With pop-punk hooks, fist pumps aplenty and some fancy footwork, Patent Pending, an impossibly high energy "rag-tag bunch jerks" from Long Island, NY, earned a golden ticket to perform at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (May 20) after besting five other acts to win the Battle of the Bands showdown.
Hosted by hitmaker Taio Cruz and presented by Chevrolet, the Battle went down Live from Las Vegas' Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Judges included Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, Billboard.com's managing editor Jessica Letkemenn, BBMAs producer Charlie Hagel and Laura Swanson, the executive vice president of media and artist relation for Island Def Jam.
"Naturally these are pain tears," beamed Patent Pending's super-affable frontman Joe Ragosta following his band's stage-shaking performance, which included a short dance routine since no boy-bands were in the competition.
The band beat out an impressive and diverse group of acts from across the country -- all of them brought a different take on American music.
First up was hook-heavy alt-rockers Take the Day, a five-piece from Milwaukee who dialed up the energy level on their set, starting with the infectious "Freaks." Savannah Outen of Portland, Ore. followed with another hard-charging performance, the highlight being her original track "Singing to Me."
Things took an otherworldly turn when Tallahassee hip-hop band After the Smoke, who invoke something they call "nostalgic futurism" in their sound, took to the stage to show off their funk/soul/rock fusion. "We're from the future," principle members/time-travelers Rob Coin and Anthony X² made known… repeatedly.
All four judges seemed universally smitten with San Francisco's Doe Eye, the moniker for indie singer Maryam Qudus. Echo-heavy and orchestral, her two songs, including "I Hate You," slowed the proceedings down in a good way. Werde later noted hers was the album he would seek out first if he had to choose.
Saints of Valory took a slight ribbing for their choice in jackets, but not before schooling the rest of the bands in precision playing on their anthemic stadium-filling songs.
But in the end, it was Patent Pending that won out with judges and online voters -- an impressive feat considering they were representing the Northeast. Backstage they thanked their "psychotic friends and family" for staying up to vote.
Tune in to see them perform at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday at 8/7c on ABC. If you missed the Battle, you can watch all the action again right here.