Backbeat: Sebastian Bach Wows Crowd at Trans World Conference & Awards
Backbeat: Sebastian Bach Wows Crowd at Trans World Conference & Awards

Trans World Entertainment held its annual conference in Saratoga Springs, New York earlier this month and presented vender awards at the event.

For its music suppliers, Sony almost swept the awards. Sony was named vendor of the year; RED was tapped as the independent vendor of the year in the distribution category, while Sony Nashville won the label of the year award. Moving over to the sales representative awards, RED's Mary Ashley Johnson won the indie music sales representative award, while the Universal Music Group Distribution sales team of Mike Farrell and Jeff Bayard stopped Sony from pulling off a sweep by winning the major music distributors sales team award.

After the awards, the conference trooped over to the Putnam Den, a great bar/club in the heart of the town, to see performances from a few up and coming bands as well as a few established acts too. First up was an unsigned band, The Better Half, which includes singer/guitarist Ray Milanese, the son of EMI's national account director Ray Milanese. They were followed by such acts as Saves the Day and Black Stone Cherry, who both turned in great acoustic sets; and Adelitas Way, which played their radio hit "Sick," as well as other songs from its latest album, "Home School Valedictorian."

The final act was Sebastian Bach, who wowed the crowd with new material from his "Kicking and Screaming" album, as well as covers like Boston's "More Than a Feeling," Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine," and two Skid Row hits, "18 and Life," and "I Remember You." Comedian Don Jamieson, who is one of the hosts for "The Metal Show," also did his stand-up routine as the second act and emceed the evening.

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The Better Half's Ray Milanese, right, and Caleb Wahrenberger, compare notes on the Trans World crowd with The Metal Show's Don Jamieson, backstage at the Putnam Den.(Photo: David Melendez)
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Saves The Day and the Better Half band members mingle with the Trans World staff during the show. From left, Better Half bassist Caleb Wahrenberger; Saves The Day vocalist Chris Conley; Saves The Day guitarist Arun Bali; and the Better Half guitarist Ronnie Howell. (Photo: David Melendez)
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Putnam Den co-proprietor Tiffany Albert keeps the Trans World troops well-lubricated during the show. The Putnam Den features ive music most nights, including Monday's "Metal Night. The bar patrons got a treat with the Trans World showcase as the event was open to the public. (Photo: David Melendez)
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Before the Sebastian Bach set, Trans World's VP of music and new media Ish Cuebas, second from right, asks the singer to cover two of his favorite songs, "More Than A Feeling," and "Don't Stop Believing," while those suggestions knock Media Blasters senior VP of sales Barbara Herman head askew. Bach, on the left of Cuebas, and his guitarist Nick Sterling, far left, take the requests in stride but then accommodate and deliver those songs during their set. (Photo: David Melendez)

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