ASUU kicks off Battle of the Bands

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

Six bands rocked the Heritage Center’s first-floor conference room Wednesday night, competing for adoration and a chance to play at the Grand Kerfuffle in April.

The six bands were Larusso, Patter Stats, Melodramus, MindState, Shades of Gray and Good Morning Maxfield. The Associated Students of the University of Utah, which organized the event, picked five judges it felt best represented different aspects of the local music community to evaluate the bands. Two other bands, The Maine and Girlfriend’s Season, could not make it to the show and sent in videotapes to be judged separately.

The top four bands will be announced Monday and will play with MxPx in the Union on Nov. 30. After the show, students will vote, and the band with the most votes will play at the Grand Kerfuffle, ASUU’s annual spring music festival.

“This is a different approach to selecting bands (for future concerts),” said Amanda Mecham, a judge and director of the ASUU Presenter’s Office. “It will be something that people voted on, something they wanted to see.”

This selection process is unique because of the different rounds and kinds of judges the bands have to go through to become the winner, as opposed to the “typical battle of the bands scenario…where they all go against each other,” Mecham said.

Several dozen students watched the performances. Most stayed to watch one or two bands.

“I love Patter Stats,” said Ali Vance, a sophomore music major, who was the first to jump to her feet and give them a standing ovation at the end of their set. “They rock! They won this thing.”

Scott Woodward came to the Heritage Center to hear Good Morning Maxfield, who had previously played at the Union, where he works as a line cook, he said.

“I like their control over the music,” he said. “A lot (of the rest) sounded the same.”

Although Wednesday’s performance was Melodramus first performance, the audience received the band warmly.

Adam Blair, guitarist for Patter Stats, said it was a rad set.

“We haven’t played together in a while,” said Zakkary Hale, lead guitarist and vocalist of the Melodramus. “We just threw this together.”

The band stood out from its competitors by evoking the look and sound of such classic rock legends as Led Zeppelin and Rush.

The crowd was given free Enviga energy drinks, provided by Coke, which is cosponsoring the competition along with In Utah This Week Magazine.

After the show, audience members left with several unopened cases of Enviga under their arms. With favorite bands in mind, they took Shades of Gray’s bluesy advice and “made for the door.”

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Michael McFall

Stewart Maxfield and Robbie Connolly perform in the band “Good Morning Maxfield” at a battle of the bands event hosted by ASUU in the Heritage Center on Wednesday.