Plainfield's Marina City joins AWOLNATION, Dashboard Confessional, Bush and more at PIQNIQ this summer. - Courtesy of Penelope Martinez

Plainfield’s Marina City moving on to Next2Rock national competition

A major goal of many local bands is to make it to the next level. Plainfield’s Marina City may have just found its ride.

The pop-rock sextet — Ryan Argast, Brian Johnson, Matt Gaudiano, Eric Somers-Urrea, Aaron Heiy and Todor Birindjiev — announced Monday that its showing at the Next2Rock Chicago finals at Joe’s Live in Rosemont last month netted them a top five slot in the national finals of the Next2Rock Battle of the Bands.

After a performance at Chicago’s Cobra Lounge that night, the band rushed to Rosemont for the Chicago finals, hosted by James VanOsdol and 101-WKQX.

“Every second until I got up there and said ‘Chicaaagoooo!’ … Literally up to that second I was like, ‘What’s happening? What’s happening?'” said Argast, the band’s lead vocalist. “And when the lights went dim and it was our turn, I was like ‘Alright, it’s go time.’ We felt in the zone. We felt good about the performance.”

The band flies to California next week to face off against Ivory Black from Kansas City, Missouri; Another Day Dawns from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Will Evans from New London, Connecticut; and Migrant Motel representing Los Angeles.

The final contest is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Los Angeles’ famed Viper Room, where the bands will perform for judges, including Big Machine Label Group President Scott Borchetta; Gavin Rossdale, frontman of Bush; songwriter Desmond Child; Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones; producer Chris Lord-Alge; and fashion designer John Varvatos.

The finals will livestream at next2rock.com.

The big prize? A deal with Big Machine label group’s new rock imprint and national radio play throughout all Cumulus radio stations.

“I may pass out,” said Argast. “If people are watching the livestream, you may just see this dude pass out.”

“(101-WKXQ) has played our music before, but it was 9 o’clock at night on a Sunday … We knew it was happening so we were sitting by the radio waiting for it to play. And it was exciting. But to have this where you’re just hanging out, and all of a sudden your music gets played on the radio at rush hour, it’s a whole other feeling.”