases, the bands that advanced worked harder than the bands that appeared to be favorites.

We are about to hit the home stretch of CW5. There have been a few shows in the past few nights. Tuesday the 19th was a Rookie Round Show at the Grand Emporium. This was a show that got added just before the start off Club Wars. This date and last week on the 12th were shows I added after it appeared that all the bands I had booked in Club Wars were going to stay together. It's like I was keeping these bands in reserve in case there were cancellations. So far, there have been few, I'm pleasantly surprised.

Smack Daniel kicked off this one. Dare I say it again? Is the Old Skool sound back or is there just a bunch of old guys playing in Club Wars this year? The Smack Daniel shirts look like a bottle of Jack Daniel's. Scheduled to play second was the band Famine, but the guitar player forgot his guitar and left the club to go get it. I found out about this 5-10 minutes after he left the place. Smack Daniel was nearly finished, so I said to the guys in Sick With It that I needed them to play next. They were cool about it and the changeover went quickly. Sick With It sounded to me more like a Pantera/Godsmack mix, I thought they were pretty good. Famine, now in the third spot are more of a hardcore band. The crowd was filtering out as Stranger Than Fiction set up. They're not really metal and I don't get the Old Skool feeling. They have more of a mainstream style but maybe not "radio friendly" per se. I guess I'm going to have to book them again or something to figure it out. With only 4 bands left to go in this round, several bands clinched playoff berths after the votes were counted.

Wednesday the 20th it was the Semi-Final for the Veterans/Blitzkrieg Round. Originally I was calling this the Blitzkrieg Round because I was thinking of having all the bands play in one night using the same gear for 3 song sets. Blitzkrieg is the German word for "Lightning War" and I thought we will quickly have 4 semi-finalists for this round. Reaction wasn't that favorable towards only playing 3 songs in Club Wars, so I switched it to 2 nights and it still was pretty quick. When these bands played their first shows at The Bunker it was hard for me to watch the show and keep my eye on the door and what was happening there. At this show I kept my eyes on the bands. Poor Bastards In Jail, I'm going to give them the old "they've got potential" tag, but on this night I wasn't really impressed. At one point their singer said they were going to play something new and he got out a lyric sheet to read from during the song. Here's my advice for bands playing in front of judges at Club Wars: bring your "A" game, don't try something new. Play your show like you could do it with one hand tied behind your back. Far From Below, they don't really have a modern sound but it's not necessarily Old Skool. Heavy, crunching riffs and a vocal style that maybe seemed a little dated. They definitely had the best crowd response of the night. Hollow Space, these guys had the most energetic performance of the evening and they got good response from the crowd as well. I just didn't think that any of their songs really stuck out. Messed Up, I thought they had the best overall sound and they've got some good hooks in their songs. I thought their Foo Fighters cover was a little sloppy. Dave from Alibi came up to me and said "They're a pretty good Puddle Of Mudd tribute band." They do have that same kind of sound, the bands vocalist Baron Cravens did a short stint with them before Wes left town. The judges votes came back and Messed Up was on top. This is their second trip to the Club Wars Championship, they were in it last year.

Another good weekend of shows as CW5 passes the midway point. Friday the 15th was at the El Torreon. Last weeks show ran a little late so "Metal Mark" wanted get things started before 8, but the drummer for Heltz Black didn't get there until about 10 til. They set up and started right about 8pm and played less than 25 minutes. They fall into the Old Skool sound with some anthemic hooks in their tunes. Next on was Cripple Fight, this was my first time seeing the band. I would say their sound is comparable to the kind of stuff you would hear on 98.9 The Rock. Then we had Copus hit the stage. After listening to their CD and seeing them play live, their music still gives me the feeling of downer rock. Random Energy was fourth on the bill. It's hard rock and they mix in some experimental or spacey
sounds. Closing out this show Moral Decay who I inadvertently billed as Mortal Decay. I think these guys were the last band to get a slot in Club Wars. It's metal with the harsh screamo vocals.

The turnout wasn't as big as last Fridays show at the El Torreon but a good nonetheless. After each band played a wave of people would leave. Mark was concerned about the show running late but this one ended early. During the show this girl comes up to me and asks about what I write here in my diary. She wanted to know why I write more about some shows or bands than others. Well, I think it has to do with what happened at the show or what gave me some inspiration. Sometimes I just have more to say about a band or a show. There are things that just stand out more than others. There are times that I'm more motivated to write something when I get home from the show when it's fresh in my memory, other times I may not write it until a day or two later. I don't think I'm really acting as reviewer as much as I'm trying to report on the events or give my thoughts, Saturday the 16 was back to the Grand Emporium for the 3rd of 6 Club Wars dates at the club. This was a good one, we had a decent crowd in the place at 8 o'clock. The show kicked off at 8:30 with Dbltap. I like this band, I thought they put on an energetic performance . Organic M drew a big crowd once again to Club Wars. They've got a new singer and they seemed pretty tight. Old Skool is an applicable description, I would say they sound very 80's. Alibi was up next, they're Old Old Skool. I don't think they've played their song "Heat Of The Meet" since Andrew Miller mentioned it in The Pitch after CW2. Closing it out was Albino Fly. Lead vocalist Johnnie made use of the railing dividing the club and the band was tight. This was another fan and judges vote, here are the scores:

Albino Fly - 204
Organic M - 147.75
Alibi - 136.25
Dbltap - 134.5

Organic M - 90
Alibi - 29
Dbltap - 23
Albino Fly - 21

Organic M - 237.75
Albino Fly - 225
Alibi - 165.25
Dbltap - 157.5

This will be the 3rd trip to the championship for Organic M, they did a great job. I'm going to say though, I thought Albino Fly was one of the favorites to win Club Wars after winning the Freaker's Ball Battle Of The Bands at America's Pub back in August. The fact that these guys only got 21 people there to vote for them is kind of pathetic. During the show this girl comes up to me and introduces herself as the girlfriend for Josh, the bands other lead singer. She tells me how she usually calls people to get them out to the show or remind them about it, but she didn't do that this time. Later I thought to myself that if this was "The Apprentice" and I was Donald Trump, she might be the one getting fired after this show.

I'm back from America's Pub, the second of six finalists for the CW5 Championship was determined tonight. It was a good show and as one of the judges, it was hard to to try and decide how exactly to score it. Part of where it balanced out was in the crowd response category, Side wise and Leadboot Marathon both had crowds there cheering them on. Earlier in the day I got word that Fallen was not going to be making it to the show, honestly it worked out for the best because the show ran late with 4 bands. This clearly was the best show of the Regional Round. I'm still committed to having out of town bands in Club Wars, but it's hard to get people to come out for bands they don't know. Here were the scores:

Sidewise - 91.75
The Rest Of Us - 91.25
Leadboot Marathon - 85.50
Shattered - 82.25

I personally had Shattered as the top score on my sheet. I don't know if I was voting for these guys for driving so far or because they sounded like Mortal Reign, one of my favorite all time metal bands from KC.

Back from a night at the Grand Emporium, second show of the Rookie Round. There was approximately 100 people there, still more people in amazement at the transformation of the club. Maximum Suck kicked off the show, they suck, I mean that in both a positive and negative way. The song they ended their set with, the one about the crack whore, is probably their best song. After a quick changeover Crazy Talk hit the stage. Hard drivin' guitar rock, with just a hint of punk to it. They played a cover of "Ace Of Spades" by Motorhead, I thought that was cool. Slit was in the number three position, they pulled in a pretty good crowd. They're metal and the bands vocalist, Squints, peppers some actual singing in there with the harsh vocals. The last band of the night was Static carpet. I'm not sure how to describe them, it was rock with a modern feel to it. They weren't to bad, but it didn't really do anything for me. The singer might actually do better with another band.

It was another big weekend for Club Wars:
Friday night the 8th was my first ever booking at the El Torreon and there was over 200 in attendance. Unorthodox started the show just after 8pm, their style is in the energetic pop/punk category. I think these guys are all under 21, playing an all ages date helped bring in their crowd. Apathy was second on the bill, I'm calling them psycho metal. I overheard one of the guys say how they had been together for 5 years and nobody noticed. Does that mean no one cares about Apathy? Can I get a rim shot please? Maybe they're the Rodney Daingerfield's of the music scene. Evermourn was up next, they are the latest wunderkind to hit the KC scene. Teenagers influenced by the classics, musically they sound like Iron Maiden. The vocal style is reminiscent of the Sesame Street character that liked to eat cookies. 4th on the bill was Frayed, they've been together just a few months. Their sound is more of the modern metal offering with some harsh vocals. Frayed had a little delay setting up and the time was running out as Subrosa set up. The clubs manager "Metal" Mark told me that we had to have the music done by midnight. Subrosa took the stage about 15 or 20 til and they went a little past midnight, it all worked out. They opened with "Stinkfist" by Tool before playing some of their own tunes. The lead singer used a bullhorn during parts of "Stinkfist." During the set I'm drinking a beer inside the "Cage" when this girl, who I think was with one of the Apathy dudes starts getting lippy with a friend of Subrosa's. She's saying "Why open with a cover and then play your own songs? And in Club Wars of all places and Maynard doesn't even use a bullhorn." I thought it was funny. They also played a dead on cover of "Eulogy" by Tool also. The show went well, the sound was decent and other than a little hang up before the set by Frayed, changeovers went quickly. The guys working at the club were pretty easy going, one of them showed me the room upstairs. This massive space was once home to a roller skating rink and I guess it was the Cowtown Ballroom in the early 70's. Now it's full of junk mostly, tables and chairs, mannequins, motor scooters, all kinds of stuff.

Saturday was my first booking at the new Grand Emporium. This was a show that I was nervous about for quite awhile. First, I was worried they would book something else. I put it on the Club Wars schedule before they even started remodeling the place. Then, when they reopened it seemed like the schedule had lots of the same names, I was worried about turning away a blues crowd or something. Lastly, the show time. Hearne Christopher tells me a few weeks ago he was there to see Ronnie Baker Brooks and the club ended his set at 11pm. They're trying to get a midnight DJ going and they want shows to end early. Well, they didn't book anything else, only a couple of guys were turned away because they were looking for blues and Swill ended their set around 12:15. A DJ set up and played some music, maybe 15-20 people came in for the DJ before midnight. All in all, it was like butter. People that had been to the place before were in total amazement as they walked in the club, it looks nothing like it did before.
The show kicked off about 8:30 with Axium. They got some great response from the crowd. I think their music has that "radio friendly" sound to it. Soulless played second on the bill. These guys broke up awhile back but they get together to play a show every so often. Crooked River was third. They did have a cool backdrop, the "Pyramid Eye" from the $1 bill was projected onto a screen. They don't have a permanent drummer, Rick from Restraint played with them and then during the set some guy got up and sang a couple songs with them. He looked lost, I think it took away from their show. Closing it out was Swill, they toned back on their show. No toilet paper or confetti at this one.
It was a fan and judges vote at this one, here were the scores:

Axium - 104
Swill - 103
Soulless - 91.25
Crooked River - 87.25

Swill - 55
Axium - 33
Crooked River - 17
Soulless - 11

Swill - 158
Axium - 137
Crooked River - 104.25
Soulless - 102.25

This will be Swill's first time playing in the Club wars Championship.

Donald Trump has just fired somebody and the Cardinals are leading the Dodgers in the 6th, so it's time for last nights recap.
The second show of the Regional Round had fewer in attendance than last week's did, but it seemed like more people were there at the end when I announced who was going on. I think Inertia dropping out a couple of days before the show hurt the attendance a little bit, but not a lot. I think next week's semi-final will be the best of the Regional shows for this year. I'm going post last nights scores and then make a few comments:

Sidewise - 116
Hammered - 99.25
Placate - 93

3 out of the 4 judges scored Sidewise the highest band. I was the 4th judge and I had Placate on top, overall I kind of liked their sound best. Their singer Darrel needs to work on his stage presence a little. Sidewise is a pretty new band and the guys in the group are all like 20 or something. I think they're pretty good, but it seems like they've got a lot going on in their songs. With 6 guys in the band they looked kind of cramped onstage. The guys in Hammered might have been hammered by the time they took the stage. Nonetheless they got the crowd going, they're a good band to rock out to. I kind of get a kick out of the lead vocalist/bassist Jay playing the show shirtless.

As I sit here watching the vice-presidential debate it dawned on me that I never made an entry to the diary after the September 29 show at America's Pub.

It was the first show of the Regional Round and it went well. Bands sounded good and the changes went smoothly. The turnout wasn't bad, with band guys there might have been a 100 people that came in the place. The crowd peaked about 10:30 but there weren't a whole lot of people there at the end. I think that's how it's going to go for these shows of the Regional Round. I guess we'll see though. There were a few guys from other bands playing Club Wars in attendance, I think the VIP Cards are going to help boost attendance as we go. The bands in order of appearance were: The Rest Of Us (Manhattan, KS), Classic (Warrensburg, MO), Jones (St. Joseph, MO) and Kaotic Circle (Wichita, KS). This was a show where judges picked a band to advance, this is the final score:

The Rest Of Us - 138.5
Kaotic Circle - 138.25
Jones - 129.75
Classic - 97.5

I thought The Rest Of Us did a good job, they sound close to their recording. It's not the usual hard rock sound that most Club Wars bands have. Classic had a new singer and they announced that they weren't Classic anymore, but I didn't catch what they changed their name to. Jones had a little more edge to their music live than on the recording they sent me. Kaotic Circle tore it up in speed metal sort of way. After I announced the winner, the guys in TROU checked out the judges sheets and told me they thought it was the fairest BOTB they've played.

The Regional continues tomorrow night at the Amer. Oub, Inertia from Topeka has dropped out. They are only the second band to drop off the schedule. I'm glad we haven't had as many casualties as I thought there might be.

It's taking me a day to recover from the weekend. Club Wars kicked ass on it's opening nights and a trip to Arrowhead on Sunday had me pretty much unresponsive last night. So in the moments here before Monday Night Football these are a few of my thoughts from Saturday's show:

The turnout was better on the second night of the Veteran Round, 40 more votes were cast than on Friday. The show went well, the only problem came about when Conspiracy got cut short. Maybe the soundman Roger thought we were going to run late or something because he cut Conspiracy 3 songs into the set. As usual, I'm hanging by the front door and all of a sudden their done and the lights are on and people are moving gear. It did take the band a little bit longer to set up, but it was also the part of the show where the first 3 bands loaded out of the club and the last 3 bands loaded in. Anyway, the show ended early and they probably could have played another 15 minutes. The last band of the night was Flexible Bullit, they opened their show with an acoustic song. I thought it was kind of a mood killer, they played a few more tunes before calling it a night. Absent from the set was their theme song "Ballad Of The Flexible Bullit." I'm not sure the future for these guys, they almost dropped out of Club Wars after their drummer Ronnie Pruitt injured his shoulder over Labor Day Weekend. Ronnie was at the show wearing a sling, he's going to be out a few months. Pony filled in on drums but he's moving to L.A. or something. The life expectancy of a rock band on the KC music scene isn't long and these guys have been around a few years. I guess we'll see what happens. The other bands of the night were Far From Below, Thieves & Liars, Poor Bastards In Jail and Equinox. I thought everyone sounded good, I'll be paying more attention at the Semi-Final on October 20. Advancing to that show will be Far From Below, Poor Bastarads In Jail, Hollowspace and Messed Up.

