Hang on to your spines

Joe Shearer

Student bands rock out during night two of Battle of the Bands


Taylor Benning and Jeff Gill from NJ and the Jeffs perform at ACPB’s Battle of the Bands last night in the Rathskeller.

Credit: Adam Griffiths

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About 170 people rocked out last night as three student bands played the second night of All Campus Programming Board’s Battle of the Bands.

All the bands are newly formed, or “fresh out of the womb,” said Dan Rahe, vocalist for the band Lady Mahogany and a freshman secondary education major.

Garage-rock band NJs and the Jeff, the winner of last night’s competition, will advance to the final round with Tropidelic, last week’s winner. Two more competitons will be held before the final round on April 10, where all four winning bands will fight for the opportunity to play at Flashfest.

NJs and the Jeff kicked off last night’s show with their high-energy, loud guitar solos and distorted basslines. Guitarist Jeff Gill, junior business management major, described the band as “loud, fast rock-and-roll.” He said the band formed two and a half weeks ago and only practiced four times before playing live.

Gill said the band name came from an old inside joke – NJ stands for “non-Jeff.” The band members came up with the name on the spot when they entered the ACPB office to sign up to participate in the competition.

Bassist and lead vocalist Taylor Belling joked after the band performed their first song, telling the audience the show was their “fifth practice.”

He also sent out a warning to all who listened to their music.

“We will rock so hard, we’ll blow out your spine,” said Belling, senior marketing major.

And although the band received positive feedback from the crowd, Belling addressed the audience again after another song.

“I am disappointed in this crowd,” he said. “You’re cheering, but why are you sitting down?”

All-freshman band Lady Mahogany followed, playing songs in the vein of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Alice in Chains. Guitarist Pete Bach, freshman pre-med major, described the group as “rock with a twinge of funk.”

Derrick Braden, guitarist and vocalist for the band Deviance Theory, said he has his own opinions about what Battle of the Bands should encompass.

“It’s all about writing music,” he said. “You come to Battle of the Bands, you should play original music.”

Deviance Theory’s guitarist, Josh Menning, said the competition was the band’s first show after six months of being together.

“It’s good to finally play out,” said Menning, junior technology major.

Night three of Battle of the Bands will take place March 13 at 9 p.m. in the Rathskeller.

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