The Blue Note held the third annual Mid-Mo Rock Awards on Sunday, hosting 44 bands competing for 15 awards. Coordinated by JPS Productions and hosted by photographer Bryan Pitman, the event was a celebration of area music and included live performances from some of Missouri’s finest artists.
Jason Schrick, the owner of JPS Productions and creator of the award ceremony, started this annual event to help grow the local music scene.
“I was watching the Grammy’s one night, and I thought, ‘I want to do something like that for our local rock and metal scene,’” he said.
The event is unique in its intimacy — most of the bands, presenters and the host know each other, which gave the event an inviting atmosphere. The majority of the bands are from Columbia, with a few from Springfield or the towns bordering Columbia.
Don’t Mind Dying, the band that won Rock Band of the Year at the 2016 awards, gave the first performance of the night. The performance was high energy and got the crowd excited for the rest of the evening. The band also went on to win Blues Rock Band of the Year, and singer Brian Craig won Frontman of the Year.
The evening began with the Indie-Rock Band of the Year award, which was given to Shades of I, whose drummer Alex Neely also won Drummer of the Year. Following that, The Many Colored Death won the award for Best Live Show. The Many Colored Death’s guitarist and vocalist Brent Moore also won Guitarist of the Year.
The show featured performances from Mangosteen and the heavy-metal band Nevalra, who won Metal Band of the Year. 4 Skeevy Dudes followed and provided a set full of jumping and dancing around the stage. Following them was Decadent Nation, which featured five exquisitely dressed men, one of whom displayed some impressive hair flips. The last two bands to play were The Daily Crime, an indie-rock trio that was slightly more mellow but every bit as impassioned as the rest, and Madora, the trio that won the award for Modern Rock Band of the Year. The singer, Pitman mentioned, has a voice similar to a young Kurt Cobain, and the three closed the evening in a lively manner.
A highlight of the show was Between Elsewhere’s reception of the New Rock Band of the Year award. This was especially exciting because, as singer Shana Backman stated, the band is less than a year old and haven’t even released a recording yet. Also entertaining was the The Royal Furs’ acceptance of Pop-Rock Band of the Year — one of the male band members came on stage in a dress and accepted the award as though he were Ruth Acuff, the vocalist of the group.
The last award of the show, Best Rock Band of the Year, was awarded to the Springfield-based group T.R.O.Y. Following their acceptance speech, one of the members added, “Music heals, music is love,” ending the show with a nice energy in the air.
Schrick hoped to get the community involved in local music with this show.
“It’s a college town, so you don’t really want to invest your time in a local band because you’re not here that long,” Schrick said. “But I think this show is the best opportunity for anybody that is a fan of rock ‘n’ roll or metal.”
Mocklove, which won Alt-Rock Band of the Year, seconded this idea of supporting local music with an important message.
“All your favorite bands started local,” a band member said.
Pitman then drove the point home, telling the audience to go home and support local music by listening to local bands on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes and Pandora.
The award show was an incredible opportunity to expand outlook on Columbia’s music scene. The show will be back next year, as another chance to become acquainted with the talented people in Columbia. With seven live performances, as well as an opportunity to get to know new bands, it’s an event that’s not to be missed.
Edited by Brooke Collier | firstname.lastname@example.org