What happened when we brought some of Baltimore’s youngest musical talent to Hard Rock Cafe on a Friday night?

They rocked Hard Rock! In front of a crowd of more than 250 people (not including those gathered along the pier to get a peek at the action and groove along).

We had a blast at our first-ever Battle of the Bands: Kids Edition! Five area music schools brought their best to the stage, all vying for a spot to open for one of WTMD’s Saturday Morning Tunes concerts in the fall. Each band, comprised of kids ages 10-18, performed two songs. Local musicians Brooks Long, Serena Miller, and Micah Wood critiqued each band based on originality, musicianship, showmanship, audience interaction, and band dynamic. MC Jamaal “Mr. Root” Collier kept the crowd going all night.

Between sets, audience members made guitar pick necklaces, buttons featuring all of the participating bands, cheesed in the mirror photobooth, got (temporary) rock locks from the rock hair bar, had their faces painted, and got to try the new menu items at Hard Rock Cafe.

Congratulations to our five competing bands: All Access from STAGES Music Arts in Cockeysville; D, Me, & The Fools fromMike’s Music in Ellicott City; Dry Season from Bach to Rock in Fulton; School of Rock House Band from School of Rock Baltimore; and Urchin from Soundcheck Rock Academy in Columbia. The scores were super tight but in the end, All Access pulled ahead of Urchin by 2 points for the win! We’ll get to see them live at WTMD this fall!

Next time you’re enjoying lunch or dinner at Hard Rock, swing by the Rock Shop and take a peek at the guitar on the wall signed by all of our participating bands!

Many thanks to Hard Rock for sponsoring and hosting, everyone who came out to cheer on some really amazing young musicians, our judges, MC, the sound engineers, WTMD, and of course — the kids who shared their talents. We can’t wait for the next one!

Here’s some of the action that night, courtesy of photographer John Waire.