Bands vie for a spot in Kitsap Battle of the Bands finale

The final three bands of the summer-long competition performed at the Manette Saloon Saturday

Local bands got their last chance Aug. 24 to show off their musical talents and impress the judges for a chance to play in the Kitsap Battle of the Bands finale.

The last leg of loanDepot’s Kitsap Battle of the Bands was staged back at an overflowing Manette Saloon, where the event was first held July 27 for the competition’s second leg. Three bands performed last Saturday to round out the list of competitors throughout the summer event.

Those bands were Phood, an indie rock brothers duo from Silverdale; Suite Clarity, a high-energy, hard-rock band out of Kitsap County; and Joel Gibson Jr. and the Hired Guns, a local country band based in Silverdale.

The judges are currently evaluating the bands’ performances over the summer and will determine the contestants for the finale by the end of the week. If a band is not able to perform at the finale, the judges will then choose the next highest scoring band, Frank Portello of loanDepot said. The finale is slated from 6-10 p.m., Sept. 28 at Olympic College’s William D. Harvey Performance Hall in Bremerton.

“The theater holds a little over 200 people and the acoustics are phenomenal,” Portello said. “They will have some fun giveaways and the event is family-friendly and free to the public. We would love to pack the house.”

Portello also said the finale’s format will be similar to the four playoff events. The only difference is the judges have to decide on the spot at the finale who is going to win each category.

The under-18 category winner, which included just two bands throughout the summer, will receive a $4,000 Olympic College Foundation scholarship, while the 18-and-older category winner will receive $4,000 cash from the Silverdale loanDepot. The top three 18-and-older bands selected by the judges will play in the finale, but Portello didn’t rule out possibly adding a fourth.

“We may add one band to the adults, so it could be four,” he said.

Many bands will be disappointed knowing only a few will make it to the finale in the 18-and-over category, but Portello said there is still value for those bands because of the exposure they gained over the last few months.

“Many of the judges are involved in the local music industry and have taken notice of all the bands’ performances even if they are not advancing to the finale.”

As far as the local community’s interest in the event, Portello was happy to see an attendance increase at each playoff event.

“We have noticed that each playoff had more and more people attending,” Portello said. “Also, the bands are very appreciative that we are promoting them in the community and giving them the added exposure locally at the playoffs and on social media.”

“We are very appreciative of our sponsors, which are the Slippery Pig Brewery, Manette Saloon, Olympic College and a new sponsor, Aviation Institute of Maintenance.”

As the event begins to wind down, Portello is pleased how loanDepot setup and promoted the concerts the last couple of months.

“For our very first Kitsap Battle of the Bands competition, we feel that our Silverdale loanDepot office did very well,” he said. “Our team will evaluate this year’s event in its entirety once the finale has happened and make it bigger and better for 2020.”

Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at tshuey@soundpublishing.com

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