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MIC Presents: Battle of the Bands

Michael Quick

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The Music Industry Club held their annual Battle of the Bands event on Saturday, April 23, where music groups from the University of New Haven can competed for prizes.

Tom Stringer of Coastal Notion  (Photo by Carol Simpson)

Tom Stringer of Coastal Notion
(Photo by Carol Simpson)

In the Bixler/Botwinik quad, nine bands, from various genres, each played 25 minute sets to try and earn the favor of the judges (Zack Grabko and Michael Quick). The judges scored each band based upon their musicality, stage presence and other factors, one of which being their cover song.

Each year, MIC asks that the participants in the Battle cover a song from a particular theme. In the past there have been television themes, one-hit wonders, and this year the theme was Disney songs.

The bands could choose any song from either a Disney movie or television show and incorporate it into their set. Standout covers included Costal Notion performing a melancholic version of “Chim Chimney” from Mary Poppins, On The Fritz’s reggae “Under the Sea,” and Mandals’ “What I’ve Been Looking For” from High School Musical.

After a lengthy setup process, the show began just after one o’clock. However, due to some poor scheduling choices, there was another event happening on the other end of the quad that was initially playing their own music. While his band, Costal Notion, was sound checking, Thomas Stringer told the other event to turn their music off and “respect the live music” over the PA. Luckily, they obliged.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only setback of the day; during The Not Mikes’ set, one of the speakers blew and the members of MIC, as well as the Audio Engineering Society, had to scramble to remedy the situation. And remedy it they did: after this slight mishap, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the evening.

“I think the Battle of the Bands went really well. Aside from some technical issues with power sources, I think was definitely a hit. Hosting it in the quad led to a less formal vibe. Students just walking by could stop for a minute and listen,” said MIC president, Andy Esborn, about the event.
At the conclusion of the event, the judges declared the first place winners of a $100 Guitar Center gift card to be Psychoala, a funky and dance-y alternative band that wowed the crowd with their tight groove and cover of “I Wanna Be Like You” (The Jungle Book). Second place ($25) was taken by Keep it Quiet, and The Not Mikes earned the title of “Honorable Mention.”

“It was a fun show; it’s the first time in a while UNH had a show in the quad and I hope they do it more often,” said Pierce Johnston, bassist of Keep it Quiet, who was happy with his, and everyone else’s, performance of the day.

Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon full of many different types of music. Be sure to look out for next year’s Battle of the Bands to see what new theme they come up with and to support the musicians at UNH.

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MIC Presents: Battle of the Bands