After almost a week of practice, it was time for the performance. Aidens band had worked with a new arrangement at the end, and they were feeling pretty confident about giving an excellent performance.
The stage for the performance was way grander than the set in New York, with more live audience seating at the back.
Though, Aiden knew that many in the live audience were just staff of the Panther TV or those who had gotten passes with the help of their connections.
“You are going to go first.”
A staff member said, looking down at Aidens band. They didnt seem much surprised by it—only a bit nervous, which was very typical.
“Just walk through the door in ten minutes. We have already set up everything, good luck with the performance!”
The staff member left after informing them, and with each passing second, they couldnt help but feel a bit more nervous and scared.
Especially Jackson, whose performance was the most crucial in todays round.
Depending on his performance, he would either be a villain or a hero of the day in tomorrows news articles. There was no grey area in his case.
“Dont worry about it.” Aiden looked at him, noticing his shaky legs. “Just remember what we practised. You nailed it then. Now, you just need to do the same in front of the judges and audience.”
“Jackson, it will be fine. Just focus on creating great music on the stage.” Emily also added, and it made Jackson feel a bit better.
“Thank you, guys.”
‘I need to give my best too, even if I will mostly be on the sidelines in this song.
Aiden thought inwardly and stood up from his seat. Then, looking up at his bandmates, he held out his hand in the form of a fist.
“Lets give our best there!”.
Emily was the first to bump it, Jackson doing so a second later. Only Cameron didnt, but when he noticed the gaze on him, he bumped it too.
Though, he let out a sigh before doing so.
“Welcome back, guys! So you are the first band tonight. Do you think you can give a good performance”
Alyssa asked as they entered the stage.
“Yes, we are very confident in giving a performance that will qualify us for the next round,” Cameron replied on behalf of the whole team.
“Thats good. Cameron, the last time you were with a group, you had arguments. Was it the same this time”
Steven asked with a smirk. The other two judges also seemed interested in the answer, and after glancing behind him, Cameron replied.
“Things turned out to be much better this time.”
The judges nodded at that answer. That was enough chit chat as Steven gave the gesture to start their performance.
“Okay, start your performance. Im expecting a lot from you all. Lets see what you can bring out.”
With that, the performance began.
‘Sweet Child was a rock song with vibes straight from the 80s, and although it sounded like a typical rock song, the lyrics were meaningful.
The song started with the electric guitar. In the past, Aiden had played this tune a lot, so his hands were already moving when they started the song. An electrifying feeling released out of the guitar as the drums joined in, with the keyboard coming at the end.
It was then that, in this harmony, the first verse started with Cameron pushing down on the bass he had in his hand.
“Oh, Sweet child, whenever I look at your face.”
“It reminds me of when my friends and I used to race.”
“The sky was blue, and times were right.”
“You remind me of those cold summer nights.”
Cameron tried to impersonate a slightly scratchy voice for the songs first verse, and it came off perfectly with the guitar increasing in intensity with the keyboard sound, adding the required subtle softness.
On the stage, it felt like Cameron was impersonating the aura of a perfect rockstar, and slowly, Aiden even saw a white light coming off of him.
The white light spread everywhere, and seeing it, he smiled while focusing on playing the guitar. He knew he didnt have to worry about the vocals and just needed to do his work.
“You had the smile that I once carried, full of innocence and peace.”
“And the joy that I swear not to let it decrease.”
“Whenever I tell you my fun childhood stories.”
“I break down those memories, sweet and painful, but those were the days of glory.”
Ending the second verse, Cameron did a bit of screaming as all the cameras zoomed on him. It was then that the point where Aidens chance to shine came.
This part of the song required him to increase the tempo to the highest level, and it seemed like his fingers were dancing on the electric guitar as a melody that can make your arm hairs stand came out.
“Oh, child of mineeeee.”
Cameron screamed as Emily tapped the keyboard furiously, and it was then that both she and Aiden joined Cameron in singing.
“You will have a lot of dreams under this blue sky.”
“I will never let a tear fall down your eyes.”
“Cause you are… my… chilllldddd!”
The white light intensified at that moment as even the judges felt like they were in a concert. The live audience felt the same as they started cheering and screaming like they heard a full-fledged band.
Cameron even started dancing a bit, letting his body flow away with the atmosphere.
Now, only the last verse was left, and after that, the song will be of Jackson to complete.
“Wherever you go, my shadow will come along.”
“Protecting you from day to night, all along.”
“I know there will be times when youre gonna cry, making you wanna leave life behind.”
“But those times come and go, and at those moments, memories are the things you should think back to.”
“Oh, my sweet child. Oh, ya, ohhhh!”
Cameron sang at the last part in high pitch with all the strength he had in his voice. His vocal cords provided him with enough stability to go all the way, and standing behind him, Aiden couldnt help but marvel at that spectacle.
He wasnt even close to this level right now.
‘Now, its all on Jackson.
He glanced at Jackson, and the latter didnt look like someone nervous. Instead, his eyes were focused, and he had already lost himself in the music.
Every cell in his body just wanted to complete this song.
After singing the last verse, Cameron stepped away, even if half a minute of the song was left. And at that moment, Jackson completely took over.
He hit the bass drum and released a pitch boom on the entire stage. His hands moved like lightning as they hit every part of the drum, the tom-tom, snare, the bass drum – everything.
It felt like someone had set off fireworks in the music as Jackson showed every ounce of his talent to the judges and the audience.
For 30 seconds, the world was his stage, and he awed everyone in just these few seconds.
It was so brilliant that his other band members stared at him with wide eyes. It was even more spectacular than the practice sessions.
There was already sweat forming on his forehead, but he didnt care about it. The audience who had just listened to Camerons electrifying voice already forgot its feeling as a new one crept in.
The drum sticks moved like Jacksons weapons as he truly enamoured the audience. Then, suddenly, Aiden noticed a small silver light creeping out from the drum, mixing with the song.
The light made the already bright atmosphere brighter. From here, Aiden just let out a smile and closed his eyes, wanting to feel the music.
Even after the 30 seconds passed, Jackson kept ongoing.
No one tried to stop him as he played. They could only keep their eyes on him and thank the gods for this performance.
Finally, after some more seconds, the intensity started dying down as Jacksons one-man show ended.
‘It ended… feels like its too soon.
Aiden thought as he saw Jackson wiping sweat off his forehead and taking deep breaths. The performance had left him tired.
Suddenly, they heard the sound of clapping and cheering from the audience. They all looked down from the stage and saw some people even standing up from their seats while others were calling for them to do it again.
‘This feels like Im standing in my own concert.
All four of them had the same thought as they basked in the cheers and admiration. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience for them.
Aiden saw the white light with a tinge of silver slowly spreading in the audience as the cheers kept getting louder. They were so loud that even the judges couldnt speak for a long time.
Even if they wanted to, they truly needed to take a few moments to gather their thoughts after such a performance.
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