Happy hump day locals, and a Happy New Year! Time flies when you’re embellished in good music, good people, and a great scene. Hopefully many of you have your resolutions in play, and have put the past year behind you! Looking forward is always a positive thing, and the fact that we survived “the end of the world” makes us even stronger! Sorry, I had to go there. However, there is no way anything could stop the local scene in 2013, for it’s already booming. I even made a post on the Jersey Rock Facebook page asking, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” and many of you came back stating, “Play more shows.” That’s just the answer I was looking for! I’ve seen so many bands continuing to broaden their fanbase, and encourage up-and-comers to stick with it. Young bands are dominating the scene right now, and I have touched on many of them in the past including Xero Gravity, Going Dark, and Stiff Motion. All of these groups have done more in their short careers than many musicians do in their lifetime, so kudos to the young ones! Today I am going to spotlight a band that may be the youngest of them all that I have encountered, but the only thing young about them is their age. From drive to talent and even stage presence, these bands are certified professionals! It’s amazing to see how eclectic these bands’ influences are, knowing songs from many of the late greats. The two bands I am going to focus in on today are Reality Check and Vin-Taze. Heard of them already? It doesn’t matter because trust me, you want to know more about them. Please continue reading to get your weekly fix of local goodness.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the phenomenon that is Vin-Taze. I was first introduced to these guys at Beach Battle Of The Bands in Point Pleasant, which I was so humbly honored to host. It was a great concept, raising money for the school and encouraging young musicians to get their voices heard while winning some awesome prizes along the way! They simply blew my mind in every way. I came to find out that they entered the contest but they were actually too young, as the requirements were that you had to be in high school. However, the awesome committee let them hit the stage for entertainment purposes—not competing—and they melted the hearts of not only myself, but also each and every person in that gymnasium. “How could such young kids be so talented?” I asked myself. They performed everything from classic rock ‘n’ roll covers to originals, and I never was so intrigued in my life. Not only did they have talent, but their energy on stage was contagious. I eagerly approached them at the end of their set and asked if I could take a photo with them, for I felt as if I was discovering the world’s next big thing. They aren’t trying to be something they’re not, and they aren’t trying to grow up too fast; they are pursuing their dreams, one show at a time. Currently, they’re doing what everyone in New Jersey has been doing and coming together in wake of Hurricane Sandy to create a song/video to support the shore! You can access all of this content on YouTube or their Facebook page, and it’s totally worth your time. The band told me how much they love to make music, and they have a solid support system behind them, including parents, friends, and classmates. These guys are the real deal.
Next, I want to bring a band called Reality Check into the spotlight. I had the pleasure of working with them back in the spring and it’s been an instant love connection ever since. Jake, Mike, Tom, Billy, and Dana are all best friends and bandmates. Now, if you follow the Local Radar, you already know I have a soft spot for female vocalists, and Dana is right on the top of my list. This band includes everything in their set from rock and pop covers to original material, getting the crowd off their feet every time. They have already played tons of shows across the state of New Jersey and even had the opportunity to play Bamboozle 2012, only having been a band for a few months at that point. They even have the remarkable power to gain fans upon each performance. Whether it’s getting people to clap, dance, or even sing the parts with the band, Reality Check has the interaction with the crowd nailed down. It’s been said that successful music careers are built on the stage. While not all musicians start a music career this way, I feel it’s true that your live playing is a critical component and can make or break your chances of developing a music career. Bands fake enjoyment at live performances all the time and I get it, you can’t always be in the mood, but it’s one of my biggest pet peeves. For Reality Check, this is never a problem, because their love for music is evident on stage. It’s real, it’s powerful, and it’s captivating. They also handle their promotional obligations professionally; they hand out flyers, self-promote, come up with their own ads, and it’s always something that people will remember them by, before they even hear them play. Although the internet and social media is a great tool for musicians, many artists are concentrating on reaching out to the whole world at once and becoming instant rock stars. Reality Check, on the other hand, invests time and energy into building a valuable local foundation of fans. They have all the key factors to being a band that is relevant for many years to come, and I truly hope they stick with it.
So here are two bands that I am suggesting you get on your radar, for as I stated before, they may be young, but age here is nothing but a number. Like any habit, the more time you have to learn, the better at it you will be. They have more drive and passion than many bands I have seen, and nothing in stopping them from doing what they love—playing music. I hope some of our veteran bands and readers will respect these kids for what they are doing, and I know they will. In fact, more recently than ever, I’ve noticed notable names in the local scene congratulating the young ones on all of their talent, success, and determination. Keep in mind that Vin-Taze and Reality Check are just two of the thousands of young musicians striving to be heard, so I will do my best do keep doing my part to help their dreams come true. Until next week, my friends, get out to some shows, discover some new bands, and help encourage our local talent to keep pursuing their passion!