Local bands battle it out
BLOOMINGDALE - The votes are in and Cloning Cooper, Bittersweet and the Josh Cramoy Band will rock it out for the chance to open for southern rock band Molly Hatchet at the 61st Annual Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department Field Day Sept. 3.
The Battle of the Bands started July 2 with six local bands competing. The competition, produced and promoted by Parties Unlimited Entertainment Company in Lake Placid, was a way to do something big to draw a better crowd to the field day, as attendance has dwindled in the past couple of years, according to Tim McNierney, director of operations at Parties Unlimited.
"We usually get about 800 people every year, but with the Battle of the Bands, we're expecting 3,500 to 5,000 people," McNierney said.
Cloning Cooper, the last band to compete, played at the Waterhole #3 Thursday night to a crowd that spilled out onto Main Street , dancing into the night.
Scoring 355 out of 400 possible points, Cloning Cooper came in second, just in front of Bittersweet with a score of 330, and right behind The Josh Cramoy Band with 367.
But the competition isn't over yet. The three bands will compete one more time, with score cards wiped clean, for the grand prize. Starting at 1:30 p.m., the bands will perform a full set during Saranac Lake 's annual block party Aug. 10. The winner will be crowned at 7 p.m. and will open for Molly Hatchet at the fire department field day.
Bittersweet will play from 1:30 to 3 p.m., the Josh Cramoy Band will perform from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and Cloning Cooper will close out the competition, playing from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Admittance to the block party is free.
The field day, McNierney said, does not just focus on Molly Hatchet. Other activities include a pie contest, an "inflatable zone" for kids and a Budweiser Beer Garden . Proceeds from the event benefit the fire department.
McNierney said Parties Unlimited is already planning five Battle of the Bands competitions for next year due to the amazing response to this year's competition.
"Everyone's doing such a great job, Mike, Ted and Kyle are really helping out," McNierney said of Rock 105's representatives, who are helping to promote the event.
Judges for the competition, who have not yet been selected, will be representatives from Rock 105, a sponsor of the event, three Parties Unlimited employees and three representatives from the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department.
Other competitors included "HPPF," who played at Avalanche Adventures in Lake Placid July 2. Scoring a 235 and ranging from 14- to 19-years-old, McNierney called "HPPF" an "up-and-coming band."
"Heritage" played at the Wagonwheel in Malone July 4 and scored a 300. "Birds of Prey" played at ZigZag's Pub in Lake Placid July 22 and scored a 322.
The six bands were judged and awarded points for such categories as crowd response, crowd interaction, appearance, guitar and drums.
Contact Rebecca Steffan at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org .