Live Wire wins ‘incredible’ opportunity
by Phoebe Lai
Redondo Beach’s second Battle of the Bands took center stage at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center last Saturday, a night complete with hard rock and alternative tunes. The 1,453 seat venue gave young artists exposure to a sizeable crowd and the opportunity to perform at L.A. Live before a Los Angeles Kings hockey game.
Dinah Lary, Program Manager of the Redondo Beach Police Department, conducted Redondo’s first Battle of the Bands in February, which was “so well received” that they wanted to plan another one for the summer.
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RBPD was given the means to do so when Redondo Beach locals Keith and Derek Brewer, owners of B2 Insurance, offered to sponsor the second event after enjoying the first.
Moreover, Lary secured the grand prize with the L.A. Kings, who are avid sponsors of the Redondo Beach Police Foundation.
With seven talented bands participating and enough time for only a couple songs each, competition was high among contenders. Fortunately for the RBPD, their three judges have an abundance of experience in the entertainment industry and we’re prepared to make a decision based on elements ranging from song selection to stage presence.
Kevin Fischer, Lary said, is an award-winning songwriter that has written songs for artists including Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, and Uncle Kracker; Barclay Roach, a Redondo Union High School graduate and lifelong musician; and Brooklyn Boyers, a representative of the LA Kings.
The contest, limited to those eighteen and under, threw out all the stops to create a professional experience with the assistance of a lighting crew, sound crew, and a first-class venue.
“With the monitors and everything, we’re able to use the entire stage and having such a big stage to be able to jam out is just incredible,” said lead singer Bryce Kelley of Live Wire.
Throughout the night, the artists voiced their appreciation for rock, strumming to songs with a focus on electric instruments. However, a variety of instruments were thrown into the spotlight, such as the keyboard, violin, and saxophone.
To keep the crowd hot, Officer Ryan Brown entertained the audience with costume changes in between performances, transforming from characters like Joel Goodsen of Risky Business to Elvis Presley, black wig and all.
Energy rippled throughout the audience by the end of the night as eager fans of the bands waited for competition’s results. After careful consideration, the judges named Live Wire, with lead singer Bryce Kelley, guitarist Salem Darling, bassist Julian Bailey and Dax Corcoran on drums, as the winners. Slaves to Humanity came runner-up, with Chroma Haze in third place.
Several performers expressed their gratitude to Redondo’s police, appreciative of the department’s interaction with the South Bay’s younger generation.
“Usually we wouldn’t be able to play at a venue this big … it’s great that they’re there supporting even the smaller parts of the community,” said bassist Naomi Mor of Scream Revolution, a middle-school punk rock band.
While the RBPD hosted the event to support adolescent musicians in the community,
they also hoped to shine a positive life on the police force, in a time when police are often defined by negative encounters with civilians.
“We hope to connect with people in a setting that’s not a call for service for us, which is usually a bad experience for people,” said Lieutenant Jeff Mendence.
“Sometimes we lose our perspective as police officers. We’re used to wearing this uniform and doing these things, but people aren’t necessarily used to the police being around. To have an experience like this where you connect with people, get to know each other a little bit, and humanize the person behind the badge is really important.”