The Redhouse Arts Center

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Defense Mechanism defends Rockin’ the Redhouse title

Lockheed Martin’s Defense Mechanism won the fifth-annual “Rockin’ the Redhouse” battle of corporate bands for the second straight year.

By winning the competition, Defense Mechanism receives the opportunity to perform at Funk’n Waffles Downtown and a six-hour recording package at SubCat Studios.

In second place was The Dinosaurs from CXtec. The other corporate bands were The Acutators from Young & Franklin, The Verdict from Bosquet Holstein Law Firm, The Chillerz from Carrier Corporation, Six Pack from Anheuser-Busch, and The Salamanders from Arcadis.

The Redhouse Arts Center hosted the three-and-a-half hour event at the Landmark Theater. The event raised $8,000 dollars, according to Sue McKenna. All proceeds from the event go directly to the Redhouse to use in funding for scholarships and programming for the future.

Ticket sales from last year had decreased, however McKenna said that 2017 Syracuse Jazz Festival and the Syracuse Crunch game had an impact on attendance. However, they still welcomed 1,500 guests into the Landmark Theater, McKenna said.

The Redhouse Arts Center is relocating in March 2018 to the corner of S. Salina and West Jefferson Streets, which is very close to the Landmark Theater. This was mentioned often by the hosts of the concert, Gomez Adams and Lisa Chilenza of TK99 radio station.The concert was opened by Douglas Mason, a local band.

Band members include singer Douglas Mason, Jack Goodfellow on guitar and Eric Opett on percussion.Douglas Martin performing at the 2017 Rockin’ the┬áRedhouse event on June 9.

Following the band’s performance, the seven corporate bands performed for fifteen minutes each. Their music was judged by three panelists. The judges for the event were Joe Whiting, a Syracuse-based musician, Jeremy Johnston of SubCat studios and Dave Porter, the former frontman of 805.

As each corporate band performed, members from their corporation, family and friends were invited to the first few rows of the theater. This provided fans the chance to see the band up close. Each corporate band’s fans had their own way of celebrating, whether it was through slamming inflatable noisemakers together or with flashing lights.

After the final band performed, Douglas Martin came back on stage while the judges tabulated the scores. During their performance, all of the bands gathered behind the stage and spoke with one another, a true sign of what the event was supposed to be about.

Following their win, Bob Volk and other Defense Mechanism band members remained on stage to speak with other bands and congratulate them.

“How about that show,” Volk said in an embrace with Defense Mechanism band members.

The band began planning for tonight’s performance in February, which was later than in previous years, Volk said. However, they were not as frequent as someone may think. Due to busy work schedules, the group can only rehearse on weekends.

Bob Volk (left) and Defense Mechanism on stage at the 2017 Rockin’ the Redhouse concert on June 9.
“The day got moved to June rather than March. However, this extra time meant we had to change up our rehearsal schedule from last year,” Volk said after the show.

This year, Defense Mechanism show included “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas, “Do You Feel Like We Do” by Peter Frampton. Following the show, judges praised the band for their stage presence and for being close to perfect.

Kate Kolb, on rhythm guitar and vocals, was only able to go to a few of the events do to her commitments as a teacher at Nottingham High School. However, every moment she spent rehearsing she learned something.

“I’m truly honored to be a part of this band filled with talented people and musicians. They’re all great guys” Kolb said.

Defense Mechanism from Lockheed Martin on stage after winning 2017 Most Rockin’ Band
They were also impressed with the high level of the other corporate bands this year. While it was difficult to determine whether it was different from last year, the band agreed they were filled with talented musicians.

“This is all fun, as we are raising money for the local arts center. We all had a great time,” said Dan Morison, on percussion and vocals.

The Winning Band
Greg Gannett: keyboards, vocals
Matt Gray: lead guitar, vocals
Kate Kolb: rhythm guitar, vocals
Dan Morrison: drums
Jim Murphy: bass, vocals
Bob Volk: vocals, guitar

Participating Bands:

The Acutators (Young & Franklin)

Defense Mechanism (Lockheed Martin)

The Dinosaurs (CXtec)

The Verdict (Bousquet Holstein Law Firm)

The Chillerz (Carrier Corporation)

Six Pack (Anheuser-Busch)

The Salamanders (Arcadis)

Other winners

Runners Up: The Dinosaurs from CXtec

Best Look: Amy Herbert, The Chillerz

Best Vocalist: AShley Cox, CXtec

Best Instrumentalist: Gio Pettigrass, Six Pack

Best Showmanship: Bob Volk, Defense Mechanism

Best Audience Participation: The Chillerz