The big difference in Club Wars this year is that there are more shows where bands are eliminated from the tournament. In Club Wars of the past, a band might be in contention for a couple of weeks before being eliminated. The next 2 dates at America's Pub are the Regional Round and have one band at each show advancing. Does this ad more excitement or make for more pissed off people.

Wiz! Bang! Zoom! Club Wars 5 has arrived! I would say this has to be the best opening night for a Club Wars yet. I'm going to put the total attendance including band guys and everyone at 200. The show went smooth and there were no long delays between bands. Whenever I do Club Wars at The Bunker it's hard to focus on the band and what's happening onstage while watching the door and giving out ballots and whatnot. Overall, the bands sounded good but my stand out recollections are of Wes from Pittcore before their set, "Cheaaawwwwwwwk, Cheaaawwwwwwk," and Messed Up played a Foo Fighters song.

Now, this was a show where the fans voted, here are the results:

Hollowspace - 42
Messed Up - 26
Terra Firma - 15
Pittcore - 14
Pull - 13
Five Fathoms Down - 12

I've got this Club Wars divided into four rounds and this is the Veteran Round. The round wraps up tonight with 6 more bands playing. The 4 bands with the most votes go on to the semi-final. This is the first time in Club Wars history where there are bands out of contention on the first night of the tournament.

Labor Day Weekend and I'm watching the Planet Of The Apes Marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel and it's time for me to give a little critique/comment/review of cd's that bands sent me in their effort to get in Club Wars. The promo paks and cd's from bands came streaming in the week of the deadline on August 15. I've tried to listen to these as much as I can and if nothing else I'm going to recognize these songs when the bands play them at their show. A couple of them are pretty good and a few are things that these guys just recorded to have something to give me. I'm not really going to give any of these a full review. I've got more to say about some than others and as always, Simon Cowell is my inspiration. In no particular order:

Random Energy - The 2 songs on this disc are a little tripped out, in a Pink Floyd sort of way. When they played the Westport Meltdown it seemed like their songs had these long drawn out endings.

Inertia - The return address said Maywood, Ks, a little town north of Topeka, KS. For some reason I was surprised that these guys weren't heavy with harsh vocals. I like the first song, they need to tighten their sound up a little bit, but I think they've got some potential.

Jones - A couple of catchy riffs, nice hooks and melody. The vocals stand out clearly and sound strong. I kind of like this cd, but it's almost seemingly commercial radio fodder.

The Rest Of Us - Another band that sounds like they could be commercial radio fodder, not that it's a bad thing to be commercial radio fodder. These guys are from Manhattan, Kansas and their song "This Town" made me think of the wide open spaces of Western Kansas.

Poor Bastards In Jail - These are some young dudes that don't look old enough to be drinking the beers they're holding in the pic they sent me. Aside from that, this is a good cd. The first and third song, have got the newer, fresher metal sound, the second song is more in the old skool vein.

Maximum Suck - They've got some entertaining songs but these guys kind of suck musically, it's part of their shtick. It's too bad that they can't play good and have bad songs with catchy hooks.

Cripplefight - I might venture to call this heavy alternative rock. It's a basement recording, I'm hoping these guys are going to sound more impressive live.

Copus - This cd sounds good and the recording seems pretty decent. They've got the kind of sound that's a downer in A Perfect Circle sort of way.

Dude - I'm going to give these guys extra credit for coming up with songs that I look for in bands that I see play in clubs around town, catchy lyrics. But, the lyrics are a little dumb and the music just isn't making me raise my rock fingers.

Kaotic Circle - Another old skool brand of chunk metal is what this Wichita area band sounds like. They are one of the more renowned bands on the scene there. I'll be interested to see how they are received here.

About The Norm - I'm still a little undecided on this band. Is it acoustic rock? It sounds like it's from the backwoods or something. I'm thinking this might be the first band in Club Wars whose guitarist played an acoustic.

Side Wise - It's am odern keyboard oriented rock sound with some heavy edge to it. Vocal delivery at times seemed a little reminiscent of Tool.

Subrosa - This cd has 2 songs on it, the first an original tune that sounds like it could have been on the cds that either Jones or The Rest Of Us gave me. The second song is a dead on cover of Tool's "Stinkfist."

Shattered - These guys are from Fayetteville, Arkansas and the instant the first song started playing it reminded me of Mortal Reign, the legendary Kansas City metal-meisters. It's that kind of old skool Metallica sound, I can't wait to see them.

Apathy - Weird, twisted, demented alternative-metal music. The vocals range from psychotic ranting to the shrill roar that dominates most of the newer metal offerings.

Well, I would say Club Wars 2004 has officially kicked into gear. Last night was The Draft at America's Pub and even though things went smoothly, I anticipated changes happening to the schedule as early as today and they have. Things are going to work out in the long run, but I feel like there is going to be a few more changes to the schedule before things are done or even before next week. So far, I've had more bands pass on playing this Club Wars because they have broken up or are splintered, than in all the previous Club Wars combined. In fact, the landscape of rock bands in the Kansas City area has changed quite a bit in the last 5-6 months. As Commander-In-Chief I am not going to say that it's a state of emergency or that Marshall Law needs to be declared, I think the threat level is at no more than yellow. Apart from bands breaking up or dropping out of Club Wars, I'm going to try and anticipate other things that might come into play. Even though there may be headaches and travails that will come, I think that this could turn out to be the best Club Wars yet.
The bands that played last night were vying for a spot in the Regional Round. In order of appearance we had Inertia, Hammered, Social Rex and Maximum Suck. I started The Draft about 9:15 and it was wrapped up about 9:35, then I went onstage and introduced Inertia. Now, this was a judges only show and I was going to take the top 2 scoring bands and give them spots in the tournament. I planned on being a judge but, I was answering so many questions from band guys and talking about the schedule, I didn't really watch Inertia play at all. At that point I almost seemed to tune out what was happening onstage. I can say a little something about each band however. Inertia: They have the most potential of the bands that played this show. They came in second and they will be back at America's Pub on October 6. Hammered: Pure old school. The judges liked 'em, they came in first and they'll be back at America's Pub on October 6. Social Rex: Now these guys have kind of a old school sound as well, but they didn't have the same feel as the Hammered tunes had. Maybe more cliché or something. They were pretty tight, but it just didn't do much for me. Maximum Suck: Introducing the band was CPJ (Cerebral Palsy Jesse, the guy that Johnny Dare took to the Moonlight Bunny Ranch). This band is in spirit with groups like Gwar or Impotent Seasnakes, onstage theatrics and comical antics set to crappy music. When I showed the bands the judges scores, Jay from Maximum Suck shouted "We were robbed."
The turnout was pretty good, but that was because of The Draft and all the band guys that showed up to take part and they were all on the guest list. The non-draftee crowd was pretty light, as I thought it would be. It's the week after the Freaker's Ball Battle ended and it's always dead this week. Many schools are now back in session and all of the bands were from out of town, Maximum Suck, from Lawrence, KS, probably had the shortest drive home. All the shows of the Regional Round will be at America's Pub, out of town bands just aren't going to draw as well. I'm thinking though that turnouts will be good during the actual tournament, with the amount of VIP Passes and tix that will be out, we'll see plenty of faces in the crowd.

It's two weeks to the day since the fall Club Wars ended. One Degree Difference were crowned as champs of CW4 at The Beaumont Club. Not only am I looking back on this one, I'm thinking of the future. Overall, CW4 was a success even though attendance was down. At a couple of the G.E. shows and at both the wildcards, I thought the turnout sucked. Less than 50 people at a show is boring to me. Maybe I've gone to the well too many times with Club Wars. Maybe it was because the bands that drove Club Wars didn't play this one. Maybe it was because I felt like I pretty much just phoned this one in. I didn't put as much thought or effort into it this time around. Whatever it may be, don't look for another one of these 40-80 band extravaganzas to go down in the Kansas City area until next fall. I think it would be easy to line up another attack in April-May, but I think I'm going to try something else this spring.

Now even though turnout was less than in the previous Club Wars, I don't equate this with mediocrity (it's been a subject lately). There are mediocre bands out there. Some of them are going to get better, some of them are not. I think that there were good bands that took part this fall, they just didn't draw as well. There were a few bands that got very few votes but I thought they kicked ass, 3 Way Stop, Lost In The Zoo, Telemetric and Devil With Cheese to name a few. I also kind of think taking the crowd participation aspect out of the scoring at the playoffs had an impact.

As far as the night of the final, it went smoothly. Brian and Curtis brought in lots of gear and they made it sound good. The crowd size was around 450, down from CW3 turnout of over 700. With the smaller turnout it wasn't as hectic and I watched more of the show. It seemed to me that the biggest crowd on the floor was during Messed Up. The club had a dj, something they didn't have on the nights of the previous finals. He plugged the mechanical bull a few times, it made me think of my idea of having girls in bikini's slow ride the bull between bands. Another highlight was the guy that served as men's room attendant in the restroom behind the stage. He had a collection of cologne, breath freshener and what not out on the counter. Everytime I went to wash my hands he was there with liquid soap and paper towels at the ready. I tipped the guy a few bucks over the course of the evening. It reached that time of the evening and the girls started counting ballots. Then the last song was played and I gathered up the judges ballots. This was kind of an easy night to announce the winner, there was just one grand prize. After I announced One Degree Difference the winner, a couple of girls came up to me and gave me a sarcastic "Good job" and one said "That was fucked." I think they were pulling for Stillborn. Anyway, I thought all the bands put on good shows and it was fun. Club Wars will be back at ya in 2004.

It's the day before the final and I just realized that I did not make an entry for the semi-final last week at America's Pub. That show featured Lipriddle, Conspiracy, Infinite Blueshift and One Degree Difference. It was another judges only vote, I think it was the most judges I've had at any one show in the history of Club Wars. Out of the 7 score sheets, 5 had One Degree Difference with the highest score and 2 for Lipriddle. Infinite Blueshift has some young guys in the band and I think they could be an up and comer on the scene. Conspiracy might have been off their game a little and they ended their set kind of abrubtly. I heard that the guys were kind of getting on each other about it behind the club after their set. I think that they are one of these kind of bands that are good to rock out to, but they may not ever be the darlings of the judges. Advancing to the final means One Degree Difference will play 4 shows in this Club Wars tournament. It is a Club Wars record they share with Everybody's X.


The Preliminary Round ended with a bang and the Play-Offs began with a whimper. There were maybe 50-60 people at each of the two Wild Cards this week and that was including the bands.

Tuesday at the Grand Emporium, the show kicked off with Tinge. I would describe these guys as power metal. They played a few catchy originals and a cover of "YYZ" by Rush. Crooked River was second on the bill. They are more of a straight-ahead hard rock band. One tune stood out in my memory called "E Pluribus Unum." One Degree Difference was next. I thought they had kind of a progressive feel to their music. None of their songs really stood out to me but I thought they were the best players of the evening. Closing it was Cruxed, they put on a high energy show. Their use of an onstage strobe light created a disorienting effect. It was a judges only vote on this night, One Degree Difference moved on.

Wednesday night it was on to The Hurricane. Opening it up was Large, once again someone comes up to me and says, "These guys sound like Red Hot Chili Peppers." I like this band a lot, but I don't think they are going to come out on top in the judges ballots at these kind of shows. Pittcore went on second. These guys are still a fairly new band on the scene. Their crunching hardcore got some heads banging. The last 2 bands, Lipriddle and Eminence, are bands that I still have a hard time describing. Lipriddle rocks but includes some other contemporary elements and Eminence is maybe borderline hard rock with a twist of classic rock influence. This was another judges choice and Lipriddle was the band to move on.

The Preliminary Round wrapped up this week and it closed out strong. 5 of the 14 bands that advanced in the tournament qualified in the last two nights. Tuesday night it was Lipriddle, Eminence, Crooked River and Dayshift Strippers at the Grand Emporium. Lipriddle vocalist/percussionist Gigi was the first female musician to take the stage in the fall Club Wars. Dayshift Strippers mixed in a little theatrical with some players in make -up, a guy in a dog cage and a Barbie Doll. All the bands kicked ass and there was well over 100 people in attendance.
Wednesday it was the preliminary closer at America's Pub with Thieves & Liars, Flexible Bullit, Devil With Cheese and Messed Up. It started out a little slow but the place was pretty crowded by the time Messed Up went on. Flexible Bullit had a major personnel changeover just a few weeks back. Guitarist Aaron "Chewy" Chabak left the band for a job in California. Sean Blake formerly with Conspiracy joined the band and then Angela Canaleo rejoined the band and it came together pretty quick for them. Devil With Cheese, the only out of town band to play in Club Wars (they're from Des Moines), were third on this bill. Ryan and Moose gave a bunch of stuff away right before they played and people filled the dance floor but most of them went back to the front bar when they were done. Anyway, I thought DWC put on a good show. Lots of people came in late and Messed Up played in front of good sized crowd. I announced from the dj booth that they were advancing to the final just before they played their last song.


This past week of Club Wars shows was the turning point of the fall tourney.

Tuesday nights show at the Grand Emporium started off a little slow crowd wise. It sort of looked like week 17 and the Bengals were visiting the Cardinals, it filled out a little as the evening went on. The line up was Sonic Voodoo, My Father's Gun, Prometheus and Infinite Blueshift. It was the first Club Wars show at the Grand Emporium where all the bands featured some roaring/screamer vocals. The singer for Blueshift let out at a "We love Club Wars!" roar at the end of their set. Sonic Voodoo guitarist Clark Cumbo played in a style that reminded me of Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.

Wednesday at America's Pub was Tinge, The Burning Fifteen and Thrive. Decent turnout 80-100 or so, the bands all put on good shows and each band got some people down in the pit. I guess the singer for Thrive is leaving the band and moving to Atlanta. It's too bad because they sounded good, the rest of the guys plan on recruiting a new vocalist and moving on.

