Rumor Has It
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
It is possible that you’re worn out on endless perfect days, eternal sunshine, light, warmth and all of the other trappings of summer. Perhaps you’re over seeing free outdoor music several times a week. Maybe summer in Bellingham is bumming you right out.
I don’t see how that could ever be the case, but I wear a hoodie on 80-degree days because I have never been too warm in my life.
If you just want to hole up in a dark bar and watch bands compete and fight to the death, I’ve got the entertainment option for you.
Except for the fight to the death part. That was hyperbole. While such an event sounds entertaining on paper, I have a feeling I would not enjoy it one bit in real life.
But a little healthy competition never hurt anyone—and if prizes are on the line along with bragging rights, so much the better.
What I’m saying is Showdown at the Shakedown is back, and the first qualifying round happens Wed., Aug. 7, with additional rounds on Aug. 14 and 21, before the finals reward the winner with the aforementioned prizes and bragging rights on Aug. 28. The deal is pretty simple: At each of the qualifying rounds, three local bands—in round one, Akrasia, Toast, and India Glover are scheduled to play—will take the Shakedown stage to play a set of no longer than 25 minutes. Voting begins after the start of the second song of the last band (to avoid folks showing up to vote and run). In a backward example of paying for votes, each person who has paid the $1 cover gets a ballot. Votes are tallied at the end of the night and the winner walks with the door and a berth in the final round. Winning bands square off on Aug. 28 for glory, door money, plus $100 in cash to put toward financing their rock star dreams.
The Showdown at the Shakedown seems like an endeavor geared toward fun—and it is definitely that—but it is also a means by which to get local bands looking for opportunities to play live the chance to get themselves on a stage and before an audience. Most of the musicians who sign up for the competition are trying to get a toehold in the music scene and this is a great means by which to do so. Plus, it hearkens back to the days of the cheap and/or free local showcases that used to happen in Bellingham on the regular, so it has that going for it too.
In short, rather than fighting to the death, participants in Showdown at the Shakedown are helping to breathe new life into our music scene. Sometimes, a little competition really can be a healthy thing.