By Hannah MacLeod
Locally loved band, Boiler Beach, comprised of Andrea Matchett, Terry Marsh and Mike Stopford, recently placed in the top eight bands out of 15,000 competitors across North America.
The music competition, entitled Opening Act and hosted by Audacy, offered three runner-up prizes and one grand prize to be won. Over 22,000 bands across North America applied to compete, with 15,000 bands being selected.
There were four categories in the semi-finals, so it’s not clear how many votes the other second place competitors had, however, it means that the band placed somewhere between fifth and eighth place.
Free online votes were collected daily for about eight weeks, with every dollar donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention generating another vote for Boiler Beach, or the voters selected band. Boiler Beach went through the preliminary rounds, the quarter-finals, and finally made it to the semi-finals, where they remained in first place until there were 30-60 seconds left, when another artist swooped in and took that position.
Had the band won first place in the semi-finals, they would have moved onto the Final Four round, where they would have received a free trip to L.A., no matter what. Had they placed first overall, they would have received the grand prize – sharing a stage with Alanis Morissette (one of Matchett’s musical heroes), Weezer (one of Marsh and Stopford’s musical heroes), Garbage, Halsey and other great recording artists at the Hollywood Bowl. Second, third or fourth place would have garnered them concert tickets and an all-expenses-paid trip to L.A.
“In the last sixty seconds of the semi-finals, we really thought we were going to get to the Final Four round, so we were disappointed not to advance after all the work we put in to spread the word – who wouldn’t be,” said Matchett, the band’s lead singer. “After some reflection and seeing all the positives, it felt incredible to know we entered a North America-wide contest and finished strong – all thanks to everyone’s votes and donations.”
“Being in the top eight out of 15,000 competitors certainly validates that Boiler Beach is loved, and that we should never give up,” she continued.
“We are so grateful to those who gave us free daily votes and donated to the cause,” said Matchett. “We will never forget how supportive our friends and families were during those eight weeks, as well as the Grey-Bruce County area in general. We are also very grateful to 95.5 Shoreline Classics and 97.9 The Bruce for all of their support throughout the contest as they really helped to spread the word.”
Following the excitement, Boiler Beach hosted a fun pre-Halloween costume party at The Bruce in Kincardine, on Saturday, Oct. 29. They entertained from 9 p.m. to midnight and ran games during two breaks in between music sets.
“We made it rain candy and glow sticks for those who came out to have some fun with us,” added Matchett.
The band also ran three “best costume” contests and had an assistant pick out three contestants for each one. The winner was selected based on how loud the applause was and received some Boiler Beach swag among other gifts.
Winning for scariest costume was Dan Clarke of Walkerton, who was dressed up as a plague doctor. Funniest costume was a “natural clown”, whose name they didn’t catch. The best couple’s costume, who the band referred to as “cage-head and stocks”, were Derek and Kendra Brown.
Boiler Beach will be playing at The Pub in Owen Sound on Nov. 26 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with no cover charge.
Following that, they will be hosting an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” Open Mic Night at The Bruce on Dec. 22 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“We are hoping to have something fun lined up for New Year’s Eve, too,” said Matchett. “We are also coming into the ‘off season’ for live performing, so we will be focusing more on behind-the-scenes tasks like music production, web presence, preparation for next year and hopefully at least one music video… the possibilities are endless.”
Fans can always check their website www.boilerbeach.ca and socialmedia sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for show updates. Boiler Beach is available for private parties or corporate events, and anyone wishing to book Boiler Beach can do so through the contact form on their website.