Campus rock stars square off for battle

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November 16, 2006

8:48 PM

Tomorrow, six bands will meet in the University Center to battle it out for the first place finish in the annual Battle of the Bands, sponsored by the University Center Activities Board.
The free event will be held in the UC Chesapeake from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with each band allotted 30 minutes to show off its best work. Sophomore Breah Samuels, chair of UCAB’s Homebrew Committee, said that past battles have always been competitive, complete with disputes over judging and scoring systems.

p. The bands that will perform have already survived a tough selection process. Fourteen bands sent in demo tapes to compete for one of the six spots in the battle. After the committee listened to the demos, the members selected a very eclectic mix of music designed to appeal to a wide range of listeners. Samuels said that there will be bands with “folk, bluegrass and more of a pop-punk thing going on; some bands have a classic rock thing going on. Hopefully, there is something to appeal to everyone.”

p. The committee also tried to find bands that are less visible on campus, along with the more well-known bands. “We choose bands people haven’t necessarily heard that much before,” Samuels said. Two of the bands, Maids of Cadiz and AudioStrobeLight, have only one member at the College. Their other members will have to travel to play at the battle.

p. At the battle, the winner will be chosen by averaging scores from a panel of judges and votes from the audience. Each person attending the event will be allowed to vote once for the band of his or her choice. The doors will remain open, allowing audience members to come and go as they please. According to Samuels, many people will come to hear only the band they know, while others will stay for the entire event. It is, after all, a free four-hour concert.

p. The bands that will be playing will likely put on a very diverse show. Performing first will be last year’s winner, Ultraviolet Ballet. Ultraviolet Ballet will present a mixture of classic rock songs and originals. Junior Jesse DelGizzi believes that the band’s sound appeals to a lot of people. “We play songs that people would know,” he said. “[We] pretty much boil down to what rock is.”
For those craving music with more of an edge, there are Riot Shield and Maids of Cadiz. Michael Wollitz of Riot Shield said the band is a “little more rocking” than the other bands. Its music, which is mostly originals, ranges from alternative rock to metal. This is their second year in the battle.

p. Junior Mike Pingley, of Maids of Cadiz, credits the influence of Radiohead and Led Zeppelin, among others. This is the band’s first year in the battle, but it has been together for three years.
Rock River Gypsies will appeal to those who like their music acoustic. Junior Chris Smith described the band as a “folk band that thinks it’s blue grass.” It is an all-acoustic progressive folk band, complete with a flautist who is rooted in jazz. For those who like a good stage show there is AudioStrobeLight.“We are big on stunts and stage antics,” sophomore band member Adam Cohen said. “Our sound is pretty much power pop rock.” The band’s instrumentation includes an electric violin and mandolin.

p. Closing the evening will be Tallest Highest, “[We’re an] indie rock band with some post-rock and some dance beats as well,” senior band member David McClendon said. “We like making people dance and have a good time.”

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