Student-led bands to compete at Battle of the Bands

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The Appalachian Online

Emma Speckman

Appalachian Popular Programing Society announced the contenders for the upcoming Battle of the Bands competition Thursday.

The competition will be held Feb. 25 at 9 p.m. at Legends. The bands competing this year are Arson Daily, The Romantic Egotists, Vitamin Pets and Way Das.

For at least the past 15 years, according to university program specialist Randy Kelly, Battle of the Bands has given Appalachian students the opportunity to perform onstage at Legends.

Each band will have 20 minutes to perform and will be ranked by a panel of judges. The first-place winner receives a cash prize and the opportunity to perform a headlining show at Legends the following semester.

The APPS club shows council settled on only four bands performing in order to maximize the amount of time bands are able to play. Kelly said he wants to make sure bands get enough time to perform a “legitimate set” and for drum kits to change out between sets.

“Throughout the year, club shows focuses on upcoming shows [at Legends,] but at Battle of the Bands we get a younger draw,” said Addison Wemyss, club shows chairperson and sophomore advertising major. “We get to help bands. I like to do in the very, very beginning stages is help them be a part of their success.”

Judges for Battle of the Bands this year will include a member from the powered amplifier company Legends uses for most of their shows, local musician Andy Paige, Murphy’s owner and music booker John Rush and potentially a DJ from the WASU radio station, Kelly said.

The club shows council tries to ensure that the judges are from varied backgrounds and come to the show with an unbiased attitude, Kelly said.

To qualify for Battle of the Bands, bands had to submit three songs to the Appalachian Popular Programming Society council. One member of the band must be actively enrolled as an Appalachian student, though the rest of the members could be from elsewhere.

The council listened to the submitted songs without looking at names and decided which four bands will get to compete.

“One of my favorite parts of the event as a whole is seeing [the bands’] reactions,” Wemyss said. “Usually it’s one of their first shows and usually it’s a better PA sound system than they’ve ever performed with before.”

Arson Daily formed in October and is comprised of Appalachian students Zach Dunham, Chip Cannon, Quincy Platt and Adam McLean. Dunham said Battle of the Bands will be the band’s first show at a venue in Boone; previously the band has only played house shows.

“After this we’ll probably start trying to play in bars a little bit, or whatever we can get,” said Dunham, the band’s rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist. “This is like, name recognition, all over it. We’re trying to just get our name out there.”

Tickets for this year’s event will be $3 at the door and in advance at the information center in Plemmons Student Union across from Cascades. Tickets may be purchased with cash, credit card or by App Express account.

STORY: Molly Flinchum, Intern A&E Reporter & Emma Speckman, A&E Editor