Battle of the Bands: A long-awaited rock war

This Saturday night in Goodrich Hall at 8:30 p.m., WCFM will unleash some of our campus’s best bands to compete in a musical skirmish – a “Battle of the Bands,” if you will. The combat will last approximately three hours, and will include appearances by The Band Formerly Known as Free Beers, Beastface and High Power. With WCFM providing free food for our bellies and a keg to wash away our troubles (if you are over 21, of course), the musical soiree should be replete with all of the makings of a quality rock-n-roll gig.

“We [at WCFM] are definitely pumped to throw this,” event organizer Matthew Felser ’09 said. “There’s not enough opportunity for bands to play around here, so we’re hoping this tradition continues and not only provides a stage for these bands already playing but inspires other bands to come together and aspire to get on that stage as well.”

This isn’t the first time that WCFM has tried to host this self-entitled Battle – the College radio station tried to start the musical throw-down last year as well, but to no avail. “We tried to have a Battle of the Bands last spring but were unsuccessful,” Felser said. “From what I understand it turned into a bit of a catastrophe because we booked a professional sound guy for the show but then never put together enough bands to play. We ended up having to pay the sound guy even though we didn’t have the show.”

This year, everything is going according to plan. “We were tentative to try to put it together again this year but realized that a lot of new bands had sprung up on campus,” Felser said. “We figured we’d at least throw the idea out there and see what kind of response we’d get. Things turned out well so the show’s a go.”

Even though one scheduled band had to drop out due to a conflict, the planners are still excited about the upcoming show. The three remaining bands seem poised to employ their diverse musical talents to win the crowd and overwhelm their opposition.

Each band has different origins and musical preferences. Free Beers, with members Jacob Wagner ’11, Jack Killea ’11, Aaron Flack ’11 and Siwol Chang ’12, plays an indefinable type of music. As Wagner said, “It’s tough to accurately label our acoustic fusion band since our influences range from bros Justin Nozuka and Dave Matthews to the fresh beats of Will Smith and Lateral Hazard.”

Free Beers started out with simple jam sessions, opening for other bands and playing on WCFM. “Now, we believe Battle of the Bands could be our real coming out party,” Wagner said. “It’s not the unconditional love of our friends that drives us, it’s our haters who make us a better band,” added Killea.

Beastface appears to be, well, bestial. The group plays a mélange of rock, funk and alternative and is composed of Joe Mastracchio ’10, Josh Solis ’10 and Chando Yun ’10. The band started when the members were first-years out of “shared enthusiasm for – rock music,” Solis said. “The kind of rock music that rocks. Guitarists who could make the guitar talk, drummers who could make you move, bassists that were born funky – all shared conceptions of a bitchin’ band.”

The band’s aspirations are not limited to merely being “bitchin’” – they want to change the way you think. “We are serious about music and we would love to re-introduce you to yourselves,” Solis said.

Finally, High Power is a blues-reggae-funk combo group that somewhat resembles the eclectic sounds of Dave Matthews Band. The group, made up of Elike Kumahia ’12, Anthony Raduazo ’12 and Matt Staiger ’12, has “only played together once before,” Staiger said.

The Battle of the Bands will be an all out war. To miss it would be, simply put, a dangerous thing to do.