Vegas pop punks Crimson Riot win music competition TV show

They thought maybe it was their “La La Land” moment.

The three members of Vegas pop punks Crimson Riot were on stage last month in Nashville, Tennesse, competing in the finals of the inaugural season of the band competition series “Who Will Rock You.” On the line in the Topgolf TV show: a $25,000 grand prize and the chance to play a pair of shows at the Topgolf locations in Las Vegas and Nashville.

The trio had just performed a feisty take on its original tune “Riot,” an anthemic plea for togetherness in divisive times.

But the odds were stacked against Crimson Riot: the other finalist, Nashville-based Chris Ferrara & The Common Good, had home-field advantage, with the victor selected by an audience vote and the two judges (national radio host and author Bobby Bones and singer-songwriter Maggie Rose).

Still, Crimson Riot nailed its time on stage.

“That was the best performance you guys have had all series,” Bones gushed.

‘It felt like hours’

Next up, Ferrara and company predictably went over big with the crowd.

Then came the wait for the judges’ decision, which was probably the longest 10 minutes of the Vegas trio’s lives.

“It felt like hours,” Crimson Riot singer-guitarist Roxy Gunn acknowledges with a laugh.

As expected, the audience vote went to Chris Ferrara & The Common Good.

Next, it was Rose’s turn.

“As far as making an impression and something that is all their own and original, I’m going to have to cast my vote for the Crimson Riot,” she said, evening the score.

So it all came down to Bones.

“You make a lot of noise for three people!” he said of Crimson Riot, earning the wrath of The Common Good-leaning locals. “I feel like I’m going to need security out of here,” he said, only half-jokingly.

Nevertheless, he sided with Crimson Riot.

“Our minds were blown. We were like, ‘Are you making a mistake? Are you sure?’ ” Gunn recalls. “Friends of ours said, ‘I love the shock on your faces. That was really good.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, it was legitimate.’ ”

‘We don’t really do the “American Idol” thing’

One of eight bands selected for “Who Will Rock You,” following auditions in Vegas and Nashville in February, Crimson Riot had to win three rounds to reach the final victor’s circle.

They didn’t expect to make it there.

“We definitely didn’t intend on winning,” says Gunn, a high-energy redhead. “We were just like, ‘There’s no way we’re going to get through this.’ ”

Crazy thing is, they didn’t even enter themselves in the competition.

And they don’t know who did, exactly.

The trio also performs as cover band The Roxy Gunn Project. After a gig, a fan took one of the group’s business cards, looked it up on YouTube, then reached out to “Who Will Rock You.”

The show contacted the band, which was initially wary of entering.

“We were like, ‘We don’t know. We don’t really do the “American Idol” thing.’ ” Gunn recalls. “They’re like, ‘It’s nothing like that. We’re trying to stay away from all that stuff because we want something different.’ ”

Standing out from the crowd

Entering the competition as Crimson Riot, not The Roxy Gunn Group, they didn’t give themselves much of chance of winning as a punk band in front of a mainstream crowd. But that’s one of the main reasons they stood out.

“It’s been really cool to be put in front of an audience that we normally wouldn’t be put in front of,” Gunn says. “Punk is still kind of an underground genre. I describe the punk scene as an iceberg: You only see what’s on top, your Green Days, your Offsprings, bands like that, but beneath the surface there’s all these bands. To be in front of a mainstream audience is an opportunity that a lot of bands like us don’t normally get.”

If Gunn sounds particularly animated on the day that we speak with her, it’s for good reason: It just happens to be her 26th birthday.

The following morning, the band will catch a plane to Nashville for its Topgolf gig, returning to town to play Topgolf Las Vegas on Aug. 17.

And so any birthday celebrations will have to wait.

“Everybody’s asking me, ‘What are you doing for your birthday? You going to party?’ ” Gunn chuckles. “No, I have to be up at 7 a.m. to go to the airport.”

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
Trainer Lou “Mack” McCammon guides several rescue dogs through a series of tricks and jumps two shows a day weekends through December at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like