Flickerstick light things up September 4 in Monroe, La., and continue gigging around the South through October 3, with a special performance September 22 at the in Pennsylvania.

Long before VH1’s scheme, Flickerstick were entertaining crowds in their native Texas. They formed in 1996, and by 1998 had developed a solid fan base and were getting airplay on local radio. Their debut album, Welcoming Home The Astronauts, was released last year.

In order to win the Bands On The Run contest, Flickerstick, pitted against competitors Soulcracker, Harlow, and Josh Dodes Band, had to prove they had the fortitude to make it in the music industry.

VH1 gave them some cash ($20 per member per day), a phone card, gas for their van, two hotel rooms in each city and two-way pagers.

With these limited resources, the bands had to promote and play 13 shows in eight weeks. Whoever made the most money won. The catch: no cell phones, credit cards, or spare cash were allowed.

After winning Bands On The Run, Flickerstick went on to nail an online competition where users logged on to VH1’s Web site and voted for the best band according to certain rock star criteria.