Two Dallas Bands Advance to Finals in Competition to Open for Metallica

Brothers Kelley and Kyle Juett of the band Mothership deliver two scoops of solid metal.
Brothers Kelley and Kyle Juett of the band Mothership deliver two scoops of solid metal.
Photo by Mike Brooks

It’s the ultimate battle of the bands. Metal bands from North Texas submitted their videos to 97.1 the Eagle this month in hopes of being selected to open for Metallica during five dates of their upcoming worldwide stadium tour.

Only two Dallas bands advanced to the finals of the Hit the Lights Band Search competition. Mothership and Messer won the semi-finals and went on to represent Dallas and Fort Worth in the finals at Metallica.com.

“Our rock and roll destiny is in good hands with brothers and sisters like you on board,” Mothership wrote in an April 12 Facebook post. “Now prepare yourselves, for the battle has only begun!”

Messer followed Mothership’s Facebook post two hours later with their own post: “We asked and the Messer Machine answered! Thanks so much for helping us make the finals.”

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Messer is no stranger to opening up for national acts. Formed in 2009, the Dallas band has opened for such acts as Black Stone Cherry, Candlebox, Dokken, Hiner and Buckcherry. They’re currently putting the finishing touches on their self-titled debut album.

“To be placed on Metallica website is a big deal, but we’re most excited for the attention that it brings to the music scene Dallas,” says the bassist known as “Maddox.”  

Like Messer, heavy rock trio Mothership tour often. They’ve been nonstop road warriors since they released their self-titled debut album in 2013. Their sound is a steaming hot stew of classic metal acts such as UFO and Iron Maiden with the Southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top and served in Black Sabbath’s deadly chalice.

When Metallica made the announcement earlier last month that they were looking for some amazing local bands to open for them, 97.1 the Eagle stepped forward to help them identify the best from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The station selected 20 bands and local metal fans picked their top two to send to the finals. The tour starts May 10, and the shows the victorious band will play are at Gillette Stadium in Boston, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Soldier Field in Chicago and the Alamo Dome in San Antonio. The winner will also play AT&T Stadium in Dallas on June 16. Metallica plans to pay for the winning band and their gear to join the tour.

The Eagle’s Debbie Sexxton wrote on the radio station’s website that the finals should be starting in a few days.


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