"The shows started dwindling, and the scene was kind of going to the dogs," says Roberts, whose band Matt Rock & the PowerBoxx formed in early 2004. "Right around two years ago it started to get to where there were shows coming up again every night. And it was music that was interesting and different and not just an imitation of what you might hear on [local rock radio station] 96.5. It bred a nice environment for bands to grow."
Now hitting its stride, the PowerBoxx just played its first anniversary gig at Club Renaissance for the Fourth of July Indie-Pen-dance Fest. The group returns to Renaissance this Saturday to host a CD-release party for its debut album, Hang Out Now.
The album, like the group itself, is an ambitious homegrown project. The band poured all of its gig money (roughly $2,000) from the past year into making the CD. A "100 percent independently and locally produced" project, Hang Out Now was recorded over three weeks at Lafayette's LEAP studios. The band even squeezed out enough money to hire noted local design firm BBR Creative for the CD packaging.
"Nobody in the band gets paid," notes Roberts, who says gig earnings are going toward financing a second album.
Frontman Roberts, aka Matt Rock, is one of eight members in the PowerBoxx, which also features three backup vocalists and a keyboardist, bassist, drummer and lead guitarist. The songs maintain a raw edge even while incorporating bubblegum pop influences reminiscent of '80s-era Huey Lewis and the News. Roberts' voice sounds like a cross between Elvis Costello and Mick Jagger belting out harmonies over his guitar-driven tunes.
The PowerBoxx is known for its theatrical stage presence. The band picks a theme for each show, and its attire has paid homage to everyone from lumberjacks to '80s pop icon Robert Palmer, whose "Addicted to Love" video was the inspiration for the above picture. The theme of its CD-release party is a secret until the band hits the stage.
Matt Rock and the PowerBoxx plays Renaissance Nightclub (425 Jefferson St., 267-7404) on Friday, July 8. Showtime is 9 p.m., and Frames of Reference and the Rah Rahs open.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.