In searching the word pageant through an online dictionary, it wasn't the definitions that caught my eye, but rather the strategically coordinated adverts that popped up on the right side of the page. 'Pageant Beauties Wanted' and 'Pageant Gowns at Discount Prices!' as well as a 'no-make-up 12 and under pageant' were vying for my pageant minded attention. However, I think my favorite was the 'Miss Sparkle America' pageant. After reassuring me that, 'no physical beauty scores as part of our judging', the ad went on to proclaim, 'Do not be fooled by imitators! Many pageants make such claims but usually fall short. What we look for in our royalty is drive, motivation, and sparkle.' Which naturally leads us to Pageant, the band. Coming together in the summer of 2002, seasoned musicians from diverse backgrounds collided to create their own brand of rock that has a subtly intoxicating drive, motivation and above all else... 'sparkle'. From their live shows all over the Atlanta club circuit to their debut studio release Monument, this band shimmers in a way that sets them apart like Bono at the Republican convention, delivering important moments in a world that too often seems to give the spotlight to whoever creates the most shock and awe. Mixed by Russ Fowler (John Mayer, Angie Aparo, Stone Temple Pliots) and self-produced, Monument shows a band who's decided to opt out of the freshman year for grad school studies abroad . With songs that range from poppy head nodders (Reaching) to dark epics (It's You), a silver thread of passion brings solid continuity to the set. Jay Harren, Music Director for 99X in Atlanta discovered the band from their 2003 demo and soon added the single 'Hyssop' to his Sunday night radio show. Of their latest release he says, 'You can't beat great melodies and passionate vocals, coupled with soulful guitars. Pageant does all three, and does it right. This is definitely a band to watch...' Not a recommendation to be taken lightly, coming from a station who has broken the likes of The Black Crows, Shawn Mullins and John Mayer. The passionate vocals of which he speaks are the bittersweet smoky sounds of Martin and Jennifer Reardon. Described by Creative Loafing as 'a blessed union of sound', the couple takes turns delivering riveting performances with vocals that are both haunting and captivating. Their distinct tones blend seamlessly, reminiscent of other great duos of the past. The rest of Pageant's sonic landscape is filled out with players who easily shine on their own. Guitarist Shane Ortiz(a veteran of the Atlanta music scene) blends equal parts of the recent atmospheric Brit-rock invasion with the classic Strat sound of greats like The Edge, Clapton and Vaughn. The rhythm section of Stuart Smartt (drums) and Scott Derryberry (bass) provide a solid foundation while infusing tasty, often jazz tinged, fills that set Pageant apart from the Radiohead/Coldplay/(insert latest band here) sound-alikes. In the crowded world of the modern/rock music scene, it might just be best to take some advice from the wisdom of Miss Sparkle America. Don't be fooled my imitators! Many bands make such claims but usually fall short. What you're looking for in music is drive, motivation, and sparkle. In a word... Pageant. -John Poitevent 1910 Artist Group.