In the summer of ’10, Ponyville became the site of a battle that would forever change the face of Equestria.
The Summer of Rock Celebration.
An intense several hour rock concert where bands from all over Equestria compete for the loudest of beats and greatest of applause. For those who participate it is not only a rite of passage, it is also a test of harmony. Many a upstart band have dashed themselves upon the rock of battle at the celebration, their skills and band unity tested like never before. New bands are formed and destroyed over the course of the celebration. Many of the long-time regulars at the celebration say that a band needs something special to come out of the celebration unscathed, a harmony-of sorts.
The celebration usually leaves its venues in utter ruins, taking months to repair their streets and their spirits. Thousands of ponies, griffons, diamond dogs, and others from across Equestria converge at the latest venue and through the course of it shed sweat, tears, blood, and at least one of their drinks. Sweet Apple Brewery and other cider distilleries normally make half of their year’s profit in the week leading up to the celebration as the celebration becomes part free-for-all and part madhouse. Cities like Manehatten or Baltimare have come out of the Celebration bruised but still standing, while smaller venues like Ghastly Gorge have found themselves annihilated by the forces of rock unleashed. Many questioned why Ponyville, a small, rural settlement would be the venue for ‘10’s celebration. Some whisper it was destiny or the machinations of Princess Celestia herself. It was actually due to the actions of Mayor Mare, who said “It sounded like it would be good for tourism.”
For days before the actual start of the celebration the residents of Ponyville marked the coming of the main event by the growing sounds of practicing bands and the increasing numbers of bar tabs. Each new day bringing a new voice and a new sound, the night prior to the celebration barely any resident of Ponyville had been able to sleep through a combination of the music and the shouting of the growing crowd that swelled in number day by day and spent their free time on Ponyville’s streets night by night.
Finally, it was time for the Summer of Rock Celebration itself, thousands crammed into the massive stage built in the Ponyville Town Hall, several walls of the building itself had to be removed to permit the over spill of the crowd to see and listen to the bands on stage. The square outside town hall normally cluttered with the daily market stands was filled to the brim with rock hard fans, every pony or otherwise had become one in what was considered the greatest mosh pit of all time. Without warning the lights on the stage burst into life and as one the thousands of celebrators became still and silent, it seemed as if even The Mare on the Moon and the Stars themselves waited in anticipation.
Then the curtains retreated, and the first band of the night went on stage, The Wonderflares a veteran band of the Summer of Rock Celebration, and the crowd went wild with cheers. And Ponyville itself seemed to shake on its foundations. Performance after performance, hours seemed to last minutes to the crowds as the bands came and went on the stage. The first band out for the night were the FlimFlam Brothers, their mix of self-branding music was not received well by the crowd and they were tossed off stage. The Wonderflares were defeated in a surprise upset against the Cutie Rebels. The Flower Sisters had a good run but eventually wilted and dropped out. The Punch Bowels couldn’t compete against the Weather Squad.
On and on it went until there were only four bands left standing. These were the best of the bands that had come out for the night and the final rounds showed the true talent of the competitors. Each band would set up on stage at the same time and play dueling songs, who ever played the best according to the crowd’s applause would move on to the final showdown. The first round was barely a contest at all.
Tight Fabric lead by Suri Polomare went head to head against The Mane Event, doing their best to copy over the very songs that The Mane Event had performed earlier that night, but they just couldn’t recreate the talent and skill of the Mane Event. Applejack on the guitar made down to earth sounds, rough and strong. Pinkie Pie on the drums was all over the place with her sticks, but somehow it all seemed to go great with the songs. Rarity’s voice was a rising star with every song she sang, every note rising to entrance the audience, her multicolored mohawk and black leather jacket whipping across the stage. Suri could not keep up with Rarity’s and choked out mid performance.
The self-named Trixie and the Trixiettes certainly had a worthy amount of flair in their performance, with fireworks lighting up the stage, but in the end, they were all flash and no substance. Rainbow Dash on her guitar lead the charge of The Flyaways, her fingers a blur as she soared above the stage and played her guitar. Fluttershy’s drumbeats were soft but they rang out, delicate but the details were not lost on the audience as Fluttershy knew just when to hit out a beat. Twilight Sparkle’s voice proved to be the medium between her band mate's music, bringing it all together for a heartfelt performance that saw the Flyaways triumph over the Trixiettes, Trixie herself disappearing from the stage in a theatrical explosion of smoke.
