Winner goes to Footstock

The spotlight will be on The City’s local music scene tonight at the Independent at the ING Bay to Breakers Battle of the Bands.

Four groups are vying for the honor to open ING Footstock, the concert/party that follows this year’s May 18 running of San Francisco’s favorite race.

About 50,000 people are expected to attend Footstock, according to event manager George Ridgely. This year’s headliner is The Last Goodnight, which sings “Pictures of You.”

Today’s contest marks the second Battle of the Bands. Last year’s winner was Squaretape, whose guitarist Dan Apczynski says, “The Battle of the Bands competition was great — we were all thrilled to help celebrate Bay to Breakers, and playing to Golden Gate Park through that towering sound system was a pretty amazing experience. … that was the biggest show I’d ever played.”

This year’s contenders are the Pleasuremaker (funk), the Hot Toddies (‘60s harmonies), the Crazies Will Destroy You (avant-geek post-punk) and the Young has Beens (indie pop-rock) — all local groups.

“That is the main criteria for the competition,” says Ridgely. “There are so many great bands in the Bay Area, we wanted the opener at ING Footstock to be a local act. When we are selecting the four finalists we also try to pick bands across a variety of genres. Our audience is so wide, it is too difficult to pigeonhole them to one type of music.”

Tonight’s bands were selected by Bay to Breakers staff, following an open call. Yet the winner will be chosen by the general public in a two-tiered election.

Votes collected from the audience at today’s concert will be counted five times, and added to the results of an online voting session running Thursday through April 23. The band with the most votes wins.

Patrons of today’s show also will have the chance to win door prizes including airline tickets and Bay to Breakers gear. Also, a $5 discount off race registration will be offered, and runners who sign up can pick up their bib and timing chip on the spot.

IF YOU GO

ING Bay to Breakers Battle of the Bands

Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. today

Tickets: $12

Contact: (415) 771-1422 or www.baytobreakers.com

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