Teen band takes stage by storm

When bass guitarist Dayton Brown took the stage for last night’s “Battle of the Bands” competition, held in conjunction with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, he confidently sported a navy blue T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “Trust Me, I’m a Pro.”
In reality, that’s not quite the case.
But tomorrow night, when the 15-year-old musician and his “Something Else” band-mates make their next appearance under the bright lights at the Sorting Gap Marina, they’ll do so as the opening act for some true professionals.
By virtue of winning last night’s competition, the teen band—comprised of Brown, vocalist Ryan Shortreed, guitarists Patrick Bobczynski and Cody McCool, and drummer Zach McCool—will kick off tomorrow’s entertainment package, which features Kenny Shields and Streetheart, a well-known Canadian rock group.
Not bad for a bunch of kids who are not yet old enough to score driver’s licenses, much less produce the necessary photo ID to see Streetheart’s show.
“It’s like a dream opening for Streetheart,” beamed Zach McCool, the group’s long-haired drummer, just minutes after the Battle of the Bands results were announced.
“We thought we might have a chance to win the [Battle of the Teenage Bands],” added his brother, Cody, referring to Sunday night’s competition. “But we thought we were going to come last here.”
While the headliners have yet to take the stage, “Something Else” has wasted no time making their names known at the annual bass tournament.
In addition to winning Sunday night’s “Battle of the Teenage Bands” and triumphing again in last night’s “Battle of the Bands” competition, they’ve also won the support of many local music enthusiasts.
By the time the trio of judges had tallied their scores last night, many of the junior high-aged kids in the audience, including a handful of young girls whose high-pitched screams echoed under the big tent, already had headed home.
But the group still received plenty of support.
And they weren’t faulting their friends for leaving early. In fact, the band members themselves admitted that being on stage for the midnight announcement might have been a breach of their curfews.
“But this is special,” noted Brown.
Indeed, it’s not every day an outfit of 13-, 14-, and 15-year-olds claims bragging rights in a competition like last night’s—earning the right to share the stage with a former Juno Award-winning band.
“It was amazing, mind-blowing,” Shortreed said of hearing his group’s name called when the winners were announced.
“We were just shocked.”
The McCool brothers and Bobczynski have been playing together for a few years, but the five-piece band only was officially formed in November. Last night’s show was just their fourth gig.
The group’s playlist includes covers of Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” The Who’s “Magic Bus,” and even a few songs they wrote themselves, including “Miss November.”
For more information, log on to the band’s website at www.some-thing-else.piczo.com