Choose Coldplay’s Opener

1216063714In a battle of the bands that was even fiercer than Bill and Ted’s face-off with their evil robotic selves, 15 local acts have been chosen as finalists for the Boston leg of Coldplay’s Opening Band Contest. The groups are competing to score a 20-minute time slot for the Coldplay show at the Garden on Aug. 4, as well as a cash prize of $2,000.

The contest, sponsored by LiveNation and 101.7 WFNX, generated over 650 video performances posted to its YouTube group. Votes for the final three can be cast online at the official website, and the winner will be chosen by Mr. Paltrow himself, Chris Martin.

Check out our fave five of the finalists, and go online to choose who you’d like to see perform.

Gunnin’ Thru the Nite – The Family Township

We’ll give these rockers a free pass on their poor spelling because this head-banging single is just so freakin’ addictive. The gentle acoustic opening gives way to a raucous riff that keeps it pumping all the way through. Lead singer Greg Beadle’s raspy voice pairs with the steady baseline and percussion accompaniment to produce a sound that would make his classic rock forefathers proud. Bonus points for the frontier woodsman theme in the video that makes excellent use of Beadle’s Grizzly Adams look.

Malcontent – The Luxury

We must admit, this band stood out back when it was among the hundreds because of its Sesame Street-esque video setting and excellent use of sock puppet sing-alongs. But once you get over the adorable kitschiness of it all, the tune is enough to hold your attention. The band’s MySpace profile says that it “sounds like: Happiness” and we can’t disagree, but the guitar solo and lamenting lyrics keep the music from veering off into the realm of vapid, saccharine pop, and that’s a good thing.

Pretty Pet – Aberdeen City

Bassist Brad Parker’s wailing vocals hypnotize from the start as he draws out the lyrics of ‘Pretty Pet’ (it’s still a toss-up whether we like this one better than ‘God is Going to Get Sick of Me’). The haunting guitar accompaniment of Ryan Heller keeps the song from getting too achingly slow, and helps to create a unique sound that stands out among the rest.

Home Again – Plumerai

Todd Richards creates a subdued percussion backing and provides perfect white noise for showcasing Elizabeth Ezell’s mournful croon. Ezell proves that girls can rock with the best of ’em, and she goes from sultry to broken in the same line, making home seem like a place you don’t want to go back to. You just don’t.

Deadly – The Vinyl Skyway

We like to picture ourselves driving down an empty road with the windows open while this song plays in the background. It’s got a breezy, echoing sound that owes much to the harmonizing vocals of lead singer Michael Hayes and company. With lyrics like “dead in America, bled in America, bred in America,” the band lends a jaded twist to its Beatles-esque sound and never loses that cool, laid-back vibe.