With its impressive musical skill, stage presence and command of the pop cultural zeitgeist, Crispin Porter + Bogusky-backed Trucker Hat won over the crowd and the BoAB jury, which included Maria Milito of Q-104 FM, Smithereen's drummer Dennis Diken, Entertainment Weekly senior editor Jason Adams and Jim Hanas, editor of the Creativity E-mail and AdCritic.com. The judges awarded second prize to the melodic power-pop combo Poster Child from Merkley Newman Harty and third place to Macho Grande, FCB/New York's answer to both Iggy Pop and the B-52s.
But the night belonged to Crispin Porter + Bogusky and ITH, who demonstrated a firm grasp not only of musical performance, but of their collective day job: image creation and manipulation. The band's over-the-top performance was capped by vocals from agency music producer Bill Meadows that ranged from rapid-fire rap to solid singing to rock god screech without faltering. The band whipped the crowd into a frenzy by appropriating string-inflected favorites including "Come On Eileen," "Live and Let Die," as well as a rendition of "Under Pressure" which nodded to both the Vanilla Ice and the David Bowie/Queen versions.
"All of us were surprised at the incredible performances by the bands, especially given the fact that for several of the bands it was their first appearance before a live audience, and at a rock palace like CBGB," says Fluid's David Shapiro. "For many of them, it was a dream come true. I was really impressed by the original music performed, as well as the innovative covers of popular songs. There was a lot of talent up there." The event raised $10,000 for the New York City Public Schools' "Salute to Music" program. "We will definitely be doing it again next year," says Shapiro. (Teressa Iezzi)