by Jeff Niesel
The sixth round of the 17th Annual High School Rock Off, which took place yesterday afternoon at House of Blues featured another 11 bands competing for a spot at the upcoming Final Exam in a four-and-a-half concert that featured a good mix of pop, punk and rock acts (and one band that brought an entire choir onto the stage).
Lakeview High School’s the Bob and Tom Show started off with an acoustic singer-songwriter set. The two guys played a mix of original tunes and covers by bands such as Mayday Parade that showed off their subdued vocal skills and acoustic guitar skills. Way Past Curfew followed with a heavy set of originals and covers that concluded with a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The sharp-dressed Evolution all wore matching white shirts and black slacks and played a solid set of retro-sounding pop music. Their set alternated between originals and covers of tracks such as “Route 66” and “Free Bird,” the latter of which they used to conclude their rousing set.
Adrift on River Styx delivered a set that verged on death metal and was punctuated by parched screams and heavy, heavy riffs. Exit #19, a hard rock outfit from Mentor High School that was fronted by a female singer, followed with a set of all-original music that showed off the band's sharp songwriting skills, and Chil offered up a set of pop punk that went over well with the crowd thanks in part to the fact that the group had such good charisma and played with so much energy. Where Forever Dies delivered a set of hard rocking pop music that showcased the vocal harmonies of the two lead singers. University School’s Meridian played an instrumental set of prog rock-inspired tunes and Streetsboro’s ten-person ensemble made use of a veritable choir during its set which included a hip-hop rendition of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” and a cover of Green Day’s “21 Guns.” Highland High School’s Blackhole Evolution delivered hard rock set that included a cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation” and Orange High’s hard rock outfit False Authority showed off its original music in its set and concluded with a cover of Blink 182’s “Dammit.”
In no particular order, three winners —Evolution, Where Forever Dies and Meridian — were announced at the concert’s end and all posed for a photo. They’ll compete again in the “Final Exam,” which takes place on Feb. 9 at House of Blues. You can watch the announcement of the winners here.