Northwest Quest for the Best, Round 1 

January 20

Ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to rock! It's time for the local-music-raise-the-roof rockfest that is the Third Annual 2007 Northwest Quest for the Best at The Big Easy.

Last year, the event showcased some of the best musicians from the Valley. During each round, four or five bands played a set and the winner of the night went on to the finals. This year--according to the Big Easy Web site--it looks like it will be a bit different: There seem to be fewer rounds, but more bands playing in each one. As is necessary in this metal/rock heavy town, one night features those who play their music heavy and one night features those who play their music hard. Then, there's an Urban/Jazz/Blues night and an Indie/Folk rock night (it's listed on the Web site as another hard-rock round, but a look at the line-up makes it clear it is not). Semifinals happen on January 20, 25, 27 and Feb. 10, wrapping up with the finals on Feb. 16. The battle kicks off with the head-banging sounds of October Tree, Auditory Reform, Mortal Enemy, Red Sun Rise, Distal, Final Underground, Ripchain, Kryterium and Factory Air in the first battle of the war to see just who is the best in the Northwest.

--Amy Atkins

Saturday, January 20, $5, 5:30 p.m., The Big Easy, 416 S. 9th St., 367-1212,

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