California Windfall, Bonavox & The Slightlys Compete For Prized Show At The Santa Monica Pier
Rusty’s Emerging Artist Competition — Finals
On Friday July 11, 2014, California Windfall, Bonavox, and The Slightlys went head-to-head in the 2014 EAC Finals at Rusty’s Surf Ranch, each competing for the chance to win $1,500 and a prime opening spot for Omar Souleyman & De Lux at the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series on July 31st.
California Windfall launched the evening with a powerhouse performance fueled by lead singer Avery Rose’s gritty vocals.
Channeling roots rock, early Fleetwood Mac and the Laurel Canyon scene in sound, wardrobe and moves, Rose and company infused the performance with a free-spirited energy accented by Rose’s ethereal stage choreography and seemingly out of body experiences as each song reached its musical climax.
The polished and poised 6-piece kept the music rocking and the audience engaged throughout a series of psychedelic jams, power ballads and anthemic Southern rock. They left the stage to much applause, having gained some new fans across the multiple generations in attendance at Rusty’s.
Alternative indie-rock ensemble Bonavox followed, bringing just as much soul but a more contemporary sound to the stage.
The group’s poetic and worldly lyrics reflected the band’s diverse heritage (the five members hail from Sweden, Brazil, Indonesia and Germany) weaved together into an eclectic and unique stage presence.
Completely mesmerizing the audience at times with an expressive delivery and electrifying guitar solos, the boys of Bonavox finished off their set on a powerful note by treating the audience to a never-before-heard track, “End Of It All”, and sharing their simple love song to Mother Earth, “The World Is Beautiful”.
The Slightlys—a fresh-faced punky alt/rock band with LA roots—capped off the night with a fully-formed solid sound no-one should have guessed could come from a group of guys all under 18.
Featuring the charismatic Finneas O’Connell on lead guitar and vocals, the young ingénues were strong throughout and even peppered a couple of refreshing surprises into their set—a delightful touch of ‘80s-esque synchronized choreography and a mild-mannered bassist turned maniac violinist without warning.
With a set that built in confidence and poise as it went on, pure joy exuding from all members and an enthusiastic audience increasingly crowding the stage dancing and cheering, the scene was set for a memorable night. The crowd was so enthusiastic, in fact, that The Slightlys ended the show by performing their first ever encore, a fact O’Connell sheepishly admitted with a bashful smile before launching with abandon into their bonus track.
In the end, it seemed all but inevitable that The Slightlys’ talent, ‘tude and team/teen spirit led the panel of three judges to unanimously declare them the victors of Rusty’s Emerging Artist Competition 2014, with Bonavox as first runners up, and California Windfall not far behind. Be sure to catch The Slightlys on their victory lap live at the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday July 31st, and on an upcoming edition of Friday Night Live right here at Static Beach.The Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series on July 31, 2014. 7pm. All Ages. Free Admission.