And then there was 1

Joe Shearer


Barbershop quartet The Harmony Grits perform a song about Christopher Columbus last night during the final round of Battle of the Bands.

Credit: Adam Griffiths

Correction: In the photo gallery at the bottom of this story, members of the band NJs and the Jeff were listed as Jeff Gale and Gale Yost. These names were incorrect. The band members’ names are actually Jeff Gill and Brian Yost.

Wailing guitars, funky bass riffs, dream-pop and even four-part harmony all frequented last night’s final round of All Campus Programming Board’s Battle of the Bands. With roughly 300 in attendance – the largest Battle of the Bands audience yet – the four finalist bands each showed why they deserved to be not only in the final round, but also to have the opportunity to play FlashFest. Three national acts, which remain disclosed by ACPB, will also play the event.

With the energy of a garage band, and a classic rock sound, NJs and the Jeff closed out the show and took the competition, securing their place at FlashFest. Launching their official MySpace page late last week, the band is quickly establishing themselves as one of the freshest bands in the area.

“We’re taking classic rock to the new age,” said Taylor Belling, senior marketing major and vocalist/bassist. “We just enjoy blowing out spines.”

Guitarist Jeff Gill (also known as “the Jeff”), a junior business management major, agreed with Belling.

“We don’t try that hard,” Gill said. “It just happens.”

Indie-rock trio Annabel kicked off the show with their mix of upbeat pop and melodic sounds. In a bold move, the band closed their set with a lengthy, moody instrumental piece, complete with movements and build-ups.

Lead singer and guitarist Ben Hendricks, a junior electronic media production major, said although his band didn’t win, he was content with playing the final round.

“We’re just happy to be playing in front of people,” Hendricks said. “We play our songs, and hopefully people like it.”

Next to play was barbershop quartet the Harmony Grits, although before the show started, it was unclear whether or not they would perform. Their baritone singer, junior finance major Nate Cross, almost couldn’t make the show but pulled through at the last minute. Although barely audible from the back of the Rathskeller, the band received positive audience feedback for their humorous songs and joke telling.

NJs and the Jeff’s Belling also sang lead in the Harmony Grits and cracked a lot of the jokes.

“I like my women like I like my scotch,” Belling told the audience. “Eighteen years old and mixed up with coke.”

Tropidelic engaged the crowd with reggae beats mixed with hip-hop and all-around positive energy. Started around a year ago, the reggae-rock group established a large following and consistently plays in the Kent area.

Hype-man and junior marketing major Erick Steckel explained what the band means to each of its members and what it feels like to perform in front of people.

“This is our lives,” Steckel said. “This is what we do. It’s a feeling that every one of us truly cherishes.”

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Joe Shearer at [email protected].