Thursday night it was onwards to The Bunker with Poor, No Cause/No Cure, Ripe and Diavibe. I really wasn't sure what to expect at this gig. It didn't turn out too bad 80-90 people and the show went without a hitch. Poor are some pretty young dudes, they and No Cause/No Cure had some of the modern heavy sounds in their stuff. Ripe was pretty much funk oriented rock and Diavibe was all over the place. They had a contest to name their style, I didn't win.

The second week of shows has wrapped up and things are getting interesting. The first show of the week at the Grand Emporium on the 7th had a so-so turnout, maybe 50-60 people. The bands sounded good and of course the club has an excellent system and sound man. The shows line-up was Lucid Fiction, Obsydyan, Legend and Telemetric, it was a good mix of progressive and old skool rock. About 1/3 of those that came in didn't vote. Hearne Christopher showed up with a couple of his buddies from The Star. Lucid Fiction guitarist Ron Bales works in "the plant" at The Star. Hearne snapped a few pics of me and Jani, he said he would put something about our engagement in his column.

Wednesday the 8th it was a return to America's Pub with Hollow Space, Lost In The Zoo, Sound Transmission and One Degree Difference. I would put the turnout around 80-90 for this one. Both Hollow Space and One Degree Difference fit into the modern heavy style. I was glad that Hollow Space didn't have any screaming/roaring vocals. One Degree Difference was the obvious crowd favorite. Lost In The Zoo kind of reminded me of a more alternative version of Audio Slave. Sound Transmission is kind of between Indie and Hard Rock in their sound.

Friday the 10th it was The Bunker. Good crowd, I would say 130-140, most everyone turned in a ballot. The crowd got their early and they were 4-5 deep at the bar for awhile. I got quite a few drinks from people for my birthday. The line-up was Cruxed, Conspiracy, Stillborn and Equinox, everything went smooth and the club's sound man Roger did a great job. At Club Wars shows, it's often I'm not paying close attention and at The Bunker it's harder since I'm watching the door a lot. Stillborn seemed to get the best response, but each band had some people in their faces.

The fourth installment of Club Wars is under way. It's hard to make predictions on who might make the final this time around. Though I don't have real high expectations for the fall tourney, I thought that the opening night on October 1 at America's Pub was one of the best opening nights yet. I think there was 120-130 people in attendance, even though the vote totals didn't indicate it. The first two bands, Pittcore and Social Kreep were of the heavy core variety. The other bands Severset and Restraint didn't have the vocal roar of the other two bands but they both had a hard edge to their stuff.
Last night it was a stop at Niener's. Opening the show was Three Way Stop. I thought these guys had loads of energy. They sounded like a band that would get played on The Buzz or The Rock. I think several of the guys were under 21 and they took off after their set. When Alibi took the stage, I introduced them by saying they were the oldest band in town. I meant they've been together longer than any other band around town. Large was third and Eye Theory closed it out. It was kind of a nice style mix.The modern Alternative hard rock of Three Way Stop. Alibi and their 70's/80's style originals and covers. The funky rap rock of Large that sounds reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Closers Eye Theory have that heavy intricate sound sort of Tool-like. Unlike the first night of Club Wars, most of the people that came in voted.

It's been two weeks to the day, since the final of the spring tournament. I'm starting to write this just about the time Intent took the stage. I spent a little over two months in total Club Wars mode. I had worked on it every day since the start of the year. In the two weeks since it's ended I've tried catching up on some things around the house and other business.

The show isn't real fresh in my memory but here's what I remember: I didn't have any nervous anticipation the day of the show. For some reason I didn't expect a huge turnout. I got to the club a little bit before 7 o'clock. Lunkwicz tells me that he wasn't able to get the permit for us to have the show as an 18 & over. The guys from Intent are loading in and I give them the news. A couple of them are immediately on their cell phones calling people. I called Jim Bone at The Rock and told him. There was still one more weather spot going on before 8 o'clock. We potentially lost 70-100 people because of this. That's a few dollars for the old Club Wars checking account, but I didn't really seem as disappointed as a few other people. I did though, feel bad for the people that came to the show and had to be turned away. I bought a couple of pizzas for the Club Wars babes Janice, Trudy, Donna and Rock Princess. Boomstick played "Dogman" but they changed it up. I thought AKA sounded the best and the crowd let out a big roar as I got ready to introduce Penumbra. I mentioned something about the anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy as I introduced Boomstick. Before each band started, I tossed some of the remaining girly tank tops to some sweet looking babes in the crowd. The sound was good, Bruce farmed the job out to the dudes from Monster Music. Just after Penumbra took the stage I collected the door money and went into the office to count it up. While I'm counting, Lunkwicz says he thought the band before (AKA), sounded the best. I divided up the bread and went and paid everybody that was due. Jani had already started counting the votes and when Penumbra finished, I gathered up the judges votes. When I was satisfied that we had all the ballots turned in, I went back into the office and totaled them up. I got up onstage and started my spiel about how this was all just for fun and whatnot. When I announced that Penumbra came in second a chorus of boos erupted. There have only been boos at 2 shows in the entire history of Club Wars, both times after it was anounced that Penumbra didn't win. Anyway, it was 2 o'clock in the morning and people had a bunch of liquor in them, I don't think it was unnatural. I went up to Joe from AKA and he's like, "If they don't like it, we should all the split the money." He was reffering to the $2,000 first place prize. I'm thinking, I'm going to give the money to someone else in the band. I start wandering around talking to people. Ponyboy didn't think they deserved it. This must be the first time in history that a band that wins a battle of the bands is upset they won. After a few minutes I find CJ and take him over to where Joe is and whip out the big wad of cash for them.

I'm going to estimate the attendance in the mid 700 range. I printed 810 ballots for the show; I had 80 left when it was over. The amount of money at the door didn't really match up with 700 people but, what the hell. It was a great time and it feels good to take a little break, but I'm already formulating the plan for the next one.

Here are the scores from the final:

Fan Vote
Penumbra - 144
AKA - 140
Intent - 109
Organic M - 98
Boomstick - 55

Judges Vote
Boomstick - 133
AKA - 132.5
Penumbra - 126.5
Intent - 116
Organic M - 105

Final Scores
AKA - 272.5
Penumbra - 270.5
Intent - 225
Organic M - 203
Boomstick - 188

All finalists for the Championship are now set. Wednesday night was the Open Round Semi-Final at America's Pub. The bill was Lucid Fiction, Messed Up, Far From Below and Intent. It was a good variety of styles. DJ Prozac joined Messed Up onstage. The judge’s votes were close and I knew it was going to come down to Lucid Fiction or Intent. Intent scored higher in the "Stage Presence" category

The last full weekend of the springs Club Wars has passed. There are now only 8 bands left.
Friday night it was the Open Round Wild Card at Studio 24. I had 6 bands scheduled but I got a call from Matt with Pomeroy earlier in the day, they were going to cancel. He told me after they played their preliminary show at The Hurricane that they were going to be out of town this weekend. They decided to do the gig when the standings were finalized. It was a people's vote that determined the advancing band and I didn't think they were going to get the 40 or so that was needed. I hate to see a band dropout. A few people still showed up and voted for them. I'm thinking about weeknight play-offs at the next Club Wars.
Anyway, Blood Red Sun kicked off the show. I would describe these guys as speed metal. They drew a pretty decent crowd and then it seemed like they all took off. Maybe they were having a party or something. I think the holiday weekend affected the turnouts some.
Lucid Fiction took the stage second. This is a keyboard oriented rock band. The lead vocalist Nick also played rhythm guitar and the keyboard parts.
A Trip Now Norml was on third. I'm going to describe them as having elements of progressive and funk rock with some psychedelic/free form lyrics.
Stillborn was 4th on the bill. These guys are an emotionally charged metal core band. I think this band put on a good show. I think that I cut their set when they had one more to play. It was getting to that crunch time of the night. The drum cage eats up some changeover/set-up time.
Anyway, Taken In Vain closed it out. They weren't even in Club Wars when it started on April 1. They ended up just a couple of votes away from being the Cinderella story of the Open Round. Lucid Fiction had the most votes with 48 and Taken In Vain had 46.
Saturday night at Beamer's/Harleywoods was the best of the Club Wars Play-Offs. It has been around 5 years since I last did a show at this place. A couple of years back I presented a Banzai award to Charlie and the Stingrays onstage at the club.
The line-up was worthy of most battle of the bands finals in general throughout the world. Everybody's X, The Sound And The Fury, Penumbra and Swill threw down at this, the Invitational Semi-Final. I think we would have had a bigger crowd had it not been Memorial weekend. Changeovers went very smoothly and around 1:15 or so I announced Penumbra as the advancing band.

The Regional Semi-Final was last night at America's Pub. The Coventry Sacrifice opened the show. You could calls these guys "Epic Metal." Reminded me of Iron Maiden. The bands draw back is in the vocal/lyric department. If you are playing "Epic Metal," I want to hear the words to the story. The vocal shrieks of the vocalist Gene Henderson were unintelligible. Musically, I thought they were the best of the night; they just need to change vocal styles, maybe put fewer lyrics in the songs.
Boomstick was up next. This band is big in vocal harmony department. They get the Kings X comparison often.
Mindquake was third on the bill. Their guitar player and drummer quit the band over the past weekend. They recruited another drummer and played the show as a 3 piece. I thought they pulled it off well and they got good response from the crowd.
Fatal Candy Machine closed it out. It seemed like they were playing a very inspired set. I mean, they looked pretty pumped onstage.
I totaled up the judges ballots and announced Boomstick as the band advancing to the Club Wars Championship. Overall, I thought the Regional Round went well.

Another Play-Off weekend down. Friday was the Open Round Qualifier at Studio 24. The line up was Obsydyan, Thieves & Liars, Taken In Vain and Terra Firma. This was a judge’s only vote and Taken In Vain was the top vote getter. The judges didn't make notes on the score sheets at this gig. Terra Firma played over at The Bunker and then came and did this gig. They looked tired. They pulled up, unloaded their gear out of the trucks and right onto the stage, plugged in, played and then it was time to leave. The clubs employees were starting tell people it was time to go home as I finished adding up the judge’s votes. Not to take another away from the Taken In Vain dudes because they ripped, but I think if Terra Firma would have played this gig and then went to The Bunker, they would be the advancing band. Bands having already booked other gigs on nights they are advancing to a play-off have been the hang up in this Club Wars.
Saturday it was Invitational Wild Card at The Bunker. The line up for this one was Hetcor, Alibi, Everybody's X and Substance. This show was a people's vote and the turnout was good. It's hard to really watch the band when you're working the door at this club. The ballots started getting counted after Substance started the final set of the night. I was a little surprised when I saw Everybody's X as the top vote getter. I don't know if it's a Cinderella story yet or not.

The past weekend of Club Wars featured the first play-off and the last preliminary.
Friday night was the Invitational Wild Card Qualifier at Studio 24. It was a great line up. Equinox opened the show; they qualified after their show the past Tuesday at the G.E. They didn't seem as technical at this show. Big harmonies and lots of melody.
Stonewalk played second on the bill. People packed around the stage as these guys laid the smack down. I'm going say they are a modern version of old skool metal.
Third on was Severance. They got a good crowd in front of the stage as well. Lead vocalist Pete was all over the stage.
Closing it out was Everybody's X. To think this band almost didn't play the Invitational because it was on a Tuesday. I think these guys have a really good sound. The crowd filled up the area in front of the stage for the last time of the night. After they finished the judges gave me their sheets and after totaling them I announced Everybody's X as the advancing band.
It was the first judge’s only show of the spring Club Wars. I thought the judging was all pretty fair; a couple of the judges gave me some notes they had made about the bands.
Saturday night at The Bunker was the last preliminary show of the Open Round. I received some bad news as I got to the club. Dave Stewart, the lead guitar player of Messed Up was killed in a car wreck around 3 o'clock that morning. He and the bands vocalist/guitarist Baron had been at Studio 24 the night before and they were pretty amped about their next Club Wars show. The Bunker's manager, Jackie, put up a picture/poster of him that people wrote messages on. There were a few saddened people, but the large crowd kept it from being a somber affair.
Bovine Arrival kicked the show off. I wasn't really able to check these guys out since so many people were coming in and the whole back part of the bar was packed and I couldn't hear or see them. What I did catch seemed like gutbucket boogie style rock-n-roll.
Everyone crowded up to the stage before Organic M started. The bands guitarist Dave played some Motley Crue licks before their set and people were going crazy. They cranked out the jams for 40 minutes or so and then the crowd started thinning.

There was still a modest crowd as Tranquility Lost took the stage. Their name was a little too long to fit it all on the ballot so I just listed them as "Tranquility." They reminded people during the set that they were named Tranquility Lost. Anyway, this is a fairly young band and they played some power/crunch metal type songs.

The ballots all got counted and Organic M had a monstrous 134, they get the automatic bye to the final.

The last night of the Invitational Round at the Grand Emporium has passed. I am moving a little slow today. It was another great night and a hell of a way to close out this part of the spring Club Wars. The crowd started building as the opener Equinox took the stage. Equinox is a progressive rock/metal band with a late 80's/early 90's style. The crowd was receptive to these guys and they still got a good response from the crowd when I thanked them before Swill took the stage. People filled the area in front of the stage as Swill started their set. By the time it was over confetti, silly string and toilet paper were everywhere. Hetcor closed it out. They originally were in this round, and then they dropped out when they hadn't found a replacement bassist. Then Stitch dropped out of this evenings line up and Hetcor was ready. The place was still very crowded as they played their set. All in all, I would have to say that the shows at the Grand Emporium have been the highlight of Club Wars so far.

Time to catch up on last week’s happenings. The second half of Club Wars kicked into gear with 5 shows in 5 nights.
On Tuesday, April 29 possibly the biggest show of the preliminary round took place at the Grand Emporium. The line up was The Sound And The Fury, Audio Kombat Arsenal and Pull. The crowd was nearly 200, the bands sounded great and as the show ended, AKA seemed poised to be a three-time finalist in Club Wars. One more show to go in the Invitational Round, it would be crazy if somebody passed 'em.
Wednesday night was the first ever Club Wars show in Johnson County, KS. The Roxy at 75th at Metcalf was the scene. I remember when I was in high school The Roxy was a dance club. It was an 18 bar, $5 to get in and you could drink 3.2 beers. Nowadays they have classic rock bands on the weekends and karaoke during the week. The owner Mike thought it might draw 25 people. There were over 80 by vote count. Plus, it was his daughter’s birthday and a bunch of her friends and other people got in on the house and didn't vote. It was pretty crowded.

