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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Local bands rock Mall

    Mike Weiss, A junior majoring in biology and psychology performs last night at the Battle of the Bands with his group Breadbrick
    Mike Weiss, A junior majoring in biology and psychology performs last night at the Battle of the Bands with his group Breadbrick

    Music reverberated through campus last night as the first of a series of Battle of the Bands competitions kicked off last night on the UA Mall.

    Atlas At Last, Sumit Dux, Breadbrick, Alla Morte and Man Overboard were among the local bands that played. Bands will be eliminated through another competition tomorrow, leading up to the Friday’s final stage.

    Each band was given 35 minutes to set up, play and take down equipment.

    “”Most of the bands are made up of UA students, but some are just local musicians,”” said Veronica Valenzuela, UA Activities Board concert director. “”Sometimes, it’s hard to recruit people, and some bands dropped out at the last minute.””

    Atlas At Last bass player Tyson Cazier said his band was asked to perform five hours before last night’s show due to another band canceling.

    “”We were missing one of our guitar players, which was rough,”” Cazier said. “”We definitely came on the fly, but we had fun. We take every gig we can get.””

    At the end of each show, audience members can vote for their favorite band. The two bands that receive the most votes each night will play 75-minute sets during Friday’s final round, which lasts from 5-10 p.m. All shows are free to attend.

    Man Overboard and Breadbrick won last night.

    Aside from gaining exposure, competing bands are eligible to win money and prizes. The first-place prize is $200 worth of cash and gift cards from the Activities Board and local sponsors. Second- and third-place finishers will receive money.

    Jeff Eckenrode, piano player and singer for Sumit Dux and a music sophomore, said his band is performing as “”something fun to do,”” and not for the prizes.

    “”The Battle of the Bands is a good reason to mess around on the UA’s time and money,”” he said.

    Eckenrode, who writes most of the lyrics for the band, used to perform solo at coffee shops but said he prefers being a part of a larger band.

    “”It’s so much louder,”” he said. “”It’s not about being good, it’s about being loud.””

    Eckenrode said he told his friends to come to the performance, a key strategy in gaining votes.

    “”We advertise for the show, but the crowd is mainly friends of the bands,”” Valenzuela said.

    “”It’s kind of a popularity contest as far as getting votes goes,”” she added.

    Victoria Duckworth, a biology sophomore, said she didn’t know any of the bands but heard about the performances through friends.

    “”It’s in a convenient location, it’s free and I like rock music,”” Duckworth said. “”I plan to vote at the end of the show, and I’ll probably come out for the shows later in the week, too.””

    The Activities Board organizes the Battle of the Bands each semester. To compete, bands must have submitted their music via www.MySpace.com or turned in a demo to the Board office, Valenzuela said.

    Board members selected the final 10 bands from the 20 that submitted music.

    Trevor Lightfoot, the Hermit Tree, the Sinphony, You Apart and June Fight July will perform tomorrow starting at 5 p.m.

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