Looks like watching Jimmy Kimmel Live can actually pay off. Jesse Hopkins and Levi Smith, two members of local rockers Radiant (whose sensitive, shimmery, orchestral songs and cute-boy haircuts makes the ladies swoon) were idly watching Kimmel's late-night ABC program about a month ago and decided to enter the show's "Best Unsigned Band in America" contest on a whim. The pair didn't think much of it. Didn't even tell their bandmates.
Cut to December 21. Radiant was waiting to play at the Orphanage Benefit show at the Double Wide, when drummer Daniel Hopkins got a call informing him that Radiant had beaten out 1,100 other bands in the contest. Pack your bags, the caller said, because you won. You're going to New York City. To open for My Chemical Romance. In Times Square. On New Years Eve.
"We're ecstatic," Daniel told Unfair Park this afternoon, just before he and the band we're about to board their flight for New York. "We've been on a high for the last week ever since we found out."
They should be. Not only will the group have the opening New Year's Eve slot, but their performance will be taped and played on the Jimmy Kimmel show a week later. And they'll perform on CBS This Morning on Saturday and Fox and Friends at some point during the week.
Radiant will be in NYC for a total of a week. Daniel says his parents are flying in for the Times Square gig, and "three or four of our friends bought plane tickets as soon as they found out." But is the group nervous about playing live in front of, oh, a gazillion people?
"I think we will be," Daniel says. "But it'll be that kind of nervousness that makes you play better. A good energy." --Jonanna Widner