Mr. Zero Knew kicked it off some upbeat pop rock tunes. Curtiss from Organic M joined the band on bass. I don't know if he’s a permanent part of the band or not. Looking a little British pop invasion, vocalist/guitarist Albert told the crowd he liked to dress up, the other guys don't.
The Downtrunks took the stage second. They blended rock with a little country and blues. Would you call this roots rock? Someone who voted for them wrote on the ballot "The Luke Skywalker of Club Wars."
Sound Transmission was third on this bill. I originally had them in the Invitational but I moved them because all the other bands were harder rock. So they decided to play this show and rock their Asses off. Next time I'll leave 'em.
Supraluxx closed it out with some energetic punk like alt/rock. They had the highest vote total of the night. 4 bands and the show was over around midnight.

The first stop at The Bunker was on Thursday, May 1. I got an e-mail in the morning from the band Dotage. They had to cancel due to an illness. (When the show was over I checked my voice mail and I got a call from Kory with the band Returning From Tragedy. They were going to have to cancel out of their spot next Saturday at The Bunker. Two band casualties in one day.)
The crowd showed up early and we got it going around 9:15. Peacefull Violance was the opener. Another young band, they played a Godsmack and Pantera cover. They got a good response from the crowd.
Next up was Far From Below. These guys had a real solid crunch. When the votes were counted they were in second place in the Open Round.
An act called Mellor And The Herd closed it out. This was a rockin' duo ala the White Stripes. Every song sounded the same and they maybe played 20 minutes. It was an early evening for Club Wars again.
Friday night it was the return to Studio 24. It started out slow but about 15 minutes before The Searing Hour took the stage, the people started rolling in. It wasn't long until Jani says, "I can just imagine what you're going to write about this." She was referring to the waves of beautiful babes that kept coming through the door.
The Searing Hour hails from somewhere north of St. Joseph. One of the dudes had a twisted ankle or something and he played while sitting down. The other guys moved around while they cranked out some break neck speed metal. I thought they ripped.

Sakred was second on the bill. They played a bunch of originals that had kind of an 80's feel. They were good, it did sound a little dated though.

Messed Up took the stage third. Vocalist/guitarist Baron Cravens had a short stint in Puddle Of Mudd and I thought these guys sounded like that band. The drummer Lewis wore an orange jump suit and looked like a prisoner inside the drum cage.

Tytus Layne closed it out. This is another one of those bands that sounds like they could have a song in rotation on 98.9. Modern commercial like hard rock, it was a good set from these guys.

The Regional Round came to a close at The Boobie Trap on Saturday, May 3. There was an ok crowd for this show, but it's really too small for Club Wars. Next time I'm going to have to find a bigger place in Topeka. Human Ritual played first, they had 7 members but there were only six at this show. This a heavy groove oriented band with two bass players and two drummers. I thought they were good and the crowd was into them.

Third World Sin was the other band. They've got six in this band also, featuring two vocalists. There wasn't enough room on the tiny stage for all of them, so one of the guitarists, Matt stood off the stage by the front door. Dustin from Headless And Walking joined them for a song.

Another week of Club Wars has rolled by. It is now the turning point of the spring showcase.
The Club Wars week kicked off around 7pm Tuesday night the 22nd. Club Wars muffin Janice was on a couch with her little dogs and I was on the other. I said, "We are leaving for Gates in 15 minutes, super model yourself up." A couple of sandwiches later it's 8 o'clock and we're pulling up to the G.E. Just in time for a good 40 minutes of The Kelihans. So, I'm full from eating and I really don't think I'm going to have a beer for awhile, but their music makes me thirsty. It seems like only 20 minutes after the final holler of The Kelihans and Alibi is taking the stage. They played a killer version of "Fairies Wear Boots." When I got ready to introduce Stonewalk, I gave my usual thanks to the preceding band and the crowd gave a huge roar for Alibi. A few months ago Stonewalk added a bass player and Dave switched to guitar. They decided they didn't want to do that and they went back to their original ways. Closing it out was Everybody's X and just as it has been in past weeks, there is good-sized crowd hanging all the way to the end and it's not very late. Some of the tunes these guys play remind me of music you hear on The Rock. You know, they play it all the time for weeks or a month or so and then it's gone. Does that mean that many new radio rock songs are forgettable or is that just the way the industry is. Whatever it is, I thought they sounded pretty damn good. They were surprised at the amount of votes they got that night.
Thursday night it was the second show of the Regional Round in Warrensburg at the Star Bar. This is an old movie theater converted into a nightclub. I'm thinking we are running late as we arrived about 8:30, but only the bands we there so far. Sometime after 9:30 Electric Orange Cream took the stage. Their original drummer went to California and they got some guy that practiced 4 times before the gig. They had some tripped out psychedelic type guitars and the crowd response seemed luke warm. All kinds of air headed babes were upfront when Axium took the stage. For some reason I let these guys play a lot longer set. They kind of sound like Creed. There was still a good crowd as Boomstick took the stage. They mixed in a few covers with their harmony-laden tunes. Other than the sound being a little sub par this was a good show. The theme song for this evening was "Stupid Girl" by Cold. I heard it on the radio on the way there, on the way back and I saw a lot of them in between. I love Club Wars.
Friday it was the Yahweh House for an all age show. The Yahweh House was actually a hall inside of Colonial Presbyterian Church at 95th and Wornall. They usually have bands play in the community building on the west side of the parking lot. The story is they are tearing it down and building a new one in that spot, look for it in September. Anyway, this was another show were the sound was not great. The line up was Orpheum, Restraint, Intent, Sere and Headless And Walking. It was a night of the harsh vocals. Orpheum, Restraint and Sere are all high school aged and they can only get better with more experience. Orpheum had a couple of songs that would start very slow and quiet, almost like they were coming from a distance before crashing down. Intent is mostly school-aged guys as well, but they've been out playing awhile and they drew the big crowd. The sound did not do justice for this percussion heavy band. Headless And Walking was the oldest band of the night. The guitar players had big stacks that gave the music a real crunch. They sounded the best of the evening.
Saturday it was off to Foxtown City Limits. This a pretty cool place a couple miles north of Pittsburg, Ks off of 69 Hwy. It's an outdoor venue that is open to all ages. They've had a few national acts in the place and it holds a 1,000 people. It wasn’t really what I pictured in my minds eye it was better. We got a late start and there were people outside the gate waiting to get in as we pulled up. Of all the shows in the spring Club Wars this was the only one were I hadn't seen any of the bands and had never been to the place. I also felt like this was going to be kind of a barometer on the future of regional Club Wars.
The first band was Seven Day Delusion, they had that modern metal sound. They sounded solid and the crowd gave them a good response. In fact, all the bands had the crowd right up front during each set. Almost the whole crowd was under 21 and they seemed to be supportive of each band. The second band Paperface was, I thought the best of the night. They had the modern commercial hard rock sound and they worked the crowd well. The Coventry Sacrifice was on next. They were by far the heaviest band of the night. The vocals in this band are a trip. Instead of the growling guttural lead vocals, it was short high-pitched vocal bursts. Guitarist Adam Easom added some growls in a few tunes. The Pond Monkeys closed it out with their poppy hard rock sound. These are some young guys from Ft. Scott and I think they have a lot of potential. Considering that I hadn't seen any of the bands or the venue and it was the farthest from KC of any of the other regional shows, it went well. The bands were good and Bruce had enough sound to make it loud in an outdoor place. On the drive home I was brainstorming on ideas for the future of Club Wars throughout the region.

Two shows of the mammoth Open Round took place over the last few nights. Thursday night the 17th Club Wars landed at The Hurricane. Hard Rock and Metal bands do dominate the landscape that is Club Wars but I want to have all kinds of rock type bands in Club Wars. This time around there are 2 shows that are of the non-hard rock variety and this was one of them.
Kicking it off was Roister Harbinger. Of the bands that played tonight, I thought these guys had the most edge to their music. A few songs had some vocal harmonies that reminded me of Elvis Costello.
The Joe Fund took the stage second. This is a 7-member band that featured a horn section. I guess some would call this a ska band. They seemed like a big party band to me. When they weren't playing their parts, the horn players twirled their instruments and juked around the stage. I'm still waiting to hear a band with horns play a cover of "War Pigs."
The crowd was building as Mason Black took the stage. They have a soulful feel to their music. Their drummer, Dan "Shef" Ferguson got up and blasted away on the harmonica at one point.
The place was pretty crowded as Pomeroy took the stage to close it out. I've heard these guys called frat boy rock. Whatever they are, the crowd dug 'em. They have some big vocal harmonies and keyboardist/band whore Tyson Leslie is now a full-time member of Pomeroy.
Friday night at Studio 24 was the scene of nothing but crunching guitars and roaring vocals.
Black Halo opened up the evening's festivities. These are fairly young and are still in need of a little work. They played a cover of "The Wizard" by Black Sabbath.

Terra Firma was second on the bill and they kicked ass. They have a tribal core metal sound that features two drummers. I'm not really into music that is this heavy, but these guys are damn good.

Closing it out was Taken In Vain. I added these guys to the bill as insurance in case Moonshine Casket Company broke up or backed out, they did. TIV has been on the scene a few months and they should do no less than continue to build on their core metal sound and following. The bands vocalist Justin Sims started swaying a light truss at one point and I started getting visions of being on CNN after it falling and crushing 40 people.

After last nights show at the Grand Emporium, we now know 2 of the 11 bands that will advance from this round. Penumbra who remain the top seed and Substance, who moved into second after their set, are guaranteed a spot in the Invitational Playoffs. With 9 bands still to play at the Grand Emporium, Severance will move into the play off picture if only one band scores less than 42 votes. For the most part crowds have generally showed up early at these shows. The one’s that get their well before 9 o'clock are treated to an Irish rock band called The Kelihans. Now when I say an Irish rock band, I don't mean they sound like U2. It's traditional Irish music and some of their songs kick ass. It's almost like St. Patrick's Day every Tuesday at the Grand Emporium.
Well Anyway on to Club Wars. Conspiracy kicked it off just a few minutes after 9:30. They decided to just keep calling themselves Conspiracy after a few different names came and went including Illicit Trip. That's how they were billed on the clubs calendar posted in the bar. They cranked out some straight ahead power metal, with maybe one ballad tossed in. The last song they played was a real stomping, crunching jam, but I didn't hear what they called it.
Soulitify was second on the bill. Taking the stage after Conspiracy they seemed a little weak. The first few songs they played sounded a little lame, but they must of just been getting warmed up because the second half of the set they had the guitar licks flyin'. They closed it out with a tribute to our armed forces, Night Rangers "You Can Still Rock In America."
A late crowd showed up for Substance and they had the dance floor in front of the stage packed. I booked them at America's Pub back in February and I thought they sounded really good. They were even better tonight. They've got that modern rock/metal sound comparable to Tool. I wonder if in the future, when people refer to these kinds of bands will they say, "They're a 90's band" or "They sound so turn of the century."

Club Wars rolls on. Last nights show at Nieners drew a crowd of close to 200 people. Most of the crowd got there by the time the first band Lucid Fiction took the stage. This is a keyboard oriented rock group; similar in style to other bands that lead guitarist Ron Bales has played with like Wyred and Counterpoint. The vocalist Nick played with Mike and Jason of Thrust in a band called Fatal Touch "Back In The Day." Obsydyan was the second band on the bill, which was a little bit harder rock than Lucid Fiction. Obsydyan plays a melodic hard rock style that is in that 80's kind of vein. These guys might be able to give the band Alibi a run for their money in the "Oldest Band Guys In Club Wars" category. The music kept getting heavier and the crowd was getting louder as Thieves & Liars took the stage. These guys remind me of a red neck version of Metallica. They even played a cover of "Sad But True." Closing it out was Tuesday Project. They played at the El Torreon before coming to this gig. Their sound is more of the modern heavy core sound. Though they only scored a few votes there was still a good-sized crowd on the floor for them.

Last night at America's Pub saw the biggest turnout so far in the spring Club Wars. There were so many people we had just about run out of ballots by 10:30. The winner of each of the Club Wars held last year, played their preliminary show at America's Pub.

The band Apathy was scheduled to open and they had all their gear in place and pretty much ready to go about a half hour before the show was scheduled to start. A couple of the guys in the band came up to me and said that their guitar player had been arrested on the way to the club. They wanted to go bail him out of jail in Raytown and come back to play the gig. I told them that they would have to strike their gear and if they got back in time they could play last. I informed Blood Red Sun of what was happening and they set their gear up. The dance floor was filling up with people ready to mosh as the band took the stage. It was just before 10 o'clock that we got the first aaaawwwwrrrrh of Club Wars 2K3. Their fans erupted and the band tore it up for 30 minutes or so. The crowd was swelling as Stillborn took the stage with another heavy dose of aggressive vocals and sound. These guys had some intense stuff and the bands lead vocalist Nathan was a ball of energy. The crowd was still going strong as A Trip Now Norml took the stage. I don't know really how to describe this band; they were nowhere near the styles of the other bands of the evening. This was one of those shows were there was so much activity going on it was hard to watch what was happening onstage. The guys from Apathy had returned and they quickly set up as the crowd started to dwindle after A Trip Now Norml finished. When they were set it was time for some more rooooaaawwwrh! The show winded up and the Club Wars babes counted a massive pile of votes. I once again was explaining how Club Wars worked to numerous people, "There's not a nightly winner, it's an overall thing," I told various band guys, girlfriends and others who had been catching a buzz through the evening.

Week 2 of the spring Club Wars is under way and everything is going rather smoothly. Last nights show at the Grand Emporium was another well-attended affair that featured three killer bands.

Kicking off the show was Shiver. The bands vocalist Bill Cameron left the group back in February due to legal or personal reasons. I'm not sure. Instead of dropping out, they recruited two different guest vocalists to play the show with them. One of these guests was Tim Nord of the Shotgun Idols, or some might know him as TIMMAY or the Ass Clown. The band started playing the "Darth Vader Theme Song" from Star Wars as Tim read a statement that said something like, "Evil lord Jim Kilroy has assembled Kansas City's elite rock bands to do battle in Club Wars." He sang a couple of songs with the band; it was the closest thing to cookie monster vocals so far in this years tourney. Actually it was more like a cross between Bon Scott and Cookie Monster. The other vocalist was Jeremy Ragonese, this guy was actually a really good singer. I thought he was just as good if not better than Bill, and he moved around the stage instead of just standing there with a beer in his hand. I don't know what they plan on doing, but I wish them luck.

Next was Penumbra, one of the heavy favorites of Club Wars. They haven't played out much in the last few months, instead laying low reworking some of their material. They definitely put on a good show and there was a big crowd gathered in front of the stage. You might describe this band as modern progressive hard rock, similar maybe to Tool without the homo overtones and with good looks. They rocked and the crowd was into it.

