Roses are red, winners are too 

Battle of Birdy’s Finals
Emerson Rose, Wheelhouse, Pennycuff, The Jer Gregg Ensemble, Red Moon, Bunny Wabbit
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
Saturday, Dec. 9

Congratulations to Emerson Rose for making it to the top of the heap in a battle that, based on crowd reactions, seemed wide open right up until their name was called as the 2006 Battle of Birdy’s winners. Along with $10,000, free studio time and an impressive bag of prizes, Emerson Rose walked away with bragging rights as the best band in Indy — at least until next year.

After spending an entire evening at Birdy’s, I realized that, as cliché at it sounds, these bands were all winners. Each of the six competitors impressed the audience and judges in the three previous rounds enough to have made it to the finals, so I took it upon myself to create some fake awards based on the performances I witnessed Saturday night.

The Underdog Award goes to Bunny Wabbit. The band was everything I expected and more. When the three members took the stage and turned on Christmas lights on their bunny ears, I knew they’d not only not win, but would most certainly finish last. I was right, not that I wanted to be. Bands wearing goofy costumes and playing badass punk-metal tunes don’t win prizes — they win fans.

Red Moon takes home the Coffee House Allstar Award. They played a great acoustic set, but at a packed bar in front of a crowd wanting to get rocked, Red Moon didn’t stand a chance. I’d really like to see them in a tamer environment.

Hands down, the Fire Your Roadie Award goes to The Jer Gregg Ensemble. Maybe they didn’t have roadies, but what was the deal with that huge delay in the middle of their set?

The Holy Crap That Rocked Award goes to Wheelhouse. These guys need to skip the studio and just start doing more live shows. An extremely tight set and a guitarist whose hands move faster than Pee Wee Herman’s make this band one to keep your eye on.

Last week, I said The Jer Gregg Ensemble would swoon the girls, but it is Pennycuff who wins the Lady Killer Award. All the girls danced to their slow, bluesy tunes during the battle finals. Good job, fellas!

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