In previous BOBfest competitions, it was simple: You could tell the punk bands from the metal bands based on their names.
That’s still true to a certain extent. Between Ekson Tide and From the Grave, you can guess which is the metal band.
But the styles of rock at this year’s high school band battle, put on by the city’s Chase Youth Commission, aren’t limited to the typical charge of punk and metal.
Arete plays uptempo blues; Olaf Olaf Olaf shows indie-pop influences from Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins; and Purple State adds a touch of funk to its garage-pop.
BOBfest has long been a proving ground for the future of Spokane music. Myles Kennedy went on to front The Mayfield Four and Alter Bridge; members of For Years Blue performed at Bumbershoot last year as The Globes; and an early incarnation of Belt of Vapor made a BOBfest appearance when its members were still at Shadle Park.
Bands at the 13th annual BOBfest on Saturday are no slouches either. Representing a widespread area, from Cheney to Deer Park to Sandpoint, many of these bands – such as Raw Nerve, City of Ember and Falling in Absence – have played at premier all-ages venues such as Empyrean Coffee House, Caterina Winery, the Cretin Hop and the Service Station.
Green Light Go, the winner of the 2009 Rawk Final Four, is a 10-plus piece ska band featuring players from Ferris High School’s music program.
The winner will receive 20 hours of studio time from College Road Recording, paid bookings at Riverfront Park’s Fourth of July celebration, Pig Out in the Park and First Night Spokane, and a $500 gift certificate from Hoffman Music.
Second- and third-place winners receive $250 and $150 certificates from Hoffman Music, respectively.