Bands battle for bragging rights at the Kent Stage


First place winner, Peach, performs at The Kent Stage for Battle of the Bands on Thursday Nov. 13, 2014.

Jenna Kuczkowski

The Kent Stage has seen plenty of local artists, but they hosted the first local Battle of the Bands competition Thursday, Nov. 13.

The event was sponsored by the Kent State Explorers, a student organization, and funds went to support upcoming events the group has planned for its members.

Amanda Monarchino, one of the head officers and founders of the Kent State Explorers, said, “We do a ton of different adventures, like tubing, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing or whatever we want to do and (go) wherever the wind blows us.”

The event included eight bands and one rap group. Musicians came from all across Northeast Ohio, including cities such as Macedonia and Akron in addition to the Kent-based bands. 

Dillon Oliver, singer in the band Broadcast Fiction, alternative punk rock band, said, “Without local music, there wouldn’t be big name bands because they wouldn’t be able to grow and develop such a large fan base. Every band has to start somewhere.”

Although this event was put on to raise money for the Kent State Explorers, it offered an opportunity for local bands to show what they can do, pick up some stage experience and begin to build their fan base. 

“There’s a great music community down here in Kent, everyone’s very open to new sounds and rhythms,” said Evan Skorepa, singer and lead guitarist for the bluesy rock fusion group, Peach. The band aims to bring “new dynamics, a really finely tuned sound, but also weird chords with some international influences” to the stage when it performs. 

Each band got to play three or four of their songs, and the audience voted via ballots for the band they thought was the best of the night.

The night consisted of performances by: Rebirth Movement Entertainment (R.M.E), Broadcast Fiction. Sun Dance, Colorblind, Abe and Rail Splitters, Pipe Dream, The Blind Owls, The Framoogie Experience and Peach. 

Beau Kuhn, singer and lead guitarist of blues and rock band, The Blind Owls, said, “There’s a lot of talented musicians out there, but it’s a bands’ ability to play together and work off each other that makes them a great band.”

After all the votes were counted, Abe and the Rail Splitters took third place, Colorblind took second and Peach was voted the winner of the night, claiming the title of best band.

“We went in confident and finished confident, but It was actually our first performance as a band so there were a few nerves but I think overall we did great,” said Peter Graves, one of Peach’s band members. “When they announced Peach it felt amazing. I didn’t even think we’d be in the running for first but we managed to come out on top. It was such a great feeling.”



Evan Skorepa – guitar, vocals
Ed Byrne – drums
Peter Graves – guitar
Mark Bautisda – bass guitar

Rock Fusion

About the band:
Bringing a new kind of sound to the stage, this band is able to mix so many different sounds together in order to create something new and great. With their interesting dynamics and out of the ordinary chords, they perfectly incorporate a bluesy sound into their already rock fusion music.


Honest Abe and the Rail Splitters

Ryan Stout – guitar
Hayden Wolf – drums
Zack Skwara – sing
Matt Bowen – bass

Pop Rock

About the band:
Mixing the upbeat tons of pop songs with traditional rock chords, this band gives a new electrifying life to worn over songs on the radio. Broken up for months before this, they re-united for one concert, just to captivate the audience and get them clapping and singing along to their favorite songs.


The Blind Owls

Beau Kuhn – guitar, vocals
Zack Eckert – guitar
Sean Meditz – drums
Dan “Tito” Navario – bass

Blues Rock

About the band:
A really talented band that’s been playing music forever and possesses the great ability to be able to be talented and play well together as a band and work together to make the band as a whole sound great and give it a smooth flow. They identify with blues/rock but play far more than just one genre and play them all so skillfully.


Broadcast Fiction

Tyler Timms – Guitar/vocals
Dillon Ray Oliver – Lead vocals
Glenn Menteer – Drums
James Timms – Bass

Pop-Punk/Alternative Rock/Punk Rock

About the band:
An electrifying alternative punk rock band with that believes in great stage presence is key to being great on stage. They are also very sociable and enjoy talking with fans and others after shows and connecting with them. Full of experience, all of the members have played in numerous bands before Broadcast Fiction and know what it takes to put on a great show and plan things out ahead


The Framoogie Experience

Kelley Tauring – lead guitar
Ryan Sutphin – bass
Nick Skully – drums
Pete Grantham – experience

Psychedelic rock

About the band:
With more of focus on their rad tones and complex guitar solos than lyrics, this band posed a unique look at things while not only offering their music, but also bits of entertainment provided by one of the band members who’s job is to solely be the ‘experience’ which includes doing things like playing video games, dancing, and taking his shirt off on stage yet saying nothing at all. They believe it takes talent and dedication to be a great band and are excited to see what the future holds for them.


Pipe Dream

Jack Ellis
Spencer Hendricks
Gavin Sterkel

Alternative/ Indie

About the band:
A nice change of pace from your average band, this trio can emit so much emotion in one song. They believe it takes a lot of chemistry to be a great band and bring very happy, lively, and open to interpretation kind of songs to the stage that they hope will grab people different ways so people can relate to them. To them, there is no show not work playing and think that local music is important because it gives bands roots.


Rebirth Movement Entertainment (R.M.E)


Tyler Davis “Cypher”
Oscar Neuhaus “Doc Osc”
Alex Bidwell “King Renati”
Marquis King “Quis”
Logan Karr “LJ Karma”


About the band:
With slow start-ups and quick turn around lyrical punches, they are a band of brothers looking to change music itself, not wanting to sound like all the other rap music on the radio. “We want to do our own thing and also go outside of that box,” said Davis. They want to change how people see rap and all of the stereotypes that are associated with it. They believe local music is important because that’s how you get your grassroots. “I think events like battle of the bands gives us a chance to really connect with people through our music and performance,” Davis said.

Contact Jenna Kuczkowski at [email protected].