Max's band, The Golden Dragons, was a finalist at the RockSTAR Battle of the Bands, held at the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal CityWalk. The 21 bands that participated were the best of the best throughout the LA School District. Max's school, Cowan Avenue Elementary, had three bands in the finals, which tells you a lot about how great both the kids and the instruction are.
The judges, which included producer Gerry Brown (multiple Grammy nominee) and '80s singer Taylor Dayne, were to pick the top two bands. One would be comprised of 4th and 5th graders, and one of 1st through 3rd graders. Max, at a month shy of six, was one of the only kids there still in Kindergarten.
During their performance, the band hit the same trouble spots as they have each time they have performed. That is, the singer rushed and didn't follow the musicians, and his vocal got way ahead of the music. I don't think it was nerves; Nicholas never seems nervous about anything. I just think he's unschooled and needs ear training.
Not winning the prize was not a big loss for these kids, so it was great to hear Max say how much fun he'd had. In fact, my wife told me later that, upon leaving the stage, Max asked her, "When can I have another turn? I wanna go again."
What can I say? The kid's a born performer!
A couple of other tidbits: the event host was D.M.C., of the '80s rap duo Run-D.M.C. During Max's set he was seen talking to someone standing next to him, mouthing the words, "Check out that drummer; he's great!" After all the bands had performed, the teachers and D.M.C. teamed up for a rousing rendition of their mega-hit, "Walk This Way." The singer from what turned out to be the winning older band was there too, and the kid just tore into the last verse like he had been singing the song for years. I was thrilled for him, and he wasn't even my kid! What a great event.
Anyway, here's the final picture of The Golden Dragons. Left to right are Nicholas (vocals, guitar), Max, Sabrina (keyboards), Matthew (guitar), Ramsey (guitar), and Parth (bass). Behind them doing Forrest Gump as Randy Jackson is Mark Miller, guitarist, songwriter, music educator, and man about town (from his business card!).