And the Winner Is...
Sometimes the winner is obvious before it’s even announced. Not this time. Seven accomplished bands, each featuring a Pagliacci Pizza crew member, thrilled the crowd at Chop Suey on Monday, June 11. The prize was two days worth of studio time at the studio Hall of Justice, where Nirvana recorded their album Bleach and many other accomplished bands have recorded, but the whole night was also a fun way to raise funds for the Vera Project, the all-ages volunteer-fueled music and arts venue. At the end of the show, Pagliacci presented Vera with a check for five thousand dollars.
If we had judged by the crowd response after each act alone, it would have been impossible to discern a clear favorite of the night. As the evening's emcee and Pagliacci's Driver Manager, Sasha Mitronovas, put it, “We’re blessed as a company to have such amazing talent.” The margin between bands was slim. Their styles and moods were disparate enough that depending on your taste, you might have chosen another. If we were left to choose between the seven bands, we might have divided the prize seven ways. But that’s why we hired judges with plenty of experience making these kinds of tough decisions.
The bands put on an amazing show. Singers sang their hearts out, guitarists sent high, bright chords through the speakers, and drummers kept the beat like the rock stars they are. When the speakers stopped vibrating sometime after midnight, a who’s who of talent scouts—Nick Duncan, Subpop; Sebastien Deremat, Hall of Justice; Charlie Deane, Chop Suey; and Jason Clackey, Vera Project—took the stage to announce the grand prize winner: Colorworks, a psychedelic pop band.
And the winner is... Colorworks!
Colorworks played a fabulously tight set, with their sun-chiming guitar, driving percussion, and swooning vocal harmonies. Keeping the beat on drums was Deno Durant, a cook at Pagliacci’s Mercer Island store. Colorworks will soon be recording their first full-length album at Hall of Justice Recording Studio. A massive shout out to Colorworks on their hard-earned victory.
A Recap of the Show
Sweet Jesus kicked the night off with a passionate set of powerful folk punk—Yes, that’s a thing—with a touch of the psychedelic. The talented lead singer, Bobby Malvestuto, a driver at our West Seattle store, sang with intensity and passion, his voice rising above the driving guitars.
Next up was Low Tone Colors, whose progressive rock 'n' roll soared on the vocal harmonies from Will, a cook at our Crossroads store, and his brother, Josh Gilchrist, while their father, William, backed them up on drums. William has been drumming in Seattle with one band or another for over 25 years. When two of his boys said they wanted to form a band, he was all in. Will plays guitar, Josh bass, and both sing. “When we’re up there playing, we’re just three guys making music together,” William says. This was a perfect way to showcase what they've been working on.
The third act was Chance to Steal, featuring Austin Colbert on bass. He works at Pagliacci’s store at McMahon Hall on the UW campus. “We’re the angriest band you’re going to see tonight,” lead singer Dave Thurston said with a smile. At times channeling Bad Religion, they romped through a set of high-quality power punk. Drummer, Marcus Alcantara, provided their propulsive beat. He deserves a special shout-out for both running the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon the day before (he was still feeling it) and proposing marriage to his girlfriend, now fiancee.
All the Real Girls, a band started by the talented singer, Peter Donovan, features Pagliacci’s own Matt Millen from Stone Way. They slowed the frenetic beat down for their compelling twangy folk. Each song told a story accompanied by great instrumentation, the occasional roar of a heavy guitar lick, and the kind of sweeping melodies you never want to forget.
The fifth band, Moonly, is the alt-pop creation of Dimitri Pinto, a cook at our Bridle Trails store. Dimitri handles the vocals and lead guitar. The ardent lyrics, shifting tempos, and rousing choruses pulled quite a crowd to the dance floor from the bar.
The Dirty Dough Trays, a band made entirely of Pagliacci employees, hasn’t been together all that long. You wouldn’t know it by watching them. Their high-octane set filled the show floor. On lead vocals and guitar was Kellie Olson, Driver Lead at our Kenmore store, singer/song-writer on her spare time. She impressed everyone with her dynamic vocal range and hauntingly emotional lyrics. Ryan Sparks, Christopher Merton and Tyler Coudare rounded out the band with guitar, bass, synth and drums.
Colorworks played last and hadn’t even gotten out of the green room when the judges announced they were the winner. With the heavyweight belt wrapped around all four proud band members, Colorworks lead singer, Bret Dylan, graciously thanked everyone and said, “We are so proud to share the stage with so many worthy acts.”
We couldn’t agree more. We’re equally proud to spend an evening celebrating the incredible talent of so many of our employees and supporting the Vera Project for all they do for our city’s musicians. Thanks to everyone who came out to the show, we're looking forward to the next battle!