Closing it out was Hydrafader. This is a down and dirty rock-n-roll band that sounds sort of like a cross between old Soundgarden and AC/DC. At one point in the set vocalist Damon Jeffers announced they were going to play a song that the band had just wrote, "This is New Song #2," he told the crowd. A song or two later they played a song he announced as "New Song #1." With American flags adorning their amps there should be no doubt that you can achieve peace with superior rock and roll.

The Regional Round started last night in St Joseph, MO at a club billed as North Side Hall. Located in the heart of the cities downtown bar district, it's a place that has been a bar under a few different names in the past. It was probably the best place I could have done a Club Wars gig in St. Joe. The sign over the door said the occupancy was 275; it's a long high ceiling room that also has a big enough stage to accommodate the bands. The turnout was good, and since there are several bars on the same street, we had people come in just because they heard live music or were bar hopping. I have to give a big thanks to Steve Conroy from the band Mindquake. He turned me on to several leads when I was looking for a place to set up the show.

Mindquake was the band that kicked the evening off. Their music is solid sounding metal, a mix of modern crunch and old school riffs. There were a few solos that I thought gave it kind of a Lynyrd Skynyrd southern flavor. It was their first show and I thought they sounded pretty damn good.

Fatal Candy Machine didn't need to bring their bus to Club Wars this time. They got the crowd going with their up tempo rock numbers. I made my way up to the band one time during the set and I heard someone yell, "We love you Jessica." I like Fatal Candy, I think they need to mix it up a little, it seems like their stuff has a lot of similarity to it.

Everything was moving along smoothly as Amenezar Thrush took the stage. I had actually booked this band years ago at The Lone Star in Westport. They've changed members since then and I can't remember what they sounded like back in them there days. I thought the tunes they played last night had a contemporary progressive rock sound, maybe like a cross between Rush and Creed. The crowd was into it as many people still filled the area in front of the stage.

Closing it out was Stereo 7, a punk rock style band. I didn't think these guys were very tight; maybe that's their schtick. They had a few people up front and a few people were hanging at the back of the club as the show came to an end. I would certainly bring Club Wars back to this place.

Last night I started to feel like I've spread myself a little thin with this Club Wars. As the days led up to the show at Studio 24, I was in contact with the the clubs owner Steve Schmidt and guys in the bands Wrench and Urban Disorder. I thought this would be a good turnout and the band Broken Head would probably be in the lead of the Open Round after the gig. Yesterday morning, I checked the guestbook of the Club Wars website and I see that the bands guitarist Trevor has made an entry. Something to the effect of, "Metal rules, we'll rock your ass at Studio 24 on April 5." He lists his e-mail addy, so I copy it and shoot him one that says, "The gig is the 4th and that's tonite." A couple of hours later there is no response to my e-mail (I guess you can't expect everyone to check e-mails every day or more than once in a day) and my attempts to reach the singer Dean had been unsuccesfull. Finally, around 5 o'clock, I'm talking to Dean on the phone and he tells me they broke up a week or two ago. Anyway, he tried to pass it off on the other dudes, but what it basically boils down too is this: If I was that guy Colin on American Idol, I'd tell them that they were a bunch of stupid dumbshits that are never going to make it in the music biz. I'm not that guy though, and I'll bet at least one of these dudes will end up playing in another band I book somewhere down the line.
Anyway on to the show. The crowd that did show up was pretty much there to see Wrench. They played about 50 minutes of mostly original tunes. There was one cover of Cream's "White Room" and they played part of "War Pigs" before segueing into one of their own. I thought they sounded really good. I would describe them as power metal. I want to say that they have kind of a timeless classic style to their music.
Urban Disorder took the stage next and played close to an hour. Some people seem to think these guys sound like Staind, I guess I haven't heard that much Staind, this seems heavier. They definitely have that modern heavy rock sound and they got a good response from the crowd that stayed the whole set.
Of course my soundguy Bruce got everyone changed over quickly, so I have decided to go ahead and add more bands to the dates I have there on April 18 and May 2.


Last night was the first night of the Open Round at America's Pub. This was a 4 band line-up that had something I like in Club Wars,

all the bands didn't sound the same.

It started off with the band Pompous Jack. The bands lead guitarist Dan Leap was elected to a city council seat in Merriam, KS the day before the show. Channel 4 news showed up and went live sometime between 9 and 10. Now that I think about it, I should have turned one of the t.v. sets to that channel so we could see what was up. Anyway, Pompous Jack plays this style of Rock that is often referred to as "Hair Metal" or "Butt Rock." I think they sounded pretty good, but it does sound dated. Good luck councilman Leap and maybe someday there will be a place bands can play in Merriam.

Next up was Angst, this band is a 3 piece and they played some straight ahead sounding rock/metal. I think these guys are super nice dudes and they seem dedicated, but they need a little polishing. I also think trios need another player in the band most of the time anyway.

Following that set we had Eminence. I'm not sure how to describe this band. Is this what they mean by whiny white guy rock? Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the large number of cute young babes the band attracted. They played very well and I think these guys could start getting a name for themselves. It's hard to say if the amount of votes they have will keep them in contention for another show or not. I think some of their crowd is still under 21, maybe they will finish higher in a future Club Wars.

Closing it out was Synesthetic. They played a powerful set of modern sounding metal. They featured dual guitars and dual vocals and I don't recall any cookie monster growls at all. They're a good band but I didn't really expect them to do well in the standings. I think though, that you'll be seeing them around for awhile, playing at your favorite rock bar.


And, they're off. Spring 2K3 kicked off last night at the Grand Emporium and it went a little better than I expected. Starting it off was Large, they showed up pulling their new band trailer with the band name emblazoned on the sides. I was thinking about starting the show around 9:30, but at 9:15 they were ready and there was a good crowd. They almost started playing before I could get up there and give my little spiel about Club Wars. Anyway, they soon were rocking out the tunes, several people came up to me and said they thought Large sounds like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I think they had more dimension when they had 2 frontmen. Large was in the final of CW2 and played in the wild card round at the first Club Wars and with 28 votes it might be enough to make it to the play offs this time. We'll have to wait and see where they end up, but the bands guitarist Rob told me that they were taking a band fishing vacation to Canada in May. Next on the bill was Severance, these guys have sure added a few fans and supporters since hitting the scene last fall. People crammed up to the stage during the set. They have some modern aggressive metal elements as well as some old skool hooks. Closing it out was Inphobic, one of the 5 or so bands that have played in all 3 Club Wars tourneys. I kind of felt bad for these guys, The Pitch misspelled their name in the Club Wars ad and then I misspelled their name on the ballot. How the hell I did that I don't know. Since guitarist Dan Duncan is like my adopted rock-n-roll nephew I wanted these guys to do well. I think they do need some kind of spark or something. Overall it was a

good night and I'm looking forward to the rest of shows at the G.E.

It is one month until the start of Club Wars 2K3. It seems like I have been doing something in regards to Club Wars every day since the start of the year. My original plan was for the tournament to be divided into 5 different rounds that would run from the first week of April thru the first week of November. This plan sort of collapsed in the middle on February 18. The months of June, July and August were to have featured the Regional and All Ages/18 & Over Rounds. The first tear at the seam came after my talk with Bret Mosiman of Pipeline. The dates I wanted to do at The Bottleneck were to far away for him to want to confirm and he just didn't seem to interested in Club Wars in general. I told him I would be in touch when it got closer to the dates. I started thinking to myself that this wasn't good. I really would of liked to have held the semi-final for the Regional Round at The Neck, but I don't want to start the thing without having all the dates announced. Then I get a call from Shaun Chance who books Yaweh House, a place I would have done 3-4 dates for the All Age/18 & Over Round. They are going to be constructing a new building for Yaweh and originally it was thought they were going to stay open during the construction. Now, however, they are tearing the building down in April and won't open again until September. This was already a round I was having trouble finding dates for in the Kansas City area. I spent the rest of that day thinking about what to do. I decided to just shorten the whole thing. I really already had the first two rounds of Club Wars booked, the Invitational and the Rookie, and a few dates for the Regional in April and May. I called Lunkwicz down at The Beaumont the next day to change the date and things seemed set. The next bump in the road came when after several days of trying to contact Steve Schmidt, owner of Studio 24, both his phone number and the clubs were not in service. I post something on the Banzai forum about this and I got to work on finding venues for a couple of playoff dates I was going to do there. After I secured the dates at other venues, I get a voice mail from Steve saying everything is cool, he was having problems with his phone. We played a little phone tag until the other day we finally talked. The plans now call for several dates to be added at Studio 24 for what is now the Open Round. Another thing that happened when I decided to shorten Club Wars. I felt a lot less pressure, almost you know, like a weight had been lifted off of me. I'm feeling pretty positive about everything and I'm expecting all the dates and the bands will be pretty much set in about 10 days or so.

With last friday's championship at The Beaumont, Club Wars II has drawn to a close. I will say that it went very well overall. The t-shirts I had printed a few days before the start of the tourney had 64 band names on it. Four of those bands cancelled and there were another six bands that dropped out before I even got the shirts printed. The preliminary round was pretty smooth and there was only a little rumbling after the playoff rounds. I'm already formulating plans for Club Wars III. Club Wars really started drawing big crowds at the end. Each of the playoffs before the final drew 250 or more people. I was expecting 400-600 for the championship, there were 800 or so in attendance, including bands, guests and all. Going into the show, I was thinking Penumbra or The Sound And The Fury were going to take the top spot. I think there were a couple of reasons that Penumbra was denied. First, all of the judges check out the Banzai forum. It seemed like someone in the band or their roommate was getting a little cocky on the forum before the show. You must remember Club Wars is more than just a battle of the bands. Also, the six band line-up might have caused the judges brains to overload on rock-n-roll before they even took the stage. As far as the show itself and the performances, I was so busy keeping an eye on everything it was hard to pay attention. The one thing that stands out in my memory, is when I stepped up to the mic to introduce AKA and the crowd let out a huge roar. I thought everyone did a great job and it's good to see people come out and support their favorite band. Anyway, it was very close, here are the final results from the championship.

Peoples vote:
TSATF - 135
Penumbra - 135
AKA - 130
Pillbox - 100
Stonewalk - 55
Large - 49

Judges points:
TSATF - 27.5
AKA - 25
Pillbox - 25
Penumbra - 12.5
Stonewalk - 0
Large - 0

Final sore:
TSATF - 162.5
AKA - 155
Penumbra - 147.5
Pillbox - 125
Stonewalk - 55
Large - 49

See ya next year.

Last saturday's Qualifier Round had probably the biggest turnout so far in Club Wars II. Last nights Wild Card blew that away, nearly 300 people passed through the doors of America's Pub. Alibi kicked it off just before 9:30. I was standing there thinking how they reminded me of Rush, when someone says to me that they think these guys are kind of like Rush. They definitely have that power trio approach. They were going to play "Fairies Wear Boots" when I told them their set was over. Everyone starts hustling around and after about 15 minutes Moire is punishing a large crowd of rockers in front of the stage. After the show, lead vocalist, Wales told me he thought that the rush to get them set up made for a more intense set from the band. Things moved very smoothly along during the changeover to Urban Disorder. These guys have a heavy edge but not all their songs are of the jack hammer variety of metal. They had one song I remember that almost fell into the heavy ballad category. I think they also played the only cover of the evening, the song that goes "You're Unbelievable," maybe that's the name of it. Well, for lack of a better term, they did it "Limp Bizkit" style. Penumbra took the stage next. These guys seem like the hot new band on the scene. People are comparing them to Tool and there were lots of other musicians coming up to me and saying how good they thought they were. The changeover from Penumbra to Severance was the fastest of the night. Severance was one of the last bands to get in Club Wars and they are first band to play three shows in this installment of Club Wars. There was still a good crowd as these guys took the stage and the people continued to be in the rockin' mood. Just over halfway through the set, judges started giving me their ballots. Judges picked the one band they thought was best in 3 different categories: stage presence, crowd response and songwriting/musicianship. A vote in each category counted as 5 points, here was the final score:

Penumbra - 50
Urban Disorder - 25
Moire - 25
Severance - 20
Alibi - 0

In my opinion Moire was definitely the band with the most stage presence. The frontmen of Urban Disorder, Penumbra and Severance were moving around quite a bit and Penumbra guitarist/vocalist Andrew was attracting some attention. Moire, however, had more hair flying and heads banging than anyone. The crowd response one is a tough call, I thought all the bands played well and people cheered loudly for each. I thought that Alibi and Urban Disorder had the catchiest or most hook oriented songs. In the musicianship department, I thought Penumbra had more depth than the other bands. Individually, I thought the standout players were guitarist John O'Dell of Alibi and drummer Adam Lichtenhauer of Moire. Now it's on to The Beaumont.

The Wild Card Qualifier is in the books and so far this has been the biggest turnout of Club Wars II. The place was so crowded I could not see or hear the bands from my position working the door/guarding the ballot box. I caught glimpses of the bands playing but about all that really sticks in my mind about what happened onstage was Hetcor playing a cover of "No Sugar Tonight" by The Guess Who. At least I think they did. The show went pretty smoothly and there were no real delays in the change overs. Once Severance (who closed the show) took the stage, I started counting the votes. When they finished I collected the judges ballots (there were 5 of them) and added the totals together. I went around the room to make sure everyone had turned in a ballot and then went to the sound board. This is the part were Club Wars went from being just a cool series of shows to one where somebody is elated and someone else is a little dejected. Knowing full well that my anouncement was sure to set off a torrent of posts on an internet "forum" somewhere, I pronounced Severance as the band to advance in Club Wars. Here are the results from the voting:

People's vote
Conspiracy - 63
Hetcor - 41
Severance - 40
Sound Transmission - 34
Shiver - 25
Stitch - 23

Judges votes
Severance - 40
Shiver - 15
Stitch - 10
Conspiracy - 5
Hetcor - 5
Sound Transmission - 0

The last weekend of the Club Wars preliminary round has passed and it's timme to take a few days and kick back. The last weekend featured a show at The Bunker and at Just Another Dive, it seemed like I didn't really pay any attention to what was happening onstage. Friday the 25 was the Bunker show. It was one of the more diverse line-ups of Club Wars. The opener was Jeremy's Box, a pop-punk band in the Green Day vein. They were followed by Severance, a new band on the scene. These guys were of the metal variety and they threw in a little modern sound, with a little old school and some raw aggression for good measure. Then came Legend, definitely of the old skool rock/metal variety. Fatal Candy Machine was next, I'm not sure how to describe them, I do think they played a cover of "Aerials" by System of a Down. Their lead singer Jessica is a babe for sure. Closing it out was Urban Disorder, heavy, roaring, agressive music is what they played. Urban Disorder moved into the top 8 at this show. Saturday the 26 at Just Another Dive, the only 6 band show of the preliminary round. It opened with Intent, these guys are young and have a good deal of talent. They are pretty heavy and they feature another percussionist in addition to the drummer. Next was Flexible Bullit, I think this a pretty good band and I like their stuff and it's not just because they've got the sexiest chick on the rock scene in the band. AKA was third and they had the biggest crowd of the night. Then Angrius came on and played some heavy duty stuff. The crowd started thinning a little by the time Messed Up took the stage. Guitarist/vocalist Barron Cravens probably passed out more tix than anyone else in Club Wars. Unfortunately, almost everyone from the northland was at one of a number Halloween kegger parties going on this night. Closing it out was Axium, another fairly new band on the scene. They kind of have that commercial hard rock sound like Nickleback, Creed or Incubus.

