Home Lifestyle Wilmington’s Audiomelt wins Rock Around and Find Out at Rockingham Dragway

Wilmington’s Audiomelt wins Rock Around and Find Out at Rockingham Dragway

Wilmington-based Audiomelt opens their set during the Rock Around and Find Out Battle of the Bands June 29 at Rockingham Dragway. See more photos below. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — A young band from the coast took home $5,000 after winning the Rock Around and Find Out Battle of the Bands at Rockingham Dragway this weekend.

Audiomelt, based out of Wilmington, was the last band to perform in the all-day event and was declared the winner after the judges finished tallying up the scores.

Local band Aftermath placed second, winning $1,000; and Fear State, out of Fayetteville won People’s Choice, which came with a $500 award.

“The talent was amazing and the competition was extremely close, but we did Rock Around and Find Out who the best band was,” said track co-owner Dan VanHorn.

Bands were judged in five categories: musicianship; performance; crowd involvement; appearance; and song choice.

Judges were: local vocalist Nikki Fletcher; RO Managing Editor William R. Toler; Will Thompson, an N.C. State University student studying entertainment; and two crew members from WSL Productions, including sound engineer Jack Wooten.

“Being a judge was a really great experience, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it,” said Fletcher. “Aside from Aftermath, I’d never seen any of the other bands perform. Each one brought something unique to the table, and they were all very talented.

“They did not make it an easy choice for us judges,” she continued. “I’d gladly pay to go see any of them again.”

Randy Slack, of Modern Rock 98.7 FM, served as the host, introducing each band and announcing the winners at the end.


Each band played roughly a 30-minute set at the top of each hour, leaving Wooten and his crew about 30 minutes to help the next band set up and squeeze in a sound check.

Aftermath — featuring band members from Richmond, Scotland and Moore counties — opened the show at 2 p.m. with a set of cover tunes, including Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.”

They were followed by an all-original set from Grindhouse, a Charlotte-based band that played in the ‘90s and recently reunited.

Other bands included: Love Bug Junkie; Wither the Fallacy; Midnight Row; the Low Down Dirty Heathens; the Lucky Struck Band; and Davis88.

Wither the Fallacy and Davis88 both include members from Richmond County.

During each performance, members of other bands gathered around the stage to watch and cheer on the competition. Highlights included Fear State’s Bernie Mangiboyat smashing his bass on stage and giving pieces to the audience, and the mosh pit during Wither the Fallacy’s set.

“We are proud to have pulled off our first ever self-produced Battle of the Bands event at Rockingham Dragway,” said VanHorn. “There were an extraordinary amount of moving parts and months of preparation to make it all come together and it did just that.

“Thanks to our loyal sponsors, staff, fans and volunteers for braving the heat and showing up in a big way,” VanHorn continued. “It took a team and we are excited to have something to build on for future Battle of the Bands events.”

See more photos below. Additional photos from Toler are available on his Facebook page; and photos from Terry Clark can be found on the Visit Richmond County website and Facebook page.