With just two bands left the night was reaching the climax, the audience already six times over drunk on music, cider, and the energy of the crowd were roaring out for the last performance of the night. The Mane Event and the Flyaways were happy to oblige. Both bands set up on opposite ends of the stage as quickly as possible, and the entire time their lead singers stared at one another from across the stage. The microphones in their ears were not live at the time so no-pony knows what they may have said to one another before their last battle began, it would just be one of those things lost to the history of rock music. Whatever it had been by the time the performance began the stares between Rarity and Twilight had become outright glares. The Flyaways were first and launched into a beat as soon as they were given the signal, Rainbow Dash strung out a repetitive beat for a few seconds before Fluttershy began to hit her drums and finally Twilight began to sing.
“So, this ain’t the end. I saw you agaaaain~ Today.” Twilight sang and stepped out into the middle of the stage, still glaring at Rarity, “There you were smile like the sun, lips full of fun, lying down in the weeds. You said, “Come and join me” but I just left you behind me. I’m not going to let you trick me aaagaain!”
The audience clapped and applauded as Twilight bowed, her first section finished. Rarity huffed, on the other end of the stage. Waiting for the applause to die down she clapped her hands together and walked out to the center stage.
“Don't give a damn 'bout my reputation, Oh, no, no, noo! Not when I’m only doing good and having fun.” Rarity sang, her mowhawk bouncing as she shook her head, “And I don’t really care what you think. I’m not gonna change, you’re living in the past and I only feel good! Oh no, not me! Oh no, not me!”
“One way or another, I’m gonna get you and I’m gonna win! I’m in the business of misery and you can’t compete. When I win I’ll wear the biggest smile!” Twilight twirled on the stage, sticking her tongue out at Rarity. Before her own band could begin Rarity was already storming on the stage and began to sing.
“BREEEAAAK! I. Got. NO! TIME! YOU!” Despite the pause Applejack and Pinkie Pie were able to smoothly bring up a loud beat behind Rarity’s words, “Got my attention and you stomped on it all! You tried to pull me down, but I rose higher than the flames of your insincerity! You’ve got a lot of nerve to try and blame me! I’m not gonna take it! No! No! No!”
Twilight stamped her hooves on the stage, snorting into her microphone and rolling her eyes.
“You don’t wanna, you don’t wanna lie to me! If your in my way I’m going to stamp, stamp, stamp down on you!”
The two vocalists continued and on, their bitter lyrics swimming out over the audience. It was plain to see neither mare wanted to give an inch to the other, even as they inched closer to one another on the stage verse by verse.
Then IT happened.
The two rockmares just stopped singing. Their bands waited for a prompt from their respective band mate but neither Rarity or Twilight spoke. The crowd became deathly silent, the only sound was Rarity and Twilight breathing into their microphones. Then, Twilight’s tattooed bicep with tension as she balled up her fists tightly and brought them up. Rarity flipped her spiked mane back so that everyone could see both of her bright blue eyes glaring directly into Twilight. With agonizing slowness both mares raised their arms and stepped toward one another. Thousands of spectators expected their to be blood, they held their breaths for it to see who would throw the first punch.
When both Rarity and Twilight wrapped their arms around each other and started to furiously make out in front of the crowd, everycreature, even their band mates were stunned into further silence. Twilight squeezed the smaller mare in her arms, Rarity’s arms slide up to hang over Twilight’s shoulders. With their microphones still plugged in the sound of their lips smacking together and the soft but passionate moans reverberated out from the stage’s sound speakers.
What finally broke the shock of the crowd was the first two cheers from either side of the stage. Stage left, Pinkie Pie squealed just as Rainbow Dash shouted and pumped her fists into the air. Then Applejack let out a sharp, long whistle followed by Fluttershy softly clapping her hands together. Then the crowd joined in and again sound erupted and rolled out over Ponyville. The crowd shouted louder and harder than they had all night. It was then that Rarity and Twilight seemed to notice the rest of Ponyville around them, only their band mates would see the blush on their cheeks but cough politely and mumbling into their microphones both vocalists made to stand back but stopped, between the two of them they still had their hands in the other’s hands.
They looked at one another. Twilight gave Rarity a smirk, and Rarity returned it with a wink. Together they began to sing, “Love, oh sweet love of mine…”
And with that the face of Equestria would be forever changed. In the end both bands won the Summer of Rock Celebration, a first time in the concert’s history of a tie. Shortly after, both bands would retreat to the VIP section of The Punch Bowl in Ponyville and spend the few remaining hours until dawn drinking and getting to know one another. By the time the moon disappeared below the horizon the Mane Event and the Flyaways were no more. Every band member had elected to leave their respective bands and join a new band, one they called ‘The Elements of Rock’.