The field is set for the 2012 edition of one of the most prestigious musicial events on the Grand Strand.
The 4th annual Hard Rock Calling Battle of the Bands will kick off a week from today at Myrtle Beach’s Hard Rock Cafe with nine bands competing for this year's local title.
The month-long competition will take place each Wednesday in February (15th, 22th, 29th) beginning at 8 p.m., with three local/regional acts performing a 30-minute set each.
A panel of judges including local musician and Weekly Surge writer Paul Grimshaw, Dino's School of Rock owner Dino Capone and Coastal Carolina music professor Marc Chesanow, will grade each band on musicianship, voice talent, originality, stage prescene and fan reaction in order to choose a nightly winner.
The three semifinalists will then compete in a final showdown Saturday, March 3 on the big stage in the center of Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach (weather permitting).
Once a local winner is chosen, they will move on to be judged against winners representing Hard Rock Cafes from 87 cities around the globe by a team of music business executives.
Then, videos of the finalists — shot during the competition — and online voting determine the final group of four bands who will get a chance to perform in July alongside the likes of Bruce Springsteen and other at Hard Rock’s London Calling festival in London’s Hyde Park.
Unlike in past years where finalists were chosen by a group from Hard Rock Cafe, this year's competitors submitted their music for consideration through Reverbnation and fans were asked to download a band's sample song to cast a vote.
The top nine vote getters, which qualified for the competition, are as follows:
Round 1 - Feb. 15
• Shed this Burden: Female-led Prog Rock group from Florence.
• Will Misdom: Myrtle Beach-based pop/hip-hop artist and electronic producer.
• Stealing Anger: Rock power-trio from Myrtle Beach.
Round 2 - Feb. 22
• Beyond the Fade: Charlotte, N.C.-based Hard Rock group who was one of last year's finalists.
• Power Born Rebellion: Myrtle Beach Rock band with a high-energy stage prescene.
• The Big Lie: Rock/Soul group hailing from Pawleys Island.
Round 3 - Feb. 29
• Death of Paris: Columbia-based electro pop band with rock influences.
• Shamroc-N-DJ QP: Longtime local hip-hop duo.
• Below the Bassline: Reggae rockers from Garden City. One of last year's finalists.