The battle to determine the Tampa Bay area’s ultimate band begins tonight at Ybor City.
The Ritz Ybor’s annual Ultimate Bands Series is returning to the venue for its fourth year, drawing its highest number of entrants yet to compete for cash and prizes worth more than $3,000, including studio time and future gigs around Tampa.
Three weeks of Wednesday night semifinals kick off tonight at 7 when Antic (Ocala), Bangarang (Tampa), Dropin Pickup (Tampa), Sleepy Hill (Tampa) and 5 Pound Trigger (Tampa) take the stage to each perform two original songs and a cover.
A panel of judges led by Jesse Kage from The Kage Kult show on 98 Rock will offer commentary and choose which bands will advance to the Sept. 21 finals based on audience applause and judge’s scoring.
The concerts are open to all ages. Tickets are $5 in advance fromtheritzybor.com or $6 at the door.
Bands set to perform during the Aug. 28 semifinal include Lions After Dark (Clearwater), NoNeed (Tampa), Smash The Pink (Tampa), Stonegrey (Land O’ Lakes) and Sweet Oblique (Ybor City).
The Sept. 4 semifinals will include Airsickness (Palmetto), Drastic Fall (Tampa), Nervous Energy (Clearwater), Ryan Michalski & The Spaceking (Tampa) and Skinny & The Chubbies (Tampa).
Previous winners of the Ultimate Bands Series include Mighty Mongo (2010), The James-Lange Theory (2011) and Rising Down (2012).