Your little guide to the BIG battle

Battle of the Bands brings together an impressive ‘ if not competitive ‘ crew

Emily Garber

Five local college bands will get the chance to shine at Friday night’s Battle of the Bands. But only one actually hopes to shine the brightest.

Few involved even care about the prize ‘ opening for Lucky Boys Confusion on March 3.

Which begs the question: What’s the point of a battle if only one competitor wants to win?

“I mean, the fact that we’d get another show out of it is great,” said Aaron Shekey of the band Apparently Nothing, “but we’re just really, really excited to have our friends see us on stage.”

Max Lemberger of Turnaround Captain also sees the show simply as a way to have fun.

“We can’t take it too seriously. Shows like these are always a popularity contest,” he said. It’s just politics.”

And politics it is. In the likes of Capitol Hill, the lineup for Friday consists mostly of white men. The winner, if it follows the trends of past battles, will be whichever band recruits more existing fans to shout the loudest.

A panel of judges rates the bands using a set of criteria (e.g. performance and technique), “but it really is up to the audience,” said Adriana Monsalve of The Whole. “We have our sound guys checking a gauge to see who gets cheered for the most.”

In other words, the most popular band will come out victorious. The rich will get richer.

But the defeated can’t complain about losing this election. The contest acts more like a showcase, bringing together otherwise unknown and unrelated groups.

Forget Lucky Boys Confusion: The real prize is a momentary spotlight and a few hundred sets of ears.

Members: Parker Thompson (drums), Jonathan Walters (bass, vocals), Sam Beere (guitar)
Sounds Like: “Mid-’90s skate punk”
Influences: NOFX, No Use for a Name, The Offspring
In it to win or just to play? “We’re in to win, man! We’re in to get the crown.”
Why they think they should win: “We’re probably the most awkward band. Ö No one in the universe comes close to our cartoon style.”

Forever Tomorrow
Members: Jesse Wolf (vocals, guitar), Kyle Willinger (bass), Tom Erickson (lead guitar), Jaime Plaez (drums)
Sounds Like: “A mix between emo and metal with a little bit of pop-punk.”
Influences: Story of the Year, Senses Fail, Aidan
In it to win or just to play? “Just to play. We’re in it for ourselves, but it’d be awesome to win.”
Why they think they should win: “On stage, we just have fun. It’s our way of hanging out.”

Turnaround Captain
Members: Max Lemberger (trombone), Dakotah Cornelius (bass), Rob DiSalvo (drums), Mike Baker (vocals)
Sounds Like: “We prefer to be called ‘progressive ska.’ “
Influences: Rx Bandits, Sublime, Fugazi
In it to win or just to play? “Most battle of the bands are too political. We just want to play.”
Why they think they should win: “We’re not trying to toot our own horn, but we are one of the most energetic bands you’ll ever see.”

The Lid
Members: Cory Johnson (lead guitar), Eric Pasi (vocals, guitar), Dan Riley (bass), Adam Schimke (drums)
Sounds Like: “That’s for you to decide because we have no idea.”
Influences: The Mars Volta, Muse, Radiohead
In it to win or just to play? “Just to play. The more shows the better.”
Why they think they should win: “Well, because we are a good band.”

Apparently Nothing
Members: Aaron Shekey (vocals, guitar), Jim Lincoln (lead guitar), Ryan McGrew (bass), Layne Knutson (drums)
Sounds Like: “Rock with a little bit of cow punk just under the surface.”
Influences: Drive-By Truckers, Nirvana, Lynyrd Skynyrd
In it to win or just to play? “We’re in this to play. We just want our fan base to be able to see us with proper production.”
Why they think they should win: “We’re just rock, which can be refreshing in a world of Yellowcards.”