At the 13th annual Battle of the Bands competition sponsored by WQAQ, Great Caesar certainly got very lucky.
The group’s first place finish was also the first time they had ever won an award in any music competition, according to member Andres Calduron.
“We played in a few battle of the bands before, and we’ve been on tour before, but we didn’t sell a lot of tickets,” Andrews said.
When asked about their biggest strength, lead guitarist Mike Farrell noted that “we’ve all been playing together for a while now, it’s our biggest strength.”
What was especially surprising for Great Caesar was that they were using substitute band members at the contest. John Michael Parker, the lead singer, was not present at the event, and his role was filled by Chris Moyse. Tom Sykes, the band’s regular trumpeter, was replaced by Dan Hirscorn. Rounding out the rest of the band was Adam Glazer at bass guitar and Sean Andrews as the drummer.
Playing last of the 10 bands, but certainly not least, were the Stone Quarries. The group took home second place, and in an intriguing twist used backup vocal singers to accompany lead singer and guitarist Mike Castro.
“We wanted to come out with something different,” Castro said. “We’re a rock and roll band; this (sic) is a focused set (of people).
The rest of the band consists of Bill Antonucci at bass guitar, Jon Sieg at guitar and vocals and Chris Campoli at drums.
Finishing in third place with the $100 prize was the band Myopia, whose band members all wore long hair and black clothing on stage to emphasize their style of music, a power metal band.
The evening began at 7:30, with the introduction for the 10 bands which would be competing that evening. First up was AC 147, a hard rock group which didn’t seem to be bothered by the nerves of going first.
“I would say our biggest strength is our togetherness,” sophomore TJ Fitzpatrick said. The other members of AC 147 include Chris DiBerardino, Justin Schussler and Richie Travers.
After AC 147 came Stalemate, whose music could best be described as alternative. After them came the heavy metal group Kamikaze’s Dream. Following them was Myopia, and then Thomas Keith sang solo in place of The Ultimate Sketch. Great Caesar was next, then hip hopper 508’s Finest, and another solo artist Taronte, who played acoustic guitar along with vocals. Details came next, with an alternative sound similar to Stalemate, and Stone Quarries wrapped up the concert before the judging.
The turnout was good for the concert, including the visit of MTVU to campus for the event. On top of the opportunity to see some of the best student bands on campus playing, students were also able to find out more about WQAQ, who sponsored the concert. Frisbees, stickers and CD’s were just some of the items displayed Friday night from WQAQ.
“We started planning the event at the end of the first semester, around the beginning of December,” WQAQ General Manager Paula Raimo said.
The big question was how the bands were chosen for the battle.
“All the bands had to submit music, and have something like a MySpace page for their entries. Our Music Directors DJ Bernat and Chris McLaughlin, chose the better entries. It was very hard this year because of a lot of amazing entries,” Raimo said.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement. We hope to bring MTVU back next year, maybe publicize the event more so that the event can be a community-wide event, not just a campus event,” Raimo said.