Battle of the Bands exposes students to new groups, sounds
After greeting an entirely seated audience on Friday night, four-member alternative and pop band Last Night Saved My Life was determined to do everything it could to get members of the crowd on their feet, including running through the audience several times during the performance.
“We’re used to playing shows for people who are standing and moving,” marketing sophomore Wilson Shaner, the band’s lead singer said. “We tried to bring as much energy as we could, and for us and every other band after us, the crowd stayed standing.”
Last Night Saved My Life and 10 other acts performed in the University Activities Board’s, or UAB’s, ninth annual Battle of the Bands, which took place at 8 p.m. Friday at the International Center. The bands, which are comprised mostly of MSU students and recent alumni, competed to win a grand prize of $1,000 credit to Marshall Music Co., 3240 E Saginaw Road, in Lansing.
Advertising sophomore Rikki Jarvis, the special events director for UAB who coordinated Battle of the Bands, said she looks forward to the show every year because of the diversity of students who participate.
“Music always brings everyone out,” she said. “(Battle of the Bands) is a great opportunity to bring together a variation of local bands and students.”
At the end of the night, six-member jam band The Blue Effect took first place, and Last Night Saved My Life placed as runner-up and received $500 credit to Marshall Music Co. These winners were determined by a combination of scoring by a panel of judges and the audience.
The Blue Effect, whose members stuck together throughout their time at MSU and even won Battle of the Bands in 2009, said this year’s performance reflected its recent mission to mix up its sound.
“We like to experiment with tons of different styles,” said MSU alumnus Will Jones, who plays tenor saxophone and raps for The Blue Effect. “Lately we’ve gotten more into space funk because it gets people on their feet and it has that bounce to it.”
Although she originally came to Battle of the Bands to see the acoustic group Audio Monarch perform, biochemistry and molecular biology/biotechnology sophomore Emily Tucker, who was one of about 70 attendees, said she was surprised by the wide range of genres the show had to offer.
“It was really fun to see the variety of music,” she said. “I liked seeing all the talent MSU students possess that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”
After not performing at the Battle of the Bands in 2011, members of The Blue Effect said they felt a sense of pride in performing at the school that inspired their songs the most.
“Our music wouldn’t be where it is if we weren’t all best friends going to school and making music together,” said political science senior Brian Burgoyne, The Blue Effect’s keyboard player and backup vocalist. “Our music is reflective of all the adventures we go on.”