By ABIGAIL RUSSEL
Fourteen student-based bands competed in the first round of the Sounds Of Colorado College-sponsored, Battle of the Bands competition. Bemis Hall became a center of commotion March 1–2 as students shuffled in and out to see the performances and vote on their favorites. At CC, the Battle of the Bands is an annual springtime tradition. In a sense, the Battle of the Bands kicks off the much-anticipated Llamapalooza, as the bands are competing for a chance to perform at the festival.
Daniel Cortés ’22, a member of Luscious Expansion, described his performance Friday night as “pretty exhilarating.” “The more engaged the crowd become, the more we became, creating a positive feedback loop which made for an exciting set,” Cortés continued.
Similarly, Izzy Strigel ’22 of ADAZE, expressed how gratifying the Battle of the Bands was for a young band: “We’re a group that just started [Block 1] and we’re still trying to build an audience, so it was really rewarding having everyone come out.”
A unique feature of a Battle of the Bands setting is the competitive element. Most musicians aren’t accustomed to performing in such a directly competitive environment, and this affected the performers in different ways.
For Cortés, “the fact that it was competitive added significantly to the entertainment value.”
However, Strigel said the competition “really wasn’t a factor for [her group] … we were more looking just to have a good time, and if we had advanced that would’ve been awesome, but we were happy with what we did.”
The students in the audience also had great things to say about the event. Many students reported coming in the first place to support a certain friend or group, but ultimately stayed longer than they had planned.
The scene on Friday night captivated Kerry Yang ’22. “I just loved seeing what a great time the musicians we’re having doing what they love,” Yang said. “There was just so much positive energy.”
“Honestly, I was having more fun than I expected,” Sarah Stamp ’22 said. “I wanted to see all the groups go.” Stamp also expressed the tough time she had voting at the end of the night: “I couldn’t decide cause everyone had such genuine talent.”
In the end, however, only five of the 14 bands were able to progress onto the second round.