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Photo Review: Showcase winners wow at Best of the Best 2018

Technicolor lights and an eclectic combination of genres filled the Curb Event Center Saturday night for the Best of the Best Showcase, where each performer shined with his or her own unique style.

Best of the Best '18

The night featured performances from this year’s four showcase winners — David Dennis, Parrotfish, Jake Wesley Rogers and Nick Boyd — along with the four winners of this year’s ASCAP Writers’ Nights.

Nick Boyd began the night delivering his signature country style — performing an original song followed by a mash-up of “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes, “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts, and “A Little More Time on You” by *NSYNC. Boyd’s performance featured powerful background vocals that complemented his own voice and got the night off to a great start.

The ASCAP writers performed on a side stage, artfully decorated like a bedroom with polaroid pictures on the walls. Jillian Steele performed a sweet song about learning to love yourself which showcased her abilities as a songwriter.

When Urban Pop Showcase winner Jake Wesley Rogers took the stage, he immediately captivated the audience with his stage presence and creative instrumentation. He performed his original song “Evergreen,” on the piano, accompanied by a cello, with many of the audience members singing along. He then kicked the performance into high gear with a cover of “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones, complete with a keytar solo and energetic dance moves.

ASCAP writer Daniel Ethridge took the stage next, clearly a crowd favorite as a current contestant on American Idol. He gave an emotional performance as he played guitar and sang about heartbreak — proving his talent as both a songwriter and performer.

Next, Madison Kozak won the crowd over with a moving tribute to her father. She credited another songwriter with telling her to write what she knows, and the advice clearly paid off.

The tone of the evening shifted yet again when the Rock Showcase winners took the stage. Parrotfish began with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “D’yer Mak’er,” complete with one of the best guitar solos of the night and kaleidoscopic background visuals that added to the hypnotic effect of the music. Parrotfish closed out its performance with an original, “All the Talk,” which prompted members of the crowd to dance and sing along at the side of the stage.

Wynter Bethel, the last ASCAP writer of the night, sang a powerful, relatable song about 90’s kids which showed off her unique voice and simple but beautiful songwriting style.

The crowd’s energy built throughout the night, coming to a peak when David Dennis took the stage. The Christian showcase winner started off with a beautiful original about God’s love, inviting the audience to worship along with him. Then he finished off the night with a high-energy performance of “Only Wanna Sing” by Hillsong Young and Free, featuring strong harmonies and a choreographed dance from Dennis and his band.

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Review written by Coral Goldstein. Photos by Carina Eudy, Shelby Thacker and Samantha McCall.

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