Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s statewide youth music competition Iowa Rocks Talent had eight bands and six individuals make it to finals on Labor Day weekend. Two of the three winners - Awakening Force and Eli Dykstra - will be performing an all-ages show on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines. Their friends The Spacemen, another finalist at the event, will be joining them on stage as well. Tickets are $5 at the door and music runs 5:30-9 p.m.
Winners of Iowa Rocks Talent receive recording time at Catamount Recording in Cedar Falls, the opening slot for that year’s Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Induction Concert, and a good handful of publicity to help propel them to the next level. What’s next? That’s up to the bands. “The goal of Iowa Rocks Talent is to provide young musicians with professional development to further their careers,” said Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Executive Director Cindy Stanbro. “We always hope the added visibility propels them to the next level in their career.”
Forming just over a year ago, Awakening Force is building a buzz on the Central Iowa music scene. With band members 15-16 years old, people are often shocked when they hear them play as their talent and sound surpass their years. Awakening Force includes Tyler Halverson (lead vocals/guitar), Zach Halverson (drums), Jaden Eppers (lead guitar), and Kendall Wiseman (bass). They play their own songs with a wide variety of rock/classic rock/metal covers.
Joining Awakening Force on stage at the Vaudeville Mews is Eli Dykstra, another winner from Iowa Rocks Talent. At only 16, Eli Dykstra Rocks! continues to make new fans by doing something a little different: he’s a solo act but brings the energy of a full band with his stage presence and use of backing tracks he composed and recorded. Playing his own instrumental compositions, Eli uses the guitar as his voice and leaves audiences impressed.
Special guests The Spacemen will also make an appearance Nov. 10. The Spacemen were brought together by NASA at the turn of 2016 to bring rock and roll back to the universe. These 14-year-olds rock the stage with originals and covers and hope to be the first band to give a concert from the Moon.
For more information about the show, go to www.vaudevillemews.com. Established in 1997 as the first state rock ‘n roll music association, the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association is a statewide 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to preserve the legacy of rock ‘n roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists. For more information about the Association, go to www.iowarocknroll.com.