Which teens are the next big music act coming out of St. Albert?
Amplify plans to make a lot of noise as it returns with The Show 8.0 on Friday, Oct. 20. Simply put, it’s an event that gives full-throttle teen bands and solo acts a chance to perform in a professionally produced concert, complete with professional tech support.
Nominations are now open until Monday, Sept. 18. Singers and songwriters between Grade 7 and age 21 are encouraged to apply for one of five slots in this title battle. Performers are asked to submit one sample of a song online at amplifystalbert.ca.
“We want to see singers and musicians perform, not just sing a song. We want to see your stage presence. It can be a video of a live performance, but it doesn’t have to be fancy. It could be a song recorded in your basement,” said Kathleen Bell, community cultural coordinator for the City of St. Albert.
At the October competition, finalists will be given a 25-minute slot to impress the crowd. That racks up to about five to six songs with banter in between each number.
“You need 25 minutes of material, and I would reinforce you have to be ready not just to play music but perform the music – play up to the crowd and hype it up,” Bell said.
She cites Revera, the 2022 band who grabbed the audience’s attention from the minute they jumped onstage and won the battle.
“They had such good energy," Bell said. "They fully embraced the rock style. They had all the moves and were ready to perform. The drummer even had a goofy hat on his head the whole time and the bass player went down on his knee. They exuded positive energy and were so gracious to the other bands.”
Revera’s win was proof that a quickly put-together band of individual talents can score big. At the time, Matteo Siccolo (lead singer-guitar) and his best friend Tristan Fehr (lead guitarist) were a two-piece. They invited Ethan Gilbert (drums) and Cassius Devlin (bass) to join up for the competition.
“(The Show) 7.0 was our first live performance and it was an amazing experience," Siccolo said. "It gave us the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other artists, some we knew and some we didn’t.”
Since last October's competition, the modern rock band released their first single, Implosion, in Dec. 2022 and will drop On Cloud Nine, a four-track recorded at Dominelli Studios. The EP will be available on all digital platforms, streaming services and YouTube on Sept. 29.
Bell explained singers and musicians prefer singing cover songs; however, about 30 per cent of songs are original.
“If you sing original material, that's something the committee looks for. That’s a gold star, a check mark. Another thing the committee looks for is performing songs without a music stand.”
Musicians will walk through a professional sound and lighting check with knowledgeable technicians setting up equipment and providing tips on how to create the best festival style performance.
“You get to know other musicians because you’re coming together in a curated event. This event starts a network of musicians, and they grow together. One band might work on a project with another band, or they might need an opening band for an event. And for many it’s the first time they’re working with professional technicians who walk them through what they need to know.”
When preparing to sing, Bell encourages bands or solo acts to be themselves.
“We’re always looking for authenticity in music. Some young people feel a need to fit into a certain genre. But the committee and audience respond to honesty. Be genuine. Be yourself, and don’t be afraid of the tech stuff. We will help you.”