1 Radiohead vs. 9 Anti-Flag
What a match-up! There was a time where it actually looked liked Anti-Flag was going to breeze past Radiohead. During the first half of the competition, Radiohead experimented and tinkered with a lot of their droney, electronic material from Kid A and Amnesiac (there were some songs, that even the most ardent Radiohead fan, couldn’t recognize). Noticing that they were going to get beat by a punk band from Pittsburgh, Thom Yorke and crew began pulling out hit after hit from The Bends and OK Computer. Once the band launched in “Just”, “My Iron Lung”, and “Paranoid Android”, Anti-Flag’s upset run was over.
(above: Radiohead had to rely on their big hits to move past Anti-Flag)
5 The Kills vs. 4 Sons & Daughters
You can’t get much closer than this. Both bands come from the Domino Records Conference. They even shared the stage at this year’s Domino Records showcase at SXSW, with Sons & Daughters playing before The Kills. Many thought that Sons & Daughters would take this as a slight and come out even more inspired to take down The Kills. Near the end, when both bands were noticeably tired, it was The Kills’ drum machine that was the deciding factor, making some big beats late in the contest–The Kills live to see another day.
11 Georgie James vs. 3 The Hives
Georgie James played well, but there’s a reason some people call The Hives, “The World’s Greatest Band.” Just because they don’t receive that much mainstream love anymore in the states, doesn’t mean they’re not a force to be reckoned with.
10 Billy Bragg vs. 2 The Raconteurs
This was a match-up for people who take their music seriously. Billy Bragg, England’s national treasure, against The Raconteurs, a band with both indie-cred and the ability to pummel any mainstream rock act in an arena setting. Billy Bragg was brilliant as always, but Jack White is a PTP’er (Prime Time Player) and convincingly proved that in the Raconteurs’ Second Round victory.