Junior Brad DiCarlo takes the stage with his three other band members, and with blinding lights shining on their anticipation filled faces, they prepare to play the first notes of an original song. The band’s future rests on this performance. They need our help.
Hailing from Kokomo, Ind., DiCarlo is part of a band called Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes. The band is comprised of four members, Dean Schimmelpfennig, the lead singer, Tommy Kinne, the bassist, Collin Irish, the drummer, and Brad DiCarlo, the lead guitarist.
Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes classify themselves as a rock or alternative rock band. Stylistically compared to The Chili Peppers or Led Zeppelin.
The band is thriving in their hometown of Kokomo but they need to branch out to a bigger audience.
“Most of our fan base is college students,” Schimmelpfennig said. “But I’ve got 80-year-olds that have told me they listen to our music. I’m also a music teacher and my six and seven year old kids come up and tell me they listen to our music every day. It’s an awesome feeling.”
To build their fan base and exposure, the band is currently entered into a battle of the bands competition called “Indy’s Next Big Thing”, put on by the local radio station Q95.
Schimmelpfennig and DiCarlo handle booking the band and inadvertently both signed up for this same competition.
In the beginning stages of the competition, the band’s audition tape was chosen out of 400 other bands to be in the top 16. They then went through two actual rounds of competition. The first, in Fishers, they won, so now they will be competing in the final round against three other bands.
During the final round, the band will have a 30-minute time limit to showcase the individual talents that make up Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes. Their score is based on originality, stage presence, musicianship, crowd interaction, and crowd response.
“Butler students would help in that (crowd interaction and crowd response) area,” DiCarlo said. “Depending on how many students come, it could win it for us.”
The band has been together since December of 2009 and winning this competition could be a great thing for them.
“The biggest thing for us is exposure, but winning would bring other cool things like contacts and shows that we need for the future. Right now we’re trying to get as many shows as possible outside of our hometown.” Schimmelpfennig said.
If the band wins, they would get to open for a band called Group Love, playing at the Egyptian Room.
“It would mean the world to us if we won,” DiCarlo said. “We are in it for the long haul. We’ve talked about going out on the road, so anything to speed up that process would definitely help us out.”
The final round of competition is being held at The Vogue on November 30th at 7 p.m., and the concert is free.