MASSENA - Massena resident Taylor Frederick has seen the band moe. perform 29 times since 2009, but hopes his 30th show will be a different experience entirely.
Mr. Frederick recently entered a contest to meet and perform one song with the Buffalo-based jam-band during one of its three shows at the end of the year.
Each of the three winners, chosen by the band, will get to perform at one of three shows in either Worcester, Mass., (Dec. 28 and 29) or Portland, Maine (Dec. 30). To enter, contestants submitted a video to show off their muisical talent.
Last Friday Mr. Frederick posted a Youtube video audition of himself performing the vocal solo from Pink Floyds The Great Gig in the Sky. The video was shared on the bands Facebook page and has garnered comparatively large amounts of support.
With about 550 likes, 230 comments and more than 70 shares on Facebook, and almost 7,000 plays on Youtube, Mr. Fredericks video has garnered far more attention than any other contestant by Friday afternoon.
I honestly woke up Tuesday morning and (suddenly) there were thousands of views, Mr. Frederick said. I have a lot of good friends and family at home helping me out. Its support like this that keeps pushing me to follow my dreams and do what I want to do.
Internet-users can comment on or show their support for the contestants videos on moe.s Facebook page. The contest ends at midnight Saturday, with the winners to be chosen at an unspecified date.
Although the band members make the ultimate decision on the winners, online interest could help distinguish favorable contestants.
For his video audition, Mr. Frederick chose to perform Pink Floyd because he thought the members of moe. would identify with the psychedelic-rock megastars. He also thought his selection would help him stand out.
I figured that the band is keen to Pink Floyd, and I figured a lot of people would play moe. songs (for their auditions), he said. I wanted to pick something theyd want to listen to, rather than just trying to play a moe. song.
In the video, Mr. Frederick is dressed in all red, showing off his blues-rock playing style in recording studio A at SUNY Oneonta, where Mr. Frederick is in his senior year as a music industry major, with a minor in audio engineering.
He had access to the recording studio because he is a teachers assistant in the audio production program. And while the multi-million dollar recording equipment may give him an edge over other contestents, Mr. Frederick might also be helped by the fact hes met the band members in-person. During a show in Saranac Lake, Mr. Frederick met moe. guitarist Al Schnier, who also attended SUNY Oneonta.
Theyre cool, regular guys. They dont act like big rock stars, he said.
Mr. Frederick was introduced to the famoe.ly in 2009 when a friend brought him to his first moe. concert in Syracuse. The close-knit community of fans, sometimes called moe.rons, following the band has kept him coming back to shows.
Its almost like a family reunion every time you go (to a moe. concert), Mr. Frederick said. Ive had met some best friends for a day at many moe. shows.
As for his own music career, Mr. Frederick has been playing guitar since he was 13, and has performed with a number of rock bands throughout high school and college, including a Frank Zappa cover band called The Mothers of Intention,which he has been involved with for two years. He identifies himself primarily as a blues-rock guitarist, and occasionally experiments with effects pedals and psychedelic-rock sounds.
After graduating from SUNY Oneonta, Mr. Frederick will intern with Z2 Entertainment, a production company based out of Boulder, Colo. He will work as a stage-hand and audio engineer, and in his down-time he plans to pursue his own music career.
Id like to find a band out there and hopefully do what moe. does someday, he said.