CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Waves beat out 11 other finalists and aced the Final Exam of the 21st annual Tri-C High School Rock Off, which was held Saturday night at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Montage came in second place, while Time Out placed third.
The Waves, of Archbishop Hoban in Akron and Woodridge in Peninsula, performed in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd.
People repeatedly chanted the band's name as its members set up stage props, including a gong and a colorful flag with Bob Marley's visage.
The alternative rockers sprinted onstage wearing matching light-up skull masks and hoodies with the number ''717'' on the back.
Highlights of their set included a rip-roaring cover of Rage Against the Machine's ''Bulls On Parade.''
Guitarist Dominic Merlitti and bassist Dylan Radik traded boogie-metal-tinged licks as charismatic vocalist/ keyboardist Michael English did a spot-on impression of RATM vocalist Zack de la Rocha.
Montage, a trio of three Cleveland School of the Arts students, performed genre-smashing originals that nodded to rock, funk, R&B and soul.
Bassist/vocalist Jasmine Sims strutted on the stage in socks, a dreamcatcher hanging from her instrument as she kicked out heavy grooves.
Cool-as-a-cucumber guitarist Alana Amore, meanwhile, knocked out bluesand rock-inspired licks with effortless fluidity.
At times, her approach resembled that of Prince -- appropriate, since she even sported sunglasses on stage, just like he used to.
Kevin Pace Jr., who was one of the few drummers at the event to take a brief solo,anchored the troupe with hard-hitting glee.
The spitfire punk trio Time Out kicked off its set with a hot-rodding cover of Nirvana's ''Breed'' that preserved the snotty tone of the original.
Other Final Exam competitors also made strong showings.
Two-time Rock Off winners First To Eleven put on a Warped Tour-ready set heavy on spacey-sounding modern rock reminiscent of CircaSurvive and PVRIS.
Assault favored no-frills thrash metal which included a cover of Pantera's ''Domination''and plenty of headbanging.
Funeral Proposals showed off an expert, upbeat blend of beachy indie-surf and modern alternative rock.
Avon Lake High School's The Frats opened its set with a funked-up cover of Styx's ''Renegade'' -- featuring a precise a cappella vocal intro -- and segued into a sizzling, frenzied cover of Matthew Sweet's ''Girlfriend.''
Man Cried Wolf chimed in with a dynamic set of wellcrafted tunes that nodded to everything from Dashboard Confessional-caliber emo-rock to metallic-tinged screamo.
The Lonely Pirate Committee showed off a variety of influences -- Radiohead, grungy shoegaze and psychedelic rock -- in its ambitious set.
Last Minute turned in an empowering set, which included Joan Jett & The Blackhearts' ''I Hate Myself for Loving You'' and a kicky take on Paramore's ''Still Into You.''
Ska troupe Bucyrus High School Xband was the most spirited act of the night. The group's members sported a colorful array of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars shoes while jumping and dancing during horn-peppered covers of Stevie Wonder's ''Superstition'' and Dexys Midnight Runners' ''Come On Eileen.''
The night's final performer, No Good Solutions, ended the evening on a high note with a ferocious set of keyboard-driven, soulful rock 'n' roll.
As the winner, The Waves earned $1,000 for themselves and $250 for their high school's music program.
The group also nabbed a performance slot at the Blossom Music Center stop of the 2017 Vans Warped Tour and tickets to see Bon Jovi at The Q on March 19.
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