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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Battle of the Bands draws diverse crowd of musicians

<st Saturday night, the Cave was transformed into an impassioned arena, a vicious colosseum, a gory battlefield for fifteen student bands, which varied widely in ability, but narrowly in style. The first round of the annual Battle of the Bands drew record numbers of student musicians and audience members, with Carls of all class years taking the stage with a common goal: to woo the hearts of the student judges for the opportunity to advance to the final round and compete to play at Spring Concert.

Throughout the five-hour competition, the Cave was filled to capacity with waves of affluent Carls cosplaying as poor college students, purposefully shrouding their economic privilege in ripped jean jackets and dirty sneakers, all collectively cramming to see their friends compete against one another. Over students’ pretentious conversations about Pitchfork and Mac Demarco, the sounds of both talent and inability arose; the evening was host to a wide range of talent.

Cisco Hayward ’17, performing under the moniker S X E Y, transformed the Cave into a bacchanalian rave with her crisp electronic beats. Hayward performed only original compositions, and her performance was both innovative and energetic. Her delightful upbeat performance caused the crowd to twist and undulate, while she sweated over her synthesizer, frantically hopped between amps and even whizzed off the stage to do laps around the Cave.

A flood of brashly, ill-practiced bands played for the next few hours, and at some point the middle school dance closer “Closing Time” was messily performed, among many other song covers. Very few bands at the performance played original compositions.

Hot Cousin made their second Battle of the Bands appearance, to “give the people what they want,” as bassist Katie Williams so confidently put it. The band did just that, playing classics such as “4 Loco,” as well as some new material, all of which was well-received.

A mosh pit erupted to the song “Sayles Riot,” as students drunkenly danced off their unironic rage at the wait time of a café order. Although some saw the song as a lyrical embodiment of the monetary privilege of Carleton students, lead singer Paco Alvarez ’18 rejected this critique after his show, arguing that “the only thing we’re serious about is being seriously bad.”

A number of all-freshman bands performed as well, including The Russell Sprouts, a newly-formed group. Much to the surprise of many students who presumptively discredit any freshman band, The Russell Sprouts gave an upbeat, fresh performance. Although the band did not advance to the final round, it is certain that they will continue to perform at future Carleton events.

The final round of Battle of the Bands will take place at the Cave this year instead of the Grand, as the Northfield venue has banned all Carleton student events from the premises after students were caught stealing drinks from the bar and others vomited in the event center at the last Battle of the Bands.

On May 5th, the six finalists Ferni, Hot Cousin, Neighbors, Seamus O’Callaghan, S X E Y, and Yike! will compete for two performance slots at this year’s Spring Concert. No matter what your music taste, every student should come to the Cave on sixth Friday for a lively display of Carleton’s incredibly talented student bands.

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