By Jay Salton
Feb. 24, 2015. Looking for a chance to catch some of Boone’s finest local acts on the big stage? Appalachian State University’s 16th annual Battle of the Bands will be held at Legends on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the Information Desk in the Plemmons Student Union and at the door the night of the show.
Four bands will compete this year, with the winner receiving a cash prize and a headlining show at Legends next year. Each band will perform a twenty-minute set, with a group of judges that includes legendary local musicians, teachers and club owners declaring a winner by night’s end. The bands will be judged based on audience response, technical skills and overall sound.
“The winning band will have to excel in all these areas and make a lasting impression to win the headlining show,” said Addison Wemyss, chairperson for Appalachian Popular Programming Society’s Club Shows committee.
Last year’s show resulted in a tie, with Sensation of Falling and Chrome Scene being crowned winners of the battle. This year boasts as diverse a lineup as ever, and promises to be a night of pure entertainment and healthy competition.
“It is always enjoyable watching these bands come play their heart out at what is usually one of the biggest shows they have played up to this point,” said Wemyss.
“The energy in the room is unforgettable.”
Here is a rundown of the bands playing:
Way Das: A relatively new band, Way Das will be coming to Battle of the Bands having already played venues such as Black Cat and recorded at Boone’s own Wet Bandit Audio. Drawing influences from bands like The Hold Steady, Pixies, Pavement, and Nirvana, and featuring male and female vocals, Way Das has described its music as “fuzzy, sad girl (and boy) angst rock.”
Between dynamic duo vocal styling, melodious yet distortion-heavy pop songs, and frequent instrument switching, Way Das has made a strong effort to keep a heavy variety in their sets, something that has proven to keep audience members refreshed and on their toes.
“We wanted to play more shows,” said band member Joey Frost.
“And Legends is a pretty big venue, so that’s cool. We figured it would be a good way to get our name out to more people.”
Arson Daily: After forming just last October, Arson Daily will be playing their first non-house show at Battle of the Bands. Citing influences such as progressive rock and popular indie rock bands such as The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, and the Arctic Monkeys, the band hopes this show will act as a good breaking point into the Boone music scene.
“We’re just a new band and we thought it would be a good opportunity to get our name out there. Kind of like a launching point,” said member Zachary Dunham.
Regarding the importance of bringing local music to Legends, Dunham mentioned how successful a concert can turn out simply because people show up to support their friends, which in turn allows people to discover new bands and styles.
When talking about what will make them stick out to the judges, Dunham noted the chemistry between the members and their all-original content.
Vitamin Pets: Vitamin Pets have quickly proven themselves as one of the most exciting, crowd-friendly, energy generating bands on the current Boone music circuit. Between a triumphant show with Whatever Brains and their acceptance as a Battle of the Bands participant, they have become a go-to for a movement inducing, rambunctious experience. Influences range from prolific San Francisco garage rock extraordinaires Thee Oh Sees to French composer Erik Satie to pop juggernaut Lorde. Their style of lo-fi garage rock was described by member River Allen as similar to, “black magic on a warm night.”
Regarding the upcoming Legends show, Allen brought up how Legends is not a place where Vitamin Pets, or any local band, gets a chance to play very often, and that locals often bring something fresh and new to the venue. Plus, competition is something that can be exciting for any band.
“I don’t think that on campus music and off campus music should be different entities,” she later added.
“This can expose people to a more unique music scene.”
For more information about Battle of the Bands, or to purchase tickets, click here.