CLEVELAND, Ohio — After a brief hiatus in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tri-C High School Rock Off returned in full force to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday night for their final exam.
Bands from the east, west and south sides of Cleveland competed throughout March to qualify for the final nine vying for the grand prize of $1,000 cash and $250 for their music program. high school.
Energy buzzed on every floor of the Rock Hall, as family, friends and fans filled the floor. Every space on the balcony offered a view of the stage.
Song choices ranged from classic rock to modern rock, with some choosing original material. Some notable performances included the band’s non-sax Revival, but hard-hitting, cover of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper.”
The night’s only solo artist, Rose Petals on the Pavement, performed an acoustic version of Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” Seeing Scarlet’s commanding presence knocked it out of the park with covers like Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name.”
Less than 24 hours after the tragic death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, some bands have chosen to pay tribute to the deeply influential musician. Classic rockers Antimatter decided to change their setlist at the last minute to include a cover of “Learn to Fly”, while 6th Dimension had a moment of silence before starting their set which included the classic “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin.
Between groups, the friends pushed against the crowd of people downstairs so they could be front and center on the stage cheering on their classmates. The proud parents, wearing their child’s band merchandising, rocked and threw rock horns (from a safe, non-embarrassing distance) as they recorded the performance.
Rock Off 2020 winners and power-pop-punk band Detention played a quick set before the 2022 winners were announced. Since winning, Detention has enjoyed a promising music career. Hot on the heels of the release of their debut EP, “Patchwork”, Detention has also performed alongside Fred Armisen and been featured at several major music festivals including WonderBus and Wonderstruck.
In the moments before Live Nation’s Barry Gabel announced the Rock Off winners, he surprised the nine finalists by telling them that Machine Gun Kelly had personally called him to make sure every band member received a ticket to his recently announced Mainstream Sellout Tour. show on August 13 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Third place for this year’s Rock Off was Psycho Fuzz, whose stage presence and enthusiasm earned them a $100 prize. Second place went to punk rockers RRRIOT! With $250 given to them as well as $100 to their high school music program. The first place winner of the 2022 Tri-C High School Rock Off was Seeing Scarlet, receiving $1,000 and $250 for their high school music program.
Tonight’s performances proved that rock is definitely not dead, and this new generation of musicians are sure to carry on the legacy and influences of the bands we’ve loved over the years. And who knows; Maybe one day one of these bands will be inducted into the house that rock has built where it all started for them.