At this year’s Battle of the Bands put on by the Associated Students of UC Irvine’s Student Services, eight bands were selected to grace the stage in front of the Administration Building out of a countless amount of applicants that were screened by ASUCI’s spirit committee.
The bands were evaluated on their stage presence, technicality and audience participation by a select group of judges that included members of ASUCI, KUCI and The New University.
The biggest requirement for a band to carry out their 20-minute set in Battle of the Bands was that at least one member had to be a current UCI student.
Though the performances shrank from 14 to eight compared to last year’s Battle of the Bands, the audience filled the steps in front of the flagpoles to witness which band was worthy of the prestige of winning the first place package: playing on the main stage at Wayzgoose this coming Saturday and a remastered in-studio performance with KUCI, and for the band coming in second place, the consent to present their musical talents at ASUCI’s campaign kick-off event.
The event started with Links, the most interesting band stylistically in music and in execution. Their cover of The Police’s ‘Roxanne’ was the highlight of their set, which was tinted with a bit of a reggae but surged by the lead singer’s dynamic dance moves.
The politically charged Henry Clay People were up next. Think of Blink 182 stage antics but with even more juvenile lyrics. The members of Henry Clay People were definitely pumped by their own songs about the American Revolution, growing up in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the song ‘Ellie the Eczema Princess,’ which is about the vocalist’s dog.
Following The Henry Clay People was Ars Nova, a four-man group whose turntable scratching left the crowds with ‘fuck the prom queen’ ringing in their ears after their short two-song set.
Two Days Notice picked up the energy slump and got the crowds cheering for their amazingly solid stage presence and performance. At times one might think that these guys have been touring alongside big-name bands such as Yellowcard for years and forget that this band had only just released their demo ‘Elevator Music.’
Eidos’ Weezer and Thrice covers weren’t anything that would blow the originals away and their last song/resort rock rendition of ‘Go Go Power Rangers’ left the onlookers looking forward to the next band.
80 Proof wasn’t as hard as their name suggested but they had the ability to get a little over one-third of the audience off their feet and crowding around stage one, grooving to their ‘Whiskey Beats’ and other intoxicatingly edgy songs that went down smooth.
If Hunter S. Thompson had the setting of ‘The Rum Diary’ take place about 30 years later in Puerto Rico, this is the kind of music that would have been playing amid the endless nights of drunken debauchery that occurred in the novel.
Excuse the slight deviation. Coming back to the bands, Vista View was another good contender for first prize. Instrumentally they were concrete and vocally they were rather interesting. The lead singer was able to sing in pitches that were hard to believe a guy could even reach.
Vista View was supposed to be the last performance of the night, but Ivy’s Skirt was able to secure that timeslot due to a little scandal earlier that had temporarily left them disqualified from taking part in Battle of the Bands.
Ultimately the judges decided that Links retained the qualities that deemed them worthy of procuring first place. 80 Proof was a close competitor for the top spot but got a hold of second.
All the bands that competed are complete with MySpace accounts, and if you missed out on ASUCI’s Battle of the Bands, you can still catch the event on Anteater TV.