From the first chord strummed, The Homewreckers band set the tone of the Fall Fest Rock Band Showcase Oct. 3, with its blazing rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe."
The eights acts that followed -- bands made up of musicians between the ages of 11 and 16 -- kept the pace.
With music ranging from edgy rock to soulful classics from artists like the Beatles, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Guns 'N' Roses, the showcase exhibited a resonant smorgasbord of song and talent.
Sponsored by the Glenview Park District, the showcase was organized by Andy Friedman. It was held in part to collect money for the Women In Need Growing Stronger (WINGS) program, which is rebuilding its store after a fire.
Friedman is no stranger to hosting such charitable events; he was the force behind a Battle of the Bands project in January that brought in $1,000 for Haiti earthquake relief efforts and a food pantry collection concert in June.
"We've usually been pretty successful," Friedman said.
Friedman targets young musicians because unlike their athletic counterparts, they don't have as many events geared toward their crafts, Friedman explained.
And when he invites the bands, their parents and their fans to take part in partying for a cause, he typically gets top-notch results.
Sunday's event was no exception, with about 100 people in attendance at the showcase, which was moved from the Gallery Park Amphitheatre to the Attea Middle School cafeteria due to windy weather.
'They're gonna have to take over'
The Homewreckers, a Chicagoland "variety" band, donated their time to assist Friedman, whom they had met at his previous events, said Montague Martin Jr., the band's manager and bass player.
The band brought all of the equipment and assisted the bands with audio during the showcase.
"We came out to support children," Martin said.
"We're not going to be here forever," Robert Weathers, Homewreckers drummer, chimed in. "They're gonna have to take over."
"It's gonna be their turn to burn," added Tony Owens, lead guitar and vocals for the band.
If Sunday's performances are any indication, the already heat is on.
The four-member band Radio Edit took the stage after the Homewreckers, with their toe-tapping, hand-clapping renditions of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" and their signature song, Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."
"I feel pretty good," said Drew Cariola, the Radio Edit drummer who switched to ukele for "Hey, Soul Sister." "I wasn't nervous at all."
Northbrook Garage hit the stage still basking in the glow of a recent performance with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at a concert in St. Louis. The group happily performed Jones' "She Ain't A Child No More."
"I always feel good after a performance," said Elenna Sindler, the band's 12-year-old lead vocalist. "I love being onstage and I'm sad because I want to go back up there. This has been a really cool experience."
When young rockers Five's a Party announced they were performing The Beatles' "Come Together," low whistles and shouts of "Whoo Hoo" rippled through the crowd. The youngsters didn't disappoint and wrapped up with "Holiday" by Green Day.
'Making sure the fans have a good time'
Just in case some of the attendees were mellowing by the fifth act, the band Inferno cranked it up a notch, belting out the Ramones' "The Blitzgrieg Bop." The band's young guitarists were nearly dwarfed by their instruments, but found the energy to engage the crowd.
"I'm just always thinking about giving the fans a good show," said guitarist Nick Hoffman, 11. "Just making sure everyone has a good time."
His sentiments were echoed by fellow band members Vince Ballarino, 11, and Patrick O'Brien, 11, both guitarists.
Between sets, Friedman asked music trivia questions, offered free soft drinks and bags of chips, and tossed candy into the crowd — all while reminding people to donate to WINGS.
The showcase was rounded out by AAA, Bam Hammer, Stormfront and Cannons of Rhetoric.
AAA performed the softer side with the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" and Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Bam Hammer included Ram Jam's "Black Betty" in its set and Stormfront presented a rousing rendition of Green Day's "St. Jimmy" and an original piece, "House of Cards." The Cannons of Rhetoric smoothed things out, serenading the crowd with soothing harmonies like the ones found in Guns 'N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine."
The Homewreckers closed the showcase out, ending with a slew of songs in tribute to James Brown and the same energy they brough to the stage from the day's start.
All the acts displayed a range of songs and talent that appeared to impress their older counterparts as Homewreckers members nodded and clapped along during the showcase.
"We basically came out to hear them play," Owens of the Homewreckers said. "We wanted to tell them to keep on with it. One day, we'll be buying their records."