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Jakestock: Winning a big platform

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Nonpoint

Original bands fantasize about opening up for national recording artists. Some hopefuls play local circuits for years before ascending to that platform. Others compete, hard.

The latter was the case for 23 area groups during Jake’s Tavern’s Battle of the Bands in May. After four weekends in front of a judging panel, the Sarasota metal band D 15 won the opportunity to take the stage right before the Supervillains and Nonpoint on Sunday in the first-ever all-ages music fest known as Jakestock.

Not a bad deal for an up-and-coming Southwest Florida group, and a definite good thing for the 941’s live entertainment scene.

“Up until now, it’s been pretty sleepy out there in terms of Sarasota’s live music,” said Matt Foster, managing partner at Jake’s Tavern, who co-organized the event with international booking agent and owner of In Demand Talent, Evan Michaels. “I’m not saying we’re directly influencing waking up the music scene, but we’re definitely helping.”

The Supervillains is a punk/ska/reggae quartet from Orlando, and Nonpoint is a four-piece hard rock band from Fort Lauderdale. The idea is to bring names like theirs to Jakestock on a regular basis, in an effort to give emerging musicians a real shot on their own soil. Michaels can pull from his database of globally recognized headliners and pair them with virtual unknowns — a combination most starving artists would kill to achieve.

Entry into the debut battle was tooth-and-nail, as bands throughout the tri-county landscape vied for a slot. Finalists included 16 Penny, the Almighty North, the Shoebox Monsters and From This Fire.

“The enthusiasm for this was overwhelming,” said Michaels, who has launched similar events in Connecticut and New York City. “I was extremely surprised and excited to send out invitations and get 23 bands locked up within 48 hours.”

Now, the lineup is cemented, and from 11 a.m. Sunday until 2 a.m. at Jake’s, there will be shows inside the bar and outside in the Festival Plaza. Traphik 3:16, Nine Mile Drive, All In, As Bridges Burn and Selfish Needy Creatures are among performers.

A midday bikini contest with 20 smokin’ hot models, catered food and inexpensive drinks are on the menu. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Soldiers’ Angels (www.soldiersangels.org), a nonprofit organization that helps men and women in the military. And D 15 will receive $1,000 in cash.

“I think it’s really important to give local bands the opportunity to do something like this,” Michaels said.

So do they.

JAKESTOCK
11 a.m. Sunday (6/5), through 2 a.m. Jake’s Tavern, 3218 Clark Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Ask about VIP prices for a meet-and-greet with the Supervillains and Nonpoint, as well as free catered food, cheap drinks and a collectible laminate. 921-6875; jakestock.com.
Last modified: June 5, 2011
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