By Lisa Morgan

Second time in the battle of band versus band for the coveted shot at playing the annual Tachevah Block Party, Alchemy took the audience and apparently the events judges by storm. The very young band that had spent the last year, working through band member changes while making a Tachevah win their goal, was beyond thrilled to have won against steep competition.

Last year’s entry was not the best. Bassist Erik Lopez and guitarist Danny Gonzales had to act fast to put a full band together when they found themselves in the list of finalists. Last year’s voting system allowed the band with the most votes to move forward, and voting was allowed as many times as one could sit in front of their computer and press the vote icon. This year, things were a bit different. Voters could only vote one time from any particular device (laptop, desktop, phone or iPad). According to Bruce Fessier of The Desert Sun, this eliminated a lot of less amateurish bands from proceeding in the contest. Having played as much as they could to refine their performance and sound, Alchemy’s hard work paid off big time.

“Erick and Danny had been jamming out for about two years before adding Luis Monroy, the drummer,” shared keyboardist, Roger Chavez, who had been added to the band specifically for last year’s Tachevah competition. “For last year, when they won a spot at the Tachevah showcase, they recruited me on keys and had a different singer. Throughout the year, we’ve been just trying to play as many shows as we can, and have stayed pretty busy. We’ve been through a few different singers, and each time, the band’s style would change. We’ve had Andrew Gonzales singing for about two months now, and it’s affected our style as well.” That recent addition was obviously the winning competition that Alchemy needed in order to take the win. They had a very strong following of supporters as well.

The band’s last song was new as well, the result of a jam that they came up with while they were getting ready for the competition. This might signal the band has the synchronicity to continue to grow on this new path. Alchemy is currently putting together a new album, producing it themselves using Logic Pro X from their computer.  Whether it will be an EP or a full album is more of a marketing decision for the band, as they already have 11 songs in the tank, and many more waiting for their final pieces. The band spokesman also cited that they felt Elektric Lucie and Ideation were the bands to beat in the competition, as they really liked and respected their performances.


You can follow Alchemy’s music at the following links:

I had the chance to ask some of the other bands who competed how they felt about the competition:

Death Merchants:

“First off we would like to thank everyone who came out to see us perform. It was an amazing turn out, and the fans were LOUD! We had so much fun rocking that stage for everybody there! As far as our performance that night, we didn’t hold anything back. I would rate our performance a 9.5/10. We definitely left everything out on that stage. At the end of the night, we were very confident that the decision was going to come down to us or Thr3 Strykes. We thought our groups had the strongest performances of the evening. It was pretty disappointing that neither group was chosen to advance, especially when the media was billing this to be, ‘Two of the best hip hop groups going head to head for the right to play at Tachevah.’ We don’t want to take anything away from the other groups performing. They ALL killed it that night! Shout out to Ideation and Elektric Lucie. But with all that being said, we want to congratulate Alchemy on their win, and we wish them the best of luck performing at Tachevah. We may or may not try this competition again. We will have to see how the next year plays out, and how we feel at the time. Our ultimate goal is to somehow impress the people at GOLDENVOICE so we can play at Coachella Fest. The music is more diverse, and we will probably be more accepted for being a hip hop act.” – David Lumpkin (DJ Lumps of Death Merchants)

Elektric Lucie:

“Last week’s Battle of the Bands at The Date Shed was awesome. We put on a great performance. The turn out and love from our crowd was so overwhelming. We were so humbled to experience this. On behalf of Elektric Lucie, we would like to extend a great thanks to The Desert Sun, Golden voice, CV Weekly, K.C., the bands that participated, and most of all to all the Elektric Lucie fans. Without you, there is no Lucie. Don’t forget, Lucie loves ya!” – Viktor Estrada (Elektric Lucie vocals, guitar and frontman)

The next competition will be held at The Hood Bar and Pizza in Palm Desert. Bands vying for the chance to play Tachevah are Caxton, R Buckle Road, 1000x, Mozaiq and Beisbol. This show will include the first contestants representing country (R Buckle Road) and reggae (Mozaiq).