Sometimes a hint of magic is all it takes to woo an entire audience. That's what local band Behold the Wolf had at Saturday's Rock 'n' Roll Shootout. Hollywood Lovescene, Bobby and the Renegades, and
Small Town Gypsys all left their hearts on the stage, but the Wolf persevered. In the small Nectar Lounge located within Coconut Creek's Seminole
Casino, these four local bands competed for a SunFest gig.
Last to perform, Behold the Wolf, brought a mesmerizing
energy that began in lead singer Vinny De Tomasso's eyes. The band's decision to play both original music and do a couple of
covers worked in its favor. Family and friends chanted "Behold
the Wolf" numerous times, drawing plenty of attention from passersby. Anyone who voted for his or her favorite band paid $1, which went
to victims of the recent Japan earthquake. In addition to the opportunity to play SunFest, the band walked away with $2,500.
Before the finale happened, we interviewed the competing bands about what making it to would mean to them.
De Tomasso was modest regarding the win. "I try to keep my expectations down from other people and other places. The high expectations lie within the band." He went on to say, "South Florida is not just a haven for hip-hop and house music. There are a lot of good bands down here." He said he hopes to increase the fan base through SunFest and reach out to people.
On the origins of Behold the Wolf's name: "Behold the Wolf sounds intriguing; there's mystery to it. What exactly is the wolf?" De Tomasso says the name comes from his powerful stage presence -- almost like a wolf, according to the band's producer. The name really stuck after writing the song "Tears of Innocence," which just overcomes an audience.
Julian Vazquez of Hollywood Lovescene says that he and his band have been trying to put out an album but that time just gets away from them. They have played the Buzz Bake Sale, and they played SunFest in 2007. Their biggest goal? To be the next Journey or Green Day or Aerosmith or U2. Julian said he never sings a song the same way twice, and his band
members follow suit. "The energy level is through the roof when you
watch us live," he says. Aside from playing originals, they did a cover of Michael
Jackson's "Beat It" and of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up." Their cover of
"Straight Up" was noticed by Abdul herself after her fans posted a link
from YouTube to her site. Here's the video of their "Straight Up" cover.
Blues bands Bobby and the Renegades and Small Town Gypsys brought a different feel to the stage. Renegades brought old blues in the style of Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson, while Gypsys brought a bluesy funk feel inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Elvin Jones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the days when Muddy Waters could
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be seen for just a nickel.
Behold the Wolf. With Jason Mraz, MGMT, Sublime With Rome, Cee Lo Green, Taking Back Sunday, the Avett Brothers, & More. 5:45 p.m. at SunFest's Tire Kingdom Stage, West Palm Beach Waterfront. Tickets cost $30 to $66. Click here.