This past weekend, 16 student bands competed in Battle of the Bands, a musical event featuring student bands presented by The Sounds of Colorado College (SOCC). CC’s finest musicians came out to jam in Slocum Commons. The air was ripe with good vibes and amazing talent.
After two nights of exciting tunes, audience members voted on six bands to advance to the final showdown. The bands vying for the Llama performance slots are Coyote Surprise, Despairagus, Frog, Hotel 1937, Mad Wallace, and Promiscuous Stepsister.
The Llamapalooza Committee voted to add another slot to the band lineup, allowing for three student bands to perform at Llamapalooza this year. Although half of the bands will make it to Llama, the competition will make it tough to land those spots.
Promiscuous Stepsister trumpeter Aaron Alcouloumre ‘19 felt good about the band’s performance last Saturday night. “We spent a ton of time rehearsing and practicing,” said Alcouloumre. “The first song was a little shaky but our last song [“Brother, I’m Hungry” by Snarky Puppy] was really fun to put together.”
Promiscuous Stepsister, along with the graduated band Touch It, performed at Llamapalooza last May. If they make it this year,
Alcouloumre hopes to incorporate more musicians and have warmer weather.
Fellow Llama alum and Coyote Surprise member Caleb Cofsky ’17 is looking forward to the next round as well. “We all really enjoy playing feel good rock ‘n roll that’s fun for CC students and fun for us,” said Cofsky.
Coyote Surprise is comprised of all seniors, who’ve been a part of the music scene for the last four years. “There’s a pool of musician friends that are seniors and we keep forming bands and then ending them,” said Cofsky. “This is the latest instillation of our band.”
Other bands, like Despairagus, are more recently formed. “We started playing together only about a month ago,” said Lena Farr-Morrissey, member of Despairagus. “Everyone brings in their own material; we’re still trying to figure out our sound a little bit. We felt like it was good opportunity to have a first go at things.”
Student bands are an influential part of the CC art scene, though their community prominence has fluctuated over the years. Even transitioning from last year to this year, some students feel there is less of a student band presence. “I think CC live music used to be a lot more of a vibrant scene,” said Cofsky. “I remember when I was a freshman there used to be a new band playing every single weekend and it was something you could guarantee would happen. Like I’d love to see more underclassmen coming out to live shows and getting weird with us.”
A less community orientated band scene also creates a disparity within the arts. “I just want to be creating space where people can come together more,” said Farr-Morrissey on the role student bands play in CC culture. “I feel like the art scene here is a little spread apart and hard to access if you don’t really know people, so I hope the CC bands are able to create these communities where anyone can come together and meet people and hopefully get inspired.”
Alcouloumre also aims to create a more dynamic scene. “It’s about presenting an art, not just music to dance to but something complex and creative,” he said. “We try to meet the line between the music people love to hear but also we love to play.”
With each band offering their unique sound, the next round of Battle of the Bands promises a good time. The bands will battle it out on Yampa next month, with the date to be announced.