Big break possibility

Justin Dickie
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Battle of the bands offers Rik Cyr and Neon Highway the opportunity to open for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

Rik Cyr's facing the opportunity of a lifetime.

Protein category manager at M&S Food Service Ltd., Cyr and his Moncton-based band, Neon Highway, are one of eight bands set to compete in a battle of the bands in downtown Moncton on Aug. 30, with the winner earning the right to open for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at Country Rocks The Hill on Sept. 1.

Big break possibility

Rik Cyr's facing the opportunity of a lifetime.

Protein category manager at M&S Food Service Ltd., Cyr and his Moncton-based band, Neon Highway, are one of eight bands set to compete in a battle of the bands in downtown Moncton on Aug. 30, with the winner earning the right to open for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at Country Rocks The Hill on Sept. 1.

It's all happened pretty quick for Cyr, but don't try to tell him it's been an overnight success.

"To put it into perspective, I've been playing music over half of my life, since I was 16. I have $80,000 worth of equipment, $15,000 worth of guitars. I've spent $16,000 so far in the studio, and what did I get out of this so far? A 'chance' to open for Tim McGraw," Cyr said. "Everyone says 'overnight success' but there's no such thing when you start looking at those numbers."

Rik Cyr and Neon Highway participated in the NB Rocks contest last year, but because the competition was for rock talent, they didn't make the cut. But when the Best New Local Country Star competition was announced recently by Here magazine, event manager Paul Parent actually asked the band to enter.

All 30 bands that entered the competition had a single posted at herenb.com and fans voted for their favourite. From 30, it was narrowed down to 11 and then down to eight that will compete by city hall in Moncton for an estimated 10,000 fans on Aug. 30.

The winning band will open for Shirley Myers on Aug. 31 before opening Country Rocks The Hill the next afternoon before 40,000 people.

Cyr said there's some stiff competition he's up against, but he feels confident his band will pull through.

"We've got some antics on stage that we'll be memorable. I guarantee if we do win the contest, by the time Tim McGraw comes on 10 hours later, people will still say 'I can't believe that opening band did that. That was too cool,'" he said. "If you just play, put your instrument down, thank them and walk off, by the time the second band starts, they'll never remember us, we're just a local band, without a song on the radio, without that establishment. You've got to do some something they'll remember."

You can hear their single "Old Spice or Gun Powder" at herenb.com.



jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: M&S Food Service, Here magazine, Old Spice

Geographic location: Moncton, Country Rocks The Hill

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