In the music world, Miami is recognized as the capital of Latin music, birthplace of the Miami sound and hometown of numerous pop stars.
However, little is heard about Miami rockers in local and national media.
But you wouldn’t know that if you were in Stage 305 at the Magic City Casino on Saturday, for the Ultimate Miami Band finals.
With the house full, Magazine Society, an alternative rock band, rose as the Ultimate Miami Band and left the stage with a $5,000 grand prize.
The event was organized by Ultimate Miami LLC, a company that promotes a variety of local talent competitions. The admission was $40 and included a free drink, appetizer and parking.
Ultimate Miami seeks prospects in the fields of music, bartending, and culinary arts. They team up with the Magic City Casino and use Stage 305 as their main venue to launch the contests.
“This is a great opportunity for the winner to get a lot of recognition,” said Sandra Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the casino. “We know there has been a lot of interest on how Miami’s ultimate band looks like.”
The contest had three phases.
First, contestants submitted a free registration online. Second, fans were able to vote multiple times online for about a month to give their favorite band the highest voting percentage to become a finalist. Then, the finalists had to perform live at Stage 305 in the bands battle to defeat the other contenders.
This time, the finalists were Dyslexic Postcard, Jeckomaniacs, High Gravity and the Band of Brothers, Magazine Society, and VIVA Classic Rock & Roll. Styles ranged from alternative to blues to punk.
All five bands had to perform for eight minutes, including one cover song of their choice.
The judges, Y100 radio’s DJ Cato K, Where South Florida editor Aurora Rodriguez and WIOD radio host Manny Munoz, selected the two bands that advanced to the second round. They considered performance quality and audience reaction.
Fans not only danced and sang but also battled with massive ovations.
Groovy-blues rockers High Gravity and the Band of Brothers from Cutler Bay and alternative Magazine Society advanced to the second round. “We knew from the beginning that Magazine Society was our biggest competition,” said Ron Derrick, High Gravity and the Band of Brothers’ guitar and back-up singer.
Magazine society covered Coldplay’s Yellow impeccably in the second round to captivate the audience and win the title. After a standing ovation, they anchored to one another in a long hug backstage. “We are very excited but relieved now,” said Kevin Kelly the band’s bass player.
Magazine Society’s original repertoire is very contemporary and their sound is definitely tight and sleek. They feed from a collage of artists that includes Lenny Kravitz, Coldplay, Kings of Leon and more. “We define our sound as happy-sad rock,” said Julio Berrones, the lead singer.
The band members come from Kendall, North Miami, Miami Beach and West Palm Beach to rehearse at a studio in North Miami Beach. Magazine Society has sounded the speakers of well-known local clubs such as Tobacco Road, Churchill’s and Eve. But they don’t have any concert scheduled for now.
The band, which has no record deal, plans to use the money to finish their album and organize a tour that gives them bigger projection, allowing them to play their music for larger audiences. “Hopefully, someone is going to pay attention to what we do,” said Berrones.
Ultimate Miami Band was the second contest that Ultimate Miami has organized, following Ultimate Miami Bartender, which finals took place at the same venue on Sept. 29. Ultimate Miami Bartender Isaac Grillo, like Magazine Society, walked away with the title and $5,000.
Ultimate Miami has a variety of other events planned, featuring, for example, local food trucks, desserts and DJs.
For more information visit www.theultimatemiami.com or call 305-631 4536