“And it was pretty humbling to hear that Dan Edinburg was a judge, since I grew up listening to ZOX and really looked up to them when I was first learning to play,” said McLaughlin.
Local five-piece Jetty (jettyjams.com) came out swinging and put up a good fight behind a room full of screaming female fans as the band announced, “We got some stank, so don’t be afraid to get sweaty!” Vocalist Yeugene Barokha was the talk of the evening, crooning away over the breezy pop jams. Jetty surely won over some new fans, as they did during their underdog semifinal win at Fatt Squirrel.
The room was fully lathered by 11 pm when the Stilts (thestiltsri.bandcamp.com) hit the stage (a chant battle for Jetty and the Stilts was in full effect during the soundcheck). The Woonsocket-based foursome received the loudest reception of the evening and rode the wave on “So Youthful” (a mash of Band of Horses and the Police) and the bluesy new track, “Out of My Own Way.” Be on the lookout for new stuff from the Stilts soon.
Along with the $4500 worth of prizes (including studio time, a professional photo shoot, etc), the Rare Occasions can count on plenty of coveted airplay outside of the station’s HomeBru’d programming (weeknights at 9 pm) over the next year, as well as a headlining gig at the hugely popular Summer Concert Series at Waterplace Park. McLaughlin said the band intends to release a new EP over the coming weeks, which will include the majority of new cuts performed at the Rock Hunt. The Rare Occasions will play a pair of college dates up north over the next two weeks (Tufts and BU), and keep an eye on therareoccasions.com for added tour dates.
“It feels great to have come back and won the Rock Hunt four years later, but what I’m most pumped about is how much we’ve each grown as musicians during that time,” said Brian McLaughlin. “It’s exciting to see it all come together as we look into the future.”