The final week of round one and it looks like it's going to finish out strong. Another lead change occured last night at America's Pub when The Sound And The Fury vaulted into 1st place in the standings. There was a pretty good crowd when the opener Unstable took the stage. These dudes are from Wichita and they set the stage for what what was a great show. These guys were heavy and tight and the vocals were several notches above cookie monster. Jon Lucas of Thrust said he thought the vocals sounded like Danzig. Next up was Pneuma, hailing from the deep south of the KC metro area. A crowd gathered in front of the stage chanting for these guys and they delivered the heavy tunes with the roaring vocal style. Next up was Stitch, these guys got in early and backlined their massive wall of amps. They have two vocalists in Larry Murphy and Mike Magee. Magee broke both of his feet several weeks ago and played most of the show in a wheel chair. There was one time that he surfed over the crowd in front of the stage. Their music is fairly intense and I think they are a band that will establish themselves on the scene in the upcoming months. Closing it out was The Sound And The Fury, it's still hard not to compare these guys to Tool. The crowd stayed for the whole set and then some of their more rabid fans made sure that those that hadn't voted did so. There are 11 bands still to play two more shows this weekend, I would guess that a few of these bands will move into the top 12. I have had a few questions about what I'm going to do about the bands that are tied, I think everything is going to work out and I'm interested to see how the final standings end up.

Club Wars at The Bunker. Where should I start on this one. If Club Wars was all determined by judges, I think Everybody's X would be in the final. American Health Care became the first band in Club Wars to not play because we ran out of time. The show started a little late and a downpour really kind of slowed changeover between the second and third band. When Everybody's X finished their set, the clubs manager Jim, told me we only had about 20 minutes until last call. I had to tell the American Health Care guys we had to pull them. They were upset set and I felt bad about having to do it, I take all the blame for the show running late. I gave them some money and told them I would give them a date at America's Pub in November. I was talking to Dave from Everybody's X a little bit later and one of the guys that was with American Health Care came up and said he used to be the drummer, I'm not sure if he really used to be their drummer or he just quit. Also playing on this bill was Dirty Black Ashtray, a fairly new band that played a Motley Crue cover and had a cool back drop. Thieves & Liars, another new band on the scene. When the soundman Roger, asked the guys to do a vocal mic check lead vocalist Jacob lets out this long "yeaaaaaaaw." South of 9 was third on the bill, they are kind of a melodic metal band, they closed their set with "Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors. The fastest changeover of the night was for Everybody's X and they just tore into it once they were set. I thought they sounded really solid. It was too bad we had to cut them short. There are only a few shows left in the preliminary round and I think it's going to close out strong.

Last nights show at America's Pub started off slowly crowd wise, but closed strong. The first two bands, S.O.B. and Von Boa, sounded similiar. Sort of that 80's non-sleazy metal that kind of seemed to go in one ear and out the other. The rythm guitarist and bass player of S.O.B. were pretty much motionless whereas Von Boa's lead vocalist put some life into the frontman role. Third on this bill was Pull, they didn't get to play all the tunes they wanted due to breaking guitar strings but these guys have some good songs. Kind of the Alice In Chains/Puddle of Mudd sound. Closing it out was Hetcor, clearly a crowd favorite. I'm not up on all the nu-metal kind of stuff, but these guys reminded me a little of Tool. A fight broke out in the pit while these guys played and the two doormen wrestled one of the brawlers out the front door.

Who would belive a Club Wars show without any snarling, growling vocals and crunching guitar riffs? Well, that was the case last night at The Grand Emporium. 5 bands and the heaviest was Sykotropik, a funk type band. With band members and all there was around 150 at this show. Sykotropik was the opener and their 30 minute set closed with the catchy "Jan Michael Vincent." It prompted Club Wars door babe Janice to ask, "Whose Jan Michael Vincent?" Second up was Sound Transmission, a guitar oriented rock band that was making me think of someone that played at the original Woodstock, maybe it was the vocals. Mason Black was third on this bill. These guys are kind of an alternative style rock band, I think they have a lot of potential. The band is fronted by guitarist/vocalist Danny Drowns, an up and coming frontman on the local music scene. One Last Hope took the stage next. These guys are a power punk/pop rock band. Bassist/vocalist Brady had a cousin in the audience who was having a birthday. They brought a 22 inch dick shaped cake with balls and all. There were also tit shaped cupcakes. Closing out the show was Green Means Go. The bands lead guitarist Jason Widener was out of town so they were joined by Doug Neil of Supraluxx. It was kind of funny because GMG vocalist/guitarist Scott Wittmer played with Supraluxx at their Club Wars pre-season show at The Hurricane last summer. Anyway, I've heard GMG described as stoner rock once, I think they fall into the alternative/pop/punk category myself.

Well, we finally have a lead change. Eight dates into Club Wars II, Pillbox has moved into first place. The show started around 9:30 and there was already a good crowd going. Craven opened the show and they had a few people gathered in front of the stage. Honestly, I don't care much for these guys music, but they sure put off some energy on stage. Following Craven was Concrete Core, kind of a techno metal band. The last time I booked this band they were a 3 piece without a drummer, they have since added this busty chick playing drum pads. They sounded ok, but kind of light compared to the rest of the evenings musical offerings. Albinio Fly was next and they played a vicious set. They kind of remind me of a cross between Pantera and Tool, they even threw in a Tool cover. Eye Theory took the stage after Albino Fly and even though they had a few supporters in the house, it seemed that all of the crowd was waiting for Pillbox. The crowd filled the room before the start of their set and as I was throwing in the last thank you's of the night and what not, people were chanting "Pillbox, Pillbox." They tore it up and everyone was digging it.

There have bee a few shows happen since my last entry. Tuesday the 8th was the first Club Wars date at The Grand Emporium. It was also the first booking I have ever done at this club. I was expecting the crowd to be somewhere between 70-90 people, there was maybe just over 65. Shiver, who opened the show, drew the biggest crowd. Their original songs are straight forward fist in the air type rock/metal. They even threw in a cover of "I Wanna Rock" by Twisted Sister. Yes, you can play covers in Club Wars. Following Shiver was Soulitify, I really thought these guys would have been in the top 10 after this show but, I guess it's the old "hard to get people out during the week" thing. I not sure if it was the awesome sound system or what, but Soulitify was the heaviest I've ever heard them. Closing it out was Hijack, who were playing the show with a drummer they added just a week before. Their other drummer quit on them and they didn't want to become a casualty of Club Wars. Conrad, the house soundguy, had them cranking and it sounded good. It's a cool place to do a show. Wednesday the 9th it was back to America's Pub. Opening the show was Keely Zoo. These guys played a variety of stuff in their set. Some of it sounded like punk rock, a little bit country and the closing song was a psychedelic heavy rocker. Next up was Soulless, one of the more respected group of heavy metal showmen on the local scene. The lead vocals of Tony Torres are guttural, but not "cookie monster." They keep the songs pretty basic and it allows Tony and bassist Josh Acosta to rock out. Third on the bill was Killfloor. They had a pretty good crowd in front of the stage and there were quite a few people sporting Killfloor t-shirts. These dudes are pretty heavy with their dual guitar attack and all. Lead vocalist Justin delivers the vocals in the growling/roaring style that dominates this type of heavy stuff. Closing it out was Hydrafader. I thought this was a pretty cool sounding band. It was kind of a down and dirty style that reminded me of old Soundgarden. They had a pretty solid crowd in front of the stage for their set.

Friday the 11th was Club Wars at Niener's. Freaksonit guitarist Tom Ollier called me about 6:15 and said they weren't going to make it to the show. It seems that they might be broken up. Anyway, I wasn't going to worry about it. The show kicked off with It's Over, a band that I probably should have booked at another place for their Club Wars date. I just don't think they were heavy enough for most of Niener's regular crowd. They reminded me a little of a Nirvana kind of band. Following It's Over was Darkside, stalwarts of the metal scene. They played their first show with a brand new guitarist and they even played "Dreaming of Witches." Then came Moire, the new entrant in Club Wars top 5. They had the biggest crowd in front of the stage the whole night and the people sure enjoyed the face ripping metal. Closing it out was Wrench, a power metal type band. Their set was cut a little short when the guitarist, Jerry, had a little equipment failure and didn't have a back up guitar. The show rocked and the turnout was good. Niener's didn't seem as smoky as it's been in the past and people were scarfing down taco's from the kitchen. The standout part of the night was when the clubs booker Jeff, who was the DJ for the evening, told some guy to stop talking to his wife. "Yea, the guy with the microphone is telling you to stay away from his wife," he tells the guy over the sound system. I thought it was funny.

Club Wars on a monday night at The Hurricane. This was a 5 band bill that started at 9 and was over by 12:30. Several of the various band members told tell me how it was hard to get people out on a monday. I might agree with them, but at the same time I reminded them all that AKA advanced to the finals in the first Club Wars after playing a monday night at The Hurricane. Opening the show was 2nd Day Air, another fairly young band. Their sound was kind of melodic modern rock with a slight pop feel, I thought they played very well. Canvas took the stage next and they had a few people filling the dance floor. They may not be as heavy as they once were but there was still a lot of energy and hard edge to their stuff. Penumbra followed with a set of tunes that reminded me a little of Tool. They had the biggest crowd and dance floor was full. Following Penumbra was Sunday Afternoon Revolution, a glam-pop type band with vocals that sound to me like Flock of Seagulls. I noticed a few people giving each other the same kind of looks they did during the Disciple set at JAD. The dance floor was pretty much empty during this set. A few bodies made their way back in front of the stage for the closer Offthawall. I'm going to say these guys are a straight forward hard rock band with a little streetwise feel.

The first weekend of Club Wars has passed and it was pretty good one. Friday nights show at Studio 24 drew a crowd of 150 or so. I don't think I ever saw this many people in the place when it was Nitelife. Stonewalk took the stage about 10 and rocked for over an hour. Towards the end of the set, a bunch of their friends got up on stage and did some backing vocals. These two girls were up on stage dancing together and I think one of them was Stonewalk vocalist Josh's girlfriend. She was rubbbing her ass on the other chicks crotch and it looked like she was enjoying it. Large took the stage a little later and had a big crowd on the dance floor for their set. After they finished the ballots were all counted up and Stonewalk had 61 and Large had 57. This hot looking blonde came up to me and said she would show me her tits if Large won, so I was like "yea, they won." Of course, I had the sheet in my hand that had the results and they didn't have as many votes. I told Dave from Stonewalk they were in the lead and then I found a couple of the dudes in Large talking to some of their friends and told them they were in second with 57. Several of the people around them then pulled ballots out of their pockets that hadn't been turned in yet. All of a sudden they were in first place. I told Dave of the change as he was leaving, but that blonde babe had already left.

Saturday night was the first Club Wars date at Just Another Dive. I had posted something on the Banzai site about how bands that were playing their Club Wars date at JAD should attend this show. AKA's Ponyboy was the only one who showed up. Anyway, this turnout was over a 100 and most of those in attendance were there for Alibi. Disciple opened the show with some growling cookie monster vocals. I noticed several people in the back part of the bar giving each other looks like "what the f*ck is that." Fortunately, their entire set was not all cookie monster vocalizing. Disciple is a very young band of metal merchants that has some potential. Alibi followed with a set of their own straight forward rock. I wrote on here once how they had kind of a 70's sound, vocalist Dave McBath announced to the crowd that they were playing 60's music. They closed out their set with Sabbath's "Fairies Wear Boots." You can play covers in Club Wars. Third up was Inphobic, they played a set that was mostly made up of new material they have wrote. It didn't seem quite as heavy as their older stuff. The closer this night was Electric Orange Creme. The EOC wildmen cranked it out for the remaining crowd. The guys in the band are pretty stoked about the album they recorded in Georgia, they plan on releasing it soon.

The "Battle of Rocktober" has begun. If it's any indication, this opening night of Club Wars had a much bigger turnout than the first one back in March. The crowd was pretty good sized by 9 o'clock or so and they were ready to rock by the time opener Conspiracy took the stage. I didn't feel like I was in total reviewer mode but let me make a comment or two about the bands. Conspiracy is a pretty heavy band but not all their songs sound the same. Some were fast, a few were down and dirty and there was a little "chunk-chunk" in the mix as well. They did have a few riffs that made me think that I had heard them somewhere else. They got the best response of the night. Second up was Lost In The Zoo, I thought these guys were the best of the evening. They have good stage presence and they have some hard rocking tunes. After a little technical delay Equinox took the stage. They quickly got most of the crowd hanging out in the front part of the bar up front and rocking. They have that kind of Maiden/Malmsteen sound. Closing out the show was the heavy handed Five Fathoms Down. They didn't fare to well in the votes department, but Club Wars is still just a show. I think the next week is going to be gruelling with five shows in six days, but I think that overall this installment of Club Wars is going to be well received.

They're dropping like flies. Two more bands dropped out of their spots in Club Wars. Obsydyan fired their singer and Gingerbinge, who I just added in place of Compound, had to cancel due to an injury to their bass player. Obsydyan cancelling is the first band that has cancelled that I'm a little pissed about. Their show is this friday and there is not enough time to get another band and it's the only show that I didn't book at least 4 bands on. On the bright side, I heard the commercial for the opening night at America's Pub on The Rock today, it sounded pretty good. Jim Bone did a good job on this one.

One week to go until the start of Club Wars II and 4 bands cancelled out of their spots today. For varying reasons Primal Illusion, Compound, Boomstick and The Disagreements have dropped out of their respective dates. I kind of expected a few bands to break up or cancel, it's just a pain in the ass to deal with. I think I've already got bands to fill the spots for Primal Illusion and Compound. I just found out that the other groups are going to be unable to play. It shouldn't be that hard to fill the spots.

