This year’s Battle of the Bands, which boasted musicians of all genres, may very well have been one of the biggest achievements of the school year.
A Coffeehouse event sponsored by Programs Board, the affair’s main goal – and each act’s ultimate prize – was to select the student band that would be performing at World Carnival later this year.
The event featured a very eclectic combination of acts that ranged from Spanish guitar and acoustic to folk and comedic rock.
The student body seemed to respond very well to the event which saw possibly the biggest turnout since last semester’s Holy F**k.
The biggest surprises of the evening, however, were probably the bands Vaguely Sexist and Good Muzick who each played to a crowd significantly smaller for the one that came to see Three Man River Band.
Anna Danz, Junior and World Carnival chair, had nothing but good things to say about Vaguely Sexist.
“They sang Backstreet Boys and Miley Cyrus and I said ‘Let’s be friends,’” Danz explained.
They were a crowd favorite after their set which also included a rendition of “The Ultimate Showdown” and multiple awkward interludes that seemed to come straight out HBO’s Flight of the Conchords.
Good Muzick, a write-in candidate that signed up at the last minute, also had a remarkably warm reception. The only rap group to enter the event, they impressed the crowd with their slick beats and clever wordplay reminiscent of popular rapper KiD CuDi.
“I was surprised. I knew they were out of college and mixing, so I didn’t know what to expect, but they were good,” said Programs Board Chair Jes Harvey.
Good Muzick wound up becoming a dark horse candidate and was voted runner-up overall, a testament to their abilities as performers.
The winner of this year’s Battle of the Bands, Three Man River Band, won by a landslide of 65 votes with 170 student voters overall.
Three Man River Band, led by senior Jimmy O’Keefe, was the student favorite going into the competition, having been a very prevalent presence at music events and performances at World Carnival in the past.
Their combination of wild on-stage presence and unique musical influences made their performance a backwoods, foot stomping dance party, which made them a perfect act to perform at World Carnival.
Hydröfish, a musical act that has played World Carnival in the past, also performed at this year’s Battle of the Bands.
They showcased their unique blend of vulgar, absurdist lyricism and funk.
A multitude of other performers also played at the event, primarily specializing in acoustic covers and adult alternative which have long been staples of Coffeehouse performances in the past.
The most important aspect of Battle of the Bands, however, is the chance for exposure and to perfect stage presence or gain experience.
While winning allows performers to headline a popular event like World Carnival, which comes with exposure, the chance to play at an event like Battle of the Bands is still one to be relished.
First-year Danny O’Neill, one half of the act Good Muzick, said, “To make sure you sound good live, you have to be in front of people and gauge their reactions. Battle of the Bands is a great way to get your name out there and make sure you can do something live.”
Given the strong response to the event this year from performers and students alike, Battle of the Bands is not only a healthy way to build the reputation of World Carnival, but also to build the reputations of student performers on campus.