Last month, after weeks of narrowing down local finalists from a plethora of outstanding homegrown rock cover bands, local rock station K106.3 selected three deserving finalists – 3rd Wave, Pöwer Hoüse and Ugly – to compete at London’s Norma Jean’s for a chance to open this year’s Rock The Park on Jul. 27 in Harris Park.
The top three finalists – 3rd Wave, Pöwer Hoüse and Ugly – were aptly chosen by a panel of judges at K106.3. However, the final decision of who would be Sarnia’s standard bearer at Norma Jean’s was left up to fans by online vote.
When all the votes were counted, Sarnia’s veteran rock cover band, fronted by Glenn McKinnon, 3rd Wave hit the mark and traveled to London yesterday, Jun. 4, to compete in the final UNDER THE COVERS competition against three more of the best rock cover bands in Southwestern Ontario.
Blackburn Radio held the UNDER THE COVERS cover band contest in all four of their radio markets – Sarnia, London, Chatham-Kent and Windsor – to give a band in one of their markets the opportunity to open up Rock The Park – celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – on Jul. 27 for rock legends Styx, Toto, and Grand Funk Railroad.
“We’ve been together for 19 years, always representing this town that we love – locally at countless shows and annual festivals; and throughout the whole region – and to represent our hometown in a contest of this stature is an honor,” said 3rd Wave’s lead vocalist Glenn McKinnon.
3rd Wave bused down 50 local fans to the venue in London, folks who wanted to show their support for a band that, in the minds of many, has been invaluable over the past two decades to the local live music scene and continues to set new standards for cover bands when it comes to stage presence and performance.
All three of the bands that played at Norma Jean’s last night deserved to be there, but there could only be one band left standing by the end of the night – the winner by panel vote was London’s Dirty Little Secret, primarily, for their performance of ZZ Top’s epic hit Sharp Dressed Man.
“After hearing that the contest was any band that had previously played the park this was a no brainer for us. We are all huge ZZ Top fans,” said DLS lead vocalist and guitarist Kevin Claxton.
Despite not taking home the proverbial gold at Norma Jean’s, 3rd Wave served up a champion’s performance with three great tracks along with an unparalleled stage show. In the minds and hearts of local fans, 3rd Wave was the real winner in London but, when all was said and done, it was the panelists that decided the night.
This year will see Rock The Park celebrate its milestone 10th Anniversary with nothing less than an inaugural night that will be double-headlined by The Trews and The Tragically Hip. The next two evenings – Friday and Saturday – will continue the trend of great music with a myriad of all-time classic rock legends that include Journey, Whitesnake and Styx – just to name a few.
Rock The Park is scheduled to kick off Thursday, Jul. 25, with gates open at 4:30 p.m. For more information about the lineup or tickets, visit the event’s website at www.rockthepark.ca or contact the Centennial Hall box office at (519) 672-1967, toll-free (888) 999-8980.