Battle of the Bands
April 10, 2012
Filed under Student Life
Screeching guitars, voice cracks, and lots of mic feedback are usually what come to mind when someone mentions Battle of the Bands, but this year was quite the surprise for anyone who attended the event last weekend. Despite all odds, every one of the eight bands who competed were excellent, regardless of their genre or song choice. Because I love you so much, dear reader, I won’t go through every band, their members, and the songs they played, even though each of them absolutely deserve it. However, there are three bands in particular that deserve our attention for coming ahead of the rest of the crowd.
Probably for the first time ever, a “screaming” band placed in the top three. Hard rock duo “Eleven”, made up of Chris and Anthony Weathersbee, were impressive all around. Starting their set with a dedication to the bassist of their band, Troy Johnson, who was and is currently deployed with the United States military, Eleven went on to play five original songs. Their best feature, aside from generally annihilating the drums, guitar, and mic for every song, was definitely how tight they played together. Many listeners commented that the two on stage sounded like an entire band. Even if screaming is not something you normally appreciate, there wasn’t any denying that Eleven more than made up for their missing member.
Playing second in the line up, “The Last Lost Continent” had a lot to live up to, but still managed to set the bar high for the rest of the night. Band members Nathan Leopard on drums, Cody Smoldt switching between guitar, bass, and vocals, Nick Barrs playing guitar and vocals, and Will Harley switching between guitar and bass, played a set that was made most by sheer stage presence. Even though their song choice was good, with “Beverly Hills” by Weezer, “Are You Going to Be My Girl?” by Jet, “Shiver” by Coldplay, and “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire, what made them really stand out was how clearly they all enjoyed playing their songs. That said, they didn’t sound half bad either since they made second place. Particular high points in their performance were “Wake Up” and “Shiver,” both of which were top notch.
For a first place band, “Sons of Shamgar” certainly deserves the credit. If third place was for musicianship, and second place stood out for stage presence, first place was undoubtedly an example of good old-fashioned talent. Made up of Blake Baggott on lead vocals and guitar, Brandon Baggott on backup vocals and guitar, and Josh Phillips on backup vocals and guitar, Sons of Shamgar made it pretty easy for the audience. Three stools and three mics, and then it was just a matter of letting the magic happen. They played a combination of folk and country, bringing in songs “Sigh No More” by Mumford and Sons, the hymn “Be Thou My Vision,” “The Weight of Lies” by the Avett Brothers, and classic “Take Me Home, Country Road” by John Denver. While they had a good stage presence, encouraging the audience to sing along to songs they knew, and they played incredibly well, the real experience was in the pitch-perfect vocals. As difficult as it is to make three people harmonize perfectly, that was one thing Sons of Shamgar had no problem with. And because of all of those things, Sons of Shamgar walked away with a well-deserved first place.
While everyone can say this band or that band should have won, I think everyone can agree that Battle of the Bands was certainly an event worth going to. Regardless of winners or losers, all of participating bands did a fantastic job, and together made a great night. So if you know somebody who risked playing at Battle of the Bands, give them a pat on the back and a job well done, because I think every band that played was worth seeing again. Don’t forget that bands need your support, and if you hear that one of them are playing in the future, make sure to be there and encourage your local musicians. But out of all of this, there is one thing that I think is the most important of all; see you next year.