Of five finalists, Young & Old came out and won Velour's Battle of the Bands. Photo Courtesy of Velour Live Music Gallery
I arrived at Velour about 30 minutes before show time on Saturday night. A week earlier, the venue’s Number Two, the lovely Kaneischa Johnson, had asked me to help out with judging the competition. (I tried to tell her that I was just a hack writer that was less than qualified for that sort of responsibility, but she didn’t care.) A few of the other judges were already there—real music people: songwriters, artists, producers … industry people. And then there’s me, the guy who fills the page with flowery language, every once in awhile talking about a “soaring guitar solo.” Kaneischa briefed us on the judging criteria and what she expected from us. I looked at the paper with the criteria that she had given us all, appended to a clipboard: Musicianship, Songwriting, Crowd Response, Stage Presence and Vocal Performance, all out of 10.