The Club Wars "pre-season" has drawn to a close. Coincidentally, the Chiefs started their Pre-Season Schedule the same night. The show at Just Another Dive was a lot like an NFL Pre-Season game, there was a crowd but still some empty seats at the start of the show and as the last band played, much of the crowd had left. Playing in the first spot was Pull, a band that may almost admittedly say they are influenced by Puddle of Mudd. There were quite a few people wearing Pull t-shirts. They also worked the crowd selling their CDs. Fatal Candy Machine was in the second spot. They always show up with a bus full of people. They want to have another guitar player added to the band by the time they play a Club Wars date in October. They hope to have their shit together by that time is what vocalist Jessyca Faris told me. Closing it out was Nairobi Trio, kind of a borderline nerd rock band.

Well, there's has been a little activity regarding Club Wars in the last few days.

Friday the 2nd the "pre-season" showcase was at Studio 24 in Independence. This was my first booking at this club that started booking bands about 6 weeks ago. So far the popular opinion has been that the place has potential but the sound system is a little lacking. That was the opinion of the two bands that played on this night: Substance and Hijack. They played their sets but you could tell something just wasn't right. The place has a cool stage and lights, I'm sure after a little while things will fall into place and some crowds will show up.

Saturday the 3rd saw a good crowd show up at Just Another Dive after two weeks of so-so turnouts. It was a night of straight forward hard rock that got a little heavier as the night progressed. The opener Alibi, who have been together longer than I've been publishing Banzai, have kind of a 70's sound. Second was Von Boa, a pretty decent band, nothing about their set really stuck with me though. Equinox took the third spot, they sound like some progressive 80's metal, guitarist Nick Grimes played some licks that reminded me of Yngwie. Closing out the show was Everybody's X, guitarist Dave Johnson has weathered a number of line-up changes but now is ready to get out and play some shows. I might describe their style as modern heavy rock. Jim Bone was in the house along with his girlfriend, radio babe Misti Mundae.

Monday the 5th was kind of a mixed bag at The Hurricane. Opening was Lost In The Zoo, it's hard for me to put my finger on how to describe these guys. They weren't very hard, they weren't very light. They did play a dead on cover of "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult, if thats tells you anything. Second was Counterpoint a band that could be described as contemporary rock. I don't think there was one hard riff in their set. They were followed by Supraluxx, a band I was kind of turned onto by guitarist Scott Widmer of Green Means Go. Coincidentally, Scott filled in on bass with this band. I don't remember what the other guys in the band told me about there bass player situation. Anyway, some of the other dudes from Green Means Go showed up to check out Supraluxx, who I would say sound a lot like GMG, a poppy punk rock hybrid. Closing it out was Spleen, who played that kind of heavy groove oriented modern metal. Vocalist Mark Million had a cordless mic and he was all over the room. Steve Tulipana, who is the lead vocalist for Season To Risk is also a bartender at The Hurricane. After the Monday Night Football game ended, he pops a tape in the clubs VCR and this Japanese movie called "Iron Man" starts playing on the big screen TV, it was weird.

In other news Studio West has come on board as a sponsor. They will give $1,000 of recording time to the second place finalist. Wes West recently produced Thrust's "Parade of Idiots" CD at the studio. Infinity Mobile Recording will give $250 in recording time, this will go to either the fourth or fifth place finalist.

A decent crowd showed up at The Hurricane last night for one of the more musically diverse line-ups of the Club Wars "pre-season." Opening the show was Sykotropik, a bass dominated funk rock band that had many on the dance floor groovin. In the second spot was Large, a funky/hip-hop/rap metal band. They had the biggest response of the night. Closing out the show was Moire, I had not seen these guys since they changed their name from Myme. They used to sound a little like Pantera, now they sound like a wheel barrel full of bricks being dumped down the elavator to hell. Today, a band called Conspiracy became the first official entrant into the Club Wars "Battle of Rocktober."

Another slow start to a show tonight. The turnouts at Just Another Dive have been less than I expected for the Club Wars Exhibition. I guess I should have printed the discount tix for the bands to hand out. Stonewalk, who was added to the show on tuesday after the band Stitch had to drop out, drew the biggest crowd I thought. They handed out some hats that the cooks at Waffle House wear. Urban Disorder was second on the bill, halfway through their set a small altercation over a girl got one of the bartenders to flip on the house lights in the band room. Urban Disorder kept on playing as the doorman Darren escorted some dude outside. Closing out the show was Freaksonit. This band is a soundman's nightmare. The singer Matt gets a little crazy onstage. He ran into a monitor, he rolled onto the floor in front of the stage nearly pulling another monitor with him and at the end of the set he dove onto and over the drumset.

A night of molten metal at The Hurricane. The opener Descension has a different line up from the last time I booked them. They basically had about the same sound as before but the vocals were different. Gone was the King Diamond singing style and replaced with the growling, snarling, dare I say, "cookie monster" vocal style. Musically, I think these guys are very good, they remind me of an Iron Maiden style of metal with the guitar harmonies and all. As far as the makeup goes, I'm pretty much take it or leave it, though it does kind of set them apart from other bands that are on the local scene. Darkside, who took the stage second is probably the heaviest Kansas City band that doesn't have a growling lead vocalist. Bassist Randy Hikkey "cookie monsters" lead vocals on their cover of "Jenny (867-5309)" but otherwise lead vocalist Steve Bentley sings to this heavy duty sh*t. I think they were about to play "Dreaming Of Witches" when I told them one more song, so they finished with a tune I think was called "Suffocation." Closing it out was Killfloor, a fairly new band on the scene. These guys were very heavy as well, they have kind of an aggressive feel to their music. They threw in some heavy grooves for good measure. The vocals were of the snarling, shouting variety.

It wasn't much of a crowd early on at Just Another Dive for my first non-metal booking at this club. The Astons, who opened the show, are in need of a little experience or something. It seemed like the only time they put off any energy onstage was when they were playing the last notes of their set, a cascade of power chords and drum bashing. Second up was Jeremy's Box, a band that has been together for a few years. I thought they had the best set of the show, and it seemed like they had the most crowd response. Their style is reminiscent of poppy punk rock ala Green Day or Blink 182. Mr. Zero Knew took the stage third on this bill. It's kind of funny, I booked this date with vocalist Albert some weeks ago. Then I find out that the guitarist and the bass player have been in the band about a week. I guess that's why it's the "pre-season." The guitarist Jay Guthrie, I've known from numerous gigs I've booked him in previous bands Bean Bag and Strong Ave. This is a little lighter fare rock-n-roll than those bands. These guys could jell together after a few more shows. Closing out the show was Green Means Go, who did an impromptu rendition of Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name Of" halfway through the set. Guitarist Jason Weidner had broken a string and while he was getting his back up guitar ready, bassist Scott Christensen started playing the intro. People in the crowd started yelling for the band to play the song, it was the second time in two weeks that a band played the song at JAD. Kingpin played it the previous week.

I had a long weekend and it has taken me a couple days to get things out of the way so I could make my entry about this past weekends shows. Friday night at The Bunker turned out very well. The attendance was good, the bands all got a good response from the crowd. For my first booking at The Bunker, I would have to say it was not to shabby. Without trying to be to general, most of the bands on this bill fell into the "rowwwwwwwr" metal category. Pneuma who opened the show and Pillbox who played third, had chunky riffs in their songs. Whereas Craven, who played second, ripped through many of their songs at a more break pace. Closing out the show was Electric Orange Creme, they are more of a psychedellic tinged hard rock band. Their tripped out vocalist/frontman Clint, was the only singer of the evening that did't roar. The EOC guys were all sporting some beads and handed many out to people in the house. As they finished their set they were urging girls to show their tits to the sound man Roger.

Saturday night at Just Another Dive was the triple bill of recent battle of the bands winners. Trip Hazzard started it all off with a short set of brutal metal. These guys have that sort of Mudvayne look. Expect to hear more from this young band. Second on the bill was Kingpin, they have a little mixture to their stuff. They played a couple of Rage Against The Machine tunes and a few of their originals sounded similiar. Some of their other stuff reminds me a little of Red Hot Chili Peppers and on some of the other tunes guitarist James Watkins throws in some Hendrix like licks. I think these guys are definite up and comers on the scene. Closing out the show was Bent. Vocalist Chip Ellison got the crowd fired up during this bands set. They crunched threw a bunch of tunes and even had a little fireworks at the start of the show. The sound was pretty good throughout the show, but the lighting is a little lame. I have a different guy scheduled to bring in production for next weeks show and he tells me that he has a lot of lights. Also, JAD put in a new stage, it's bigger and higher off the floor, this should help out future gigs here.

Tonight was the kick off of the Club Wars "pre-season" at America's Pub. This show really turned out better than I expected. Each band put on a good show and the crowd was very responsive, especially for Die Section Ate who played third on the bill. Primal Illusion opened the show and the had a lot of energy. They are all pretty young guys and could develop into a solid band. Concrete Core took the stage second, they are a 3 piece band that at times had kind of an industrial sound. The group consists of 2 guitarists and a keyboardist/drum sampler. A drummer would definitely give this band some much needed punch. Then Die Section Ate was ready to hit the stage. The band had a little equipment mix up before they took the stage but soon everything was synched up and they tore into their music. They are very heavy and the vocals for the most part are of the "cookie monster" variety. I did notice though that all of their songs didn't sound the same. Closing out the show was Angrius. I had booked these guys at the Pub about two years ago and they have since added a second guitar player. They had a couple of songs that were straight metal with some dual guitar action and several others that were all-out thrash.

I haven't making been making many diary entries lately. I have more or less wrapped up the booking for the "pre-season" showcase. There are two dates that haven't been added to the schedule page yet, but they should be on there in a day or two. I've been booking a few of the dates for the Tournament, more should be showing up on the schedule page in the coming weeks. Originally, I was thinking that there would be 50-60 bands in the Exhibition and 40 or so in the Tournament. I think it's going to turn out to be the opposite.

I started booking dates today for the Club Wars "pre-season" or "exhibition season." This will be the non-battle prelude to Club Wars II, it will run from July 10-August 10. Bands that played in Club Wars and bands that will be considered for the next one will play this showcase. One of the shows will be on July 13 at Just Another Dive, this will be the winners of recent Battles: Bent, Kingpin and Trip Hazzard. Bent won the Niener's Battle of the Bands in March, Kingpin is the reigning champ of Club Wars and Trip Hazzard just won the Spring Annihilation at America's Pub. Dates should start apprearing on the site in a few days.

The first Club Wars tournament has drawn to a close. The Consolation Round was last night at The Hurricane. The weather seemed to make this a very anti-climatic event. Tornado sirens were going off an hour or so before I left home for the club. It started raining pretty hard after I got to Westport. It was a great night not to go out. Still there was 80-90 people that showed up for this one.

Soulitify kicked off the show. Their songs have kind of a classic rock feel to them. They even threw in a cover of Pink Floyds "Comfortably Numb." Substance was up next. They have got a pretty heavy edge to their stuff. The vocalist Brett gives the music a sound that reminded me of Tool. Guitarist Danny Putnam told me they should have their website up in a few days. When Stonewalk took the stage it was still raining. These dudes were the heaviest of the night. Vocalist Josh Berry just might be the rocker with the longest hair in town. Closing out the show was Green Means Go. I might describe these guys as pop/punk. Green Means Go and Stonewalk got the biggest crowd response of the show. I think the bands that played this show were a good cross section of the kinds of bands that played in Club Wars.

I had a few judges at this show. Infinity Mobile Recording was giving a few hours of recording time to the winner and that was...Stonewalk.

I like the idea of the Consolation Round, next time though, it will be before the final. I'm now going to take a few days off from Club Wars. I'm already formulating the plan for the next one which might start at the end of September. I will probably start taking steps toward that next week.

Bad news, I got a call from guitarist Kenny Saunders of Six Percent today. The group's drummer Jeremy Angiotti had his father pass away over the weekend. The bands vocalist Joel Friday sent out an e-mail saying the band was cancelling some shows. They were scheduled to play third at the Consolation Round on wednesday at The Hurricane. My condolences go out to the family.

Alright, I feel like I have recovered from the blowout that was the championship at the Beaumont on friday. I got to the club around 6:30, Brian and Curtis were setting up the sound rig. AKA drummer Eric Morris was the first band dude to get there. Everything looked under control so I went over to The Hurricane. Jack Hanrahan, who is an owner of The Cane was having his 50 birthday party. I had a couple of beers and chatted with a few people including my buddy Hearne Christopher, who is a columnist for the KC Star. Hearne had wrote in his column that morning how I thought the Club Wars championship line up was like a hard rock sandwich. "Kilroy is good for a soundbyte," He says to a couple. I got back over to the Beaumont, dudes from some of the bands started showing up. My door girls, Janice, Donna and Trudy showed up before 8 o'clock and they got in place and we opened the doors. Waves of people arrived at the club from 9-11, there were over 500 people that attended this show. Officially, I was saying that we where going to cut off giving out wrist bands, that served as voting ballots, around 9:30-10. Well, we kept giving them out until about 11 o'clock.

The show kicked off with Scapegoat. These guys were the winner of the wildcard round and the only band in Club Wars that played three shows. I knew these guys were kind of at a disadvantage in terms of winning the first prize. They are from Leavenworth and they've told me how a lot of their following is under 21, this was 21 and over show. Regardless of that, Club Wars is still just a show and they played a hell of a set.

Audio Kombat Arsenal was second up and their sizable following, dubbed "The Arsenal," filled the area in front of the stage. Their set was a mix of progressive style metal and power ballads.

Organic M was on next and the crowd was growing. I've known Organic M vocalist Brad Kinne for quite awhile now and he actually had another version of this band some years ago. When they played their first round show at Just Another Dive on April 6, I didn't even see them. There were so many people jammed in that club I didn't see their set, so this was like my first time seeing them. Now Brad, he's all over the stage, a couple of the guys in the band though look a little stiff. I'm sure it's something they can improve on as they gain more experience. Guitarist Dave Hilburn was one of several guys I met during Club Wars, who told me how they started reading Banzai when they like 12. Oh, and Organic M was the band that had all the hot looking chicks wearing their t-shirts.

Kingpin was fourth on the bill. This must have been the part of the show were I relived Janice and Trudy at the door so they could go burn one, because I can't remember much of the Kingpin set. What I do remember though is several people saying to me how they thought they were the best of what they had seen and asking me"How old is that guitar player? He looks like he's twelve."

Barphyte closed out the show. The start of their set was a little frustrating. Power to parts of the stage cut during the first couple of songs. The problem was soon solved and a swirling mosh pit formed in front of the stage. They played about 25 minutes, I went on announced that voting was taking place and they played a few more tunes.

