WOODBRIDGE — On Tuesday, July 27, the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel will play host to RATFEST 2011, the most recent edition of WRAT 95.9 FM’s annual, day-long summertime rock blowout. This year, the concert will feature bands including Disturbed, Godsmack and Megadeth.
And if they get voted in, progressive-rock band Audio Insight will be there too as the show’s opening act.
“RATFEST is an amazing opportunity for bands to get their name out there and open up for some of the greats,” Celi says. “We’d be honored to get the opportunity to play PNC; what WRAT 95.9 FM has lined up for the day is more than just a concert, it’s an event.”
From Woodbridge, in addition to Celi on lead guitar and vocals, Audio Insight includes Mike Deverin (bass) and Dan Sullivan (drums/percussion).
Audio Insight is currently competing in the second of three rounds against other local bands in the RATFEST 2011 Opening Band Search Competition, sponsored by WRAT 95.9 FM and Coors Light. Held as a two-round battle of the bands, the contest will pit Celi’s band against six others vying to be voted top-dog and win the opportunity to play PNC Bank Arts Center.
“Back in February, our band was featured by WRAT 95.9 FM’s ‘Jersey Rock’ program and we got a great reception,” Sullivan says. “We’re hoping to feed off of that going into the contest and really give the judges a powerful performance.”
Audio Insight’s second round battle will take place on Wednesday, June 22 at 9:30 p.m. Should they advance, the finals will be on July 13. Both shows will be held at High Velocity in Beachwood.
This isn’t the band’s first taste of the big time. On Friday, April 29, the three-piece progressive rock band performed at the New Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford during the 2011 Bamboozle Music Festival alongside artists like Wiz Khalifa and 30 Seconds to Mars.
In addition to the popular music festival, the band has also graced the stage at numerous venues in the tri-state area including Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Mexicali LIVE in Teaneck, The Court Tavern in New Brunswick and The National Underground in New York.
“Playing in New York was something we’ve always hoped to have a chance to do,” Deverin says. “We’ve got a busy summer coming up with a lot of shows already on the schedule and are trying to set this time aside for ‘the big push’. In the future, we hope to continue to share our music with the tri-state area and put on some memorable shows.”
During Bamboozle, the band graced The BREAK Stage and played a five-song set to a growing and energized crowd. Included in the band’s performance were four songs off of their debut album Dimensions, which is currently available on iTunes, as well as their cover of prog-rock kings Rush’s legendary track ‘The Spirit of Radio’.
“We were pretty excited,” Celi says. “When you’re up there and just look around, there’s thousands of people there. It was pretty awesome.”
To get to Bamboozle, Audio Insight had to compete against more than 400 bands and musicians in The BREAK Contest. After three rounds of heated competition, Audio Insight was awarded the ultimate prize and named one of New Jersey’s regional finalists.
“The guys (in Audio Insight) are very good students of music,” says John D’Esposito, founder of the Bamboozle Music Festival. “I can really appreciate guys who really focus and I can tell they spent a lot of time preparing; they kicked butt on stage (during their BREAK Contest Finals performance).”
Earlier this year The Aquarian, New Jersey’s oldest alt-weekly, recognized the band as one of the Top Unsigned Acts of 2011. Only freshman in college, the trio’s countless hours spent teaching themselves how to play, and writing original music, has begun to pay off. In less than a few years, the band has morphed from live music newcomers to becoming very good at it.
Audio Insight formed while all three members were still in high school (Celi and Deverin went to Woodbridge High School, while Sullivan studied at St. Joseph’s in Metuchen). Together since 2008, the band was brought together by their mutual affection for rock music.
“I met Anthony in high school,” Deverin says. “The first band we all liked was Rage Against the Machine. We started playing covers of their songs and really went from there.”
High Velocity is located at 226 Atlantic City Blvd in Beachwood. Those attending should note that although the show is free, it is for those ages 21 and older. The band will be performing at 10:30 p.m. and judging will take place later that night.
In addition to the band’s competition during the RATFEST 2011 Opening Band Search, Audio Insight will also be performing as part of Six Flags Great Adventure’s ‘Live and Local’ concert series on Friday, June 24 at the park’s Jackson location.
For more information, those interested are encouraged to log on to Audio Insight’s Facebook page.
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