The Rain Dogs reign supreme at Rock-a-Thon

It’s all over but the shouting.

It’s all over but the shouting.

The Rain Dogs clinched the crown in the final round of the second annual Classic Rock-a-Thon, May 9 at Redmond’s Old Fire House (OFH) Teen Center. Shotty took second place, with The First Line in third place and Missing Richard in fourth.

Bass guitarist/back-up vocalist and Rain Dogs spokesperson Jesse Willard humbly noted, “It’s hard to say exactly why we were chosen as the winners, as all the bands did a great job and first place was really anyone’s guess. Each time a band played, we would look at each other and exchange looks of worry. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like those particular feelings of ours were transmitted to the crowd or the judges.”

Judges were a combination of OFH staff, music business professionals, sponsor representatives, producers and young people from various backgrounds and differing musical tastes, according to Chris Cullen, program coordinator at the OFH. They evaluated competitors as follows:

1. Performance — Were they technically and musically sound? Did they put on a good show for the audience?

2. Creativity — Were they creative in their arrangements? Did they do something unexpected?

3. Originality — Did they approach the cover song with an original flair? Did they take the song and make it their own?

4. Crowd response — Did the crowd enjoy the show? Was there applause?

5. “General amazement” — Were the judges impressed by the overall performance?

The Rain Dogs started their set with Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” because, said Willard, “that was very much our intent.”

They included some ‘80s punk metal and a combination of “Think” by Aretha Franklin and “Play that Funky Music” by Wild Cherry.

Willard explained, “Though the thought of it may sound preposterous, we found out that parts of the songs were actually pretty similar and so we did a bit of song overlap.”

And because it was a birthday week for drummer/back-up vocalist Travis Curry and rhythm guitarist/back-up vocalist Ian Davidson, The Rain Dogs tossed in a Ramones rendition of “Happy Birthday,” then wrapped things up with “Foreplay/Long Time” by Boston.

Willard added, “A lot of our success has to be attributed to our wonderful families, friends and fans that came out to support us. We always try to deliver a fun and energetic show … (and) we practiced until we would wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night with our songs still thundering in our heads, but I think the attention we played to showmanship really paid off.”

What’s next for The Rain Dogs?

All are college students from different states — the band also includes lead vocalist Charlie Crawford and lead guitarist Greg Mintz. Willard said he and Davidson (the native Washingtonians) are hoping to convince the others to stick around for the summer, so they can continue to write and play music. They plan to take full advantage of the recording package they won at the OFH.

“Once that is done, we should have some CDs that everyone in Redmond and Seattle and the United States and the rest of the world should seriously consider buying for the low, low price of $5,” Willard quipped.

The Rain Dogs will perform a three-hour set, starting at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17 at Redmond’s Celtic Bayou Pub and Cafe, and will play at 8 p.m. May 30 at The Kirkland Teen Union Building, with Missing Fingers and The Breakers.

To keep up with The Rain Dogs, visit or search “The Rain Dogs” on

For show information at the Old Fire House, visit or call (425) 556-2370.