The girls had set up the voting station by the club's other entrance next to the parking garage, before Barphyte started. Probably 20-25 minutes after Barphyte had finished, the votes had been counted a couple of times and they gave me the results. I had the judges votes in sealed envelopes, there were three judges. I would have had more judges but I really wanted the winner to be determined by the people. I went around the room and tried to find someone from each band to tell them were they stood. I then got the girls and we went up onstage to count the judges scores. I had caught a good buzz by this time, so I let the girls open the envelopes and tally up the numbers. Meanwhile, I announced how the judges scored each band on a scale of 1-10 and that those numbers would be added to the number of votes cast. I threw in my last plugs for the sponsors, I told everyone how this is all just for fun. I was handed the final score and the winner is... Kingpin. It was very close. The judges scores didn't effect the outcome. After I announced the results, I tried to get the bands together so we could get some pictures. Jeff Doelling from Barphyte was the only guy still hanging around from his band on stage where we were taking pics. He was on his cell phone telling somebody they were bummed they didn't win. He didn't think I should have let people start voting before the show was over. He has a point, but I think that most of the people that came, knew who they wanted to vote for before they even got to the club. Of course that is the whole downside to a battle of the bands, not everybody wins and usually someone leaves with a bad taste in their mouths. I tried to make this as fair as possible, I think it was. Here are the results:

People's Vote
Kingpin - 108
Organic M - 106
Barphyte - 99
Audio Kombat Arsenal (AKA) - 95
Scapegoats - 45

Judges Scoring
Barphyte - 21.5
Kingpin - 20.5
AKA - 19
Scapegoat - 19
Organic M - 17

Final points
Kingpin - 128.5
Organic M - 123
Barphyte - 120.5
AKA - 114
Scapegoat - 64

Now let's not start talking about Club Wars in the past tense, because it's not over. The consolation round is this wednesday the 8th at The Hurricane.

Tonight is the night. Months of effort comes down to this show. I'm expecting maybe 300-400 people turning out for this deal. As far as my prediction for the winner, I guess I don't really have one. I think any of them could pull it off. One of my biggest goals was for this to come off without any real controversy. There has been a little, but nothing that has really taken away from the whole event. For the most part it's been pretty successful, good luck to the bands and thanks to everyone that's come to the shows and every band that played in it.

Scapegoat was the nearly unanimous pick of the 10 judges that made it to the show. Swill was the only other band that got a vote. I had the judges just pick the one band they thought was best. I think I'm going back to my original idea of having the judges score bands on a scale of 1-10 at the final. The turnout was pretty decent 150 or more were in attendance. As they were pulling in the parking lot around 8:30, Scapegoat, who are from Leavenworth, had a tire just fall off their van. Fortunately they were close enough to the front door so they could load in.

Parallax opened the show and for some reason they started playing before I got up there to plug sponsors and tell everyone how the winner would be picked. Swill, who went on second, were able to use the clubs outdoor patio area to get into their costumes and "starch" themselves. I didn't really get to see much of the two opening sets. I was working the door and the way the club is laid out it's hard to see what's going on where the bands play. I was able to see a little bit more of the last two sets by Scapegoat and Large. They both put on energetic performances, with Large getting probably the biggest response from the crowd. The judges started giving me their votes towards the end of the final set by Large. After I informed them they were the winners, Scapegoat guitarist/vocalist Steve Brown kissed my cheek with his pierced face, "Write that in your diary," he said.

When I announced the winner, everyone seemed pretty cool about it. There was a little venting on The Zone today. Maybe a few of the judges were serious metalheads who favored the heavier Scapegoat over the other bands. In my opinion, I wasn't totally surprised they won. They have been together longer than the other bands, they've been to the finals of the America's Pub battle of the bands and they've got a keyboard player that really fills out their sound. From a promoter's standpoint, I probably would have liked to see Large make it, just because they had the biggest turnout.

Slick showed up and gave me a copy of the commercial. I'm thinking about taking the copy down to America's Pub on wednesday, to see if they'll let me play it over their in house system. The spots are going to run from noon-midnight on monday-thursday on MTV and VH1, I don't know the exact times.

Tonight is the wild card at Just Another Dive. This is the first show that there will be judges. If there is going to be any pissed off bands, it's going to be after this show. I've been in contact with bunches of people about judging, I'm hoping to have 10 or more. It's been raining today, but I think it will be cleared off by tonight.

Slick stopped by the house last night to show me the commercial. It looked pretty good, all footage is from the Club Wars date at Niener's. There were a few things that needed to be changed or added. It will air from April 29-May 2 on MTV and VH1. I've been lining up some judges for the wild card playoff on saturday. Some guys that have contributed to Banzai, reps from some of the sponsors and a few members from various local media outlets. I also ran ads in The Pitch looking for judges, I got quite a few calls on that. I would like to have 10 or more really. Instead of having judges give each band a rating on a scale of 1-10. I'm just going to have them choose the one band they think is best.

Well the first round has drawn to a close. The 4/20 show at Jad drew 150-175 people. It was almost an equal amount of tix returned for each band. None of the bands cracked the top 10 though, I was little surprised. A torrential downpour deluged the area around 8 o'clock and it continued to rain throughout the night. I don't know if that affected the turnout or not. All the bands got good response from the crowd. I didn't really see much of the bands performances. If I wasn't talking to people or working the door, I was getting drinks for my admission babes Janice and Trudy. All the bands did a great job I hate to see someone not make it to the next round. I want to thank everyone who has helped make this a success so far.

I'm getting ready to go up to the club. I'm hoping that JAD will rock hard tonight. It's raining outside, that kinda sucks, maybe it will stop after awhile. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and go with 5 bands in the final. The more the merrier, right? Last night I met Slick and a couple of his production guys in front of the Beaumont Club. They filmed me uttering some soon to be classic lines like: "I'm Jim Kilroy and this is Club Wars" and "Club Wars is Kansas City's ultimate battle of the bands." He is going to take that stuff and edit it together with some of the other footage they have shot at other shows and we should have a nice little 30 second commercial. It's going to run on MTV and VH1 the week of the show.

It's the day before the final show of the 1st round. I'm leaning towards having 5 bands in the final. So many of the bands have worked hard at this thing and I would like to see everyone in the championship show. Plus the Beaumont is a big room and it would help to get as many bodies in there as possible. It would work like this: the bands that are 1-4 would go to the final, bands 5-8 would go to the wild card playoff.

This seems to be getting better with each show. The crowd was large and responsive to the heavy doses of rock the bands dished out. The sound was great and all the bands seemed very inspired. Blasting out from behind a curtain, Hooligan Scream kicked off the show. Next up was Audio Kombat Arsenal, they definitely got the biggest response. I don't want to make anyone feel old, but AKA vocalist Joe Spiller was in a band called Hydra, when I first started Banzai in 1986. Inphobic was third on the bill. Vocalist/guitarist Dan Duncan had his dad in the house. Dan has been taking classes in Pittsburgh, KS, he says they want to do some more gigging when he comes home in June. Flexible Bullit followed them. This was their first show with this hot chick on rhythm guitar. What can I say, they rocked. Closing out the show was Parallax. They originally were not in Club Wars, but when I had to move the show to the Cane, Stan already had them booked. So they got to play and they put on a good show as well. Bassist Mike McNally was sporting a back brace he has been wearing since a car wreck on Xmas night. It's the first Club Wars show where there wasn't a new leader in the standings. With just one show left in the first round, I don't think anyone will pass Barphyte in the standings. Also, today on The Zone Steve Tulipana aka "The Filter" posted a very cool review of the show. Steve, who was bartending, is the lead vocalist of Season To Risk.

Tonight is the Hurricane show, I think there will be a good turnout but I don't think the lead is going to change. Maybe one or two of the bands might get into playoff contention.

Surprise, Barphyte is in first, they had 153 tix returned. They are the new overall leader, second place Kingpin had 138 and third place is Organic M with 117. The show was packed, I would put total body count at 325 or so. Craig really needs to replace all the sit down tables with some stand ups, it might ease some of the congestion in the area in front of the stage. Swill had a real live drummer, they have been playing shows with sampled drum beats. Electra Complex decided to play all Misfits tunes for their set. Vocalist John Doom told me that they have been recording lately and are tired of playing their stuff, so they just wanted to do the all Misfit set for fun. Darkside frontman Steve Bentley got the crowd to chime in during the classic "Dreaming of Witches" and there was some body surfing going on while Barphyte closed out the show. Slick, from 1st American Entertainment and his camera guy Steve, came out to the show. Steve got shots of the crowd going wild during the set by Barphyte. They also did some filming at a couple of the shows at America's Pub. I'm kind of thinking that we will be able to produce a commercial I'm going to run on t.v. the week of the championship.

The Niener's show is tonight. This is my first booking ever at Niener's. In all the years it's been there and I've been here, you would think I would have booked a show there. I guess the reason I haven't done any shows there is, they've always had an in-house guy doing it. Anyway, I have a feeling this could be the biggest turnout so far. Popular opinion is that Barphyte will be at the top of the standings after tonight.

I just got home from America's Pub, I can't believe it, but there is a new leader...Kingpin. I am blown away! With each show, Club Wars seems to keep building. The show got started a little late. Brian, the soundman, was delayed getting to the club. Then after the opener Green Means Go was set up, guitarist/vocalist Scott Witmer had problems with his amp. Luckily, Holly from Jade Raven bailed him out by lending her amp. What a babe! This really is unlike any other battle of the bands. Some have stated that this pits bands against each other, so far, they are wrong.

I just picked up the new copy of Pitch Weekly, it reminded me how I didn't mention anything here about the article Andrew Miller wrote in last week's edition. The entire "Around Hear" column was devoted to Club Wars. I thought it was pretty cool, others thought he was bagging on Club Wars. In this case, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Shiver, who play their Club Wars date on April 20, have wrote a song called "Andrew Miller," I wonder if they'll play it at that show. Tonight is the fourth show, there has been a new leader in the standings after each date. Will it happen again?

I just got home from the show at Just Another Dive. It was a blast. I was surprised by the turnout, it was packed. Basically waves of people showed up between 8-10:30. Girls standing in line at the bathroom, tables filling up with beer bottles, the bartenders were working their asses off, it was crazy. I don't think anyone expected this big of a crowd. The cops showed up after the Snappy Convienence Store next door called about cars blocking the diesel pumps. The bands all got great response from the crowd of over 250. It's a 3 o'clock bar but it was daylights savings time and when it became 2 o'clock it was really 3 o'clock. Closer Crotch Rockit would have got to play another 15-20 minutes if not for the change. There's a new place to rock-n-roll in Kansas City.

The third show is tonight at Just Another Dive. It's a pretty decent club but I don't like the name of the place. If this show goes over as well as the first two dates, this will be a new room for bands to play.

The second show rocked just as hard as the first show. All the bands were great. I thought Albino Fly played a vicious set. Scapegoat rocketed into first place in the standings. It's going to be interesting to see how the standings shape up after the next few shows.

It's the day of the second show. I get an e-mail at 8:30 in the morning from Eye Theory. Their drummer quit and they can't play the show. I guess stranger things have happened, but it just seems kind of odd that they never got their tix from me and my attempts to get the tix to them were unsuccesfull, then they cancel the day of the show. Oh well, no real harm done.

Due to a technical error the results from the first show didn't get posted on the site until today. Many of the bands have requested more tix, so I have been giving out more to bands that are requesting them. There are only two bands that have yet to receive the tix for their show, Soulless and Eye Theory. I should hook up with the dudes from Soulless at America's Pub tomorrow night. Eye Theory is playing the show tomorrow night! They never got the tix from me. I will give them their share at the show. You know, it's not against the rules to stand outside the club and hand 'em out.

The first show is in the books. It went very well, I must say. All the bands sounded good. Six Percent was really the band that stood out. The crowd seemed pretty responsive. It didn't really seem like a competition. Some dudes from Pitch Magazine showed up to cover the show. I think every single person that came to the show turned in a ticket. I hope every date in Club Wars goes like this.

Tonight is the first show. I'm a little bit nervous, a little bit excited. My main goal in this is to be as fair as possible and avoid controversy. I'm resigned to the fact though, that it's going to be hard to pull this off without someone getting pissed off or feeling screwed. I really hope that in the end this turns out to be something good for the music scene.

Well, the turbulence of the last week has died down. Having to reschedule a couple of the dates and getting ripped apart on The Zone was a bit of a distraction. I'm feeling pretty good about things with just a few days to go before the first show. I dropped off the tix for the recheduled shows today at my printer, I should get them tommorrow. I talked to "Slick" today, he is sending a camera man to the first show. Parts of performances will be filmed and maybe a few interviews.

Bad news, the shows at Harleywoods have been cancelled. The clubs manager Eddie Carpenter called me on Friday the 15th and said I couldn't do the dates. First he tells me the owner gave him shit about me doing shows there (he doesn't like me). Then he says that I didn't confirm the dates with him after he put me on the calendar. Well, I tried to work something out over the weekend to save the shows but today, I decided to punt. Basically they didn't want to do it. The good news is, by the end of the day I had lined up replacement shows for the ones that got cancelled. April 15 at The Hurricane and April 20 at Just Another Dive. The bands that we're going to play March 30, will play April 15 and the bands that we're going to play on the 20th will still be playing the 20th. I had a feeling that something was going to happen that would cause headaches, I just thought it would be something else.

I've distributed tickets to all of the bands playing on the first two shows. I will begin getting tix to the bands playing April 3 and April 6 by the weekend. Most of the bands think the tix look cool. I've been telling everyone that they will be able to leave tix at the door for people. I am also going to release another 20-25 tix to each band before their show. I added another sponsor to Club Wars today. Infinity Mobile Recording will give a 4 hour recording block to the winner of the Consolation Round.

Last night I met with Robert "Slick" Revere of 1st American Entertainment, a film and video production company. We talked about him sending cameramen to film parts of Club Wars. Footage could turn into a tv commercial or maybe a dvd.

Hearne Christopher gave Club Wars a plug in his column that appeared in the FYI section of The KC Star today. Whenever I call him, he always wants to write about something wild that might happen or what people will look like or what they're going to wear. So, I'm talking to him about the final and he asks if I have anything wild planned. I say how I don't have anything planned but I had an idea about getting some girls in bikini's to slow ride the bulls between bands. So he writes that. Anyway, at this time there is not a Banzai Bikini Team, but stay tuned.

I just added a date for Club Wars at The Hurricane. The club already had all of its dates booked in March and April when I started putting this together. Stan offered me May 1st, but I didn't want a Club Wars show going on a just a few days before the final. May 8 was available, so that date has now become the Consolation Round. This "Top 10 Playoff" is the first show I have ever booked at The Hurricane.

The response to Club Wars has been great. The spots filled up quick. The dates are all set. This could be pretty cool. I started putting up posters with the show dates today.

Any questions regarding Club Wars should be directed to Jim Kilroy at 913-642-2262 or

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