godot. reigns triumphant in Battle of the Bands

Allison Bugg

Yesterday’s Flight performed at battle of the bands Tuesday night in the Rathskeller.

Credit: Andrew popik

As more people enveloped the room and gathered in front of the stage, sounds of laughter filled the air. Until the music started, and it was almost impossible to talk to the person next to you.

Heidinger announced the winner of this year’s Battle of the Bands competition after a long, anticipated night. Alternative band godot. received the top prize and will be performing April 28 at the annual FlashFest event.

The last and final competition Tuesday featured an all-out battle among the top five bands, one from each genre. The night pitted the best of the best against one another for the top prize: a FlashFest performance later this month and a free 10-hour studio package from Moondog Recording.

Susan Heidinger, special events coordinator for the ACPB, said the overall success of this year’s Battle of the Bands competition exceeds that of previous years.

For a good portion of the semester, 23 bands have performed in the basement of the Student Center as part of the competition. Some of those bands played together for the first time while others possessed more experience.

Previous nights produced scores that compiled 60 percent of the judges’ votes and 40 percent of the audience’s votes. For the final competition, Heidinger said she changed it to 70 percent judges and 30 percent audience.

“Like years past, I didn’t want it to turn into a popularity contest because that’s not what this event is about,” she said. “It’s about the music.”

Heidinger said the night also included another minor change. Two representatives from WKSR, Mark Krugman and Amanda Bryk, and local musician Adam McDermott judged the competition. Previously, pre-journalism and mass communication major Brianna Ries served as a judge, but she was unable to make it, Heidinger said.

Erik Walter, a representative from Woodsy’s Music, also judged the competition.


About the top five bands

n godot. is a local alternative band that beat out three bands to win the alternative competition March 15. This group performs a unique set by incorporating an artist into its show. The artist begins painting or drawing when the band starts playing, and the group considers it “performance art.”

Truly a distinctive characteristic to godot.’s shows, the extreme collaboration of the musicians with the artist onstage cannot go unnoticed. The band instills an aggressive playing style filled with tempo changes and attractive rhythms.

n Local band Dr. Teeeth won the rock/jam band competition March 29, beating out four other bands. The group’s musical influences such as Muddy Waters, Beck and Miles Davis are prevalent in its playing style, with hard-rocking drumming, deep bass rhythms and classy guitar.

While Dr. Teeeth plays at numerous venues around Northeast Ohio, it was the group’s first musical competition. The band played an intense and solid set featuring vocals worth harmony and melody.

n The Speedbumps is a local band that won the acoustic rock competition March 1, beating four other bands. Being dubbed an ultimate acoustic rock band is pertinent seeing how the group performs without a drummer and uses acoustic guitars. The band also features the use of a cello, providing a unique sound against an array of melodies.

The group’s musical influences include Damien Rice, Wilco and Elliot Smith, all of which are evident in the band’s style. The Speedbumps provide sweet-sounding vocals, which radiate softly throughout the crowd.

n Punk band Yesterday’s Flight beat three other bands and won the punk competition Feb. 15. The group’s high-energy performance reflects the vivid contrast of sound it creates, which is subtle at times and harder at others.

This band looks to other punk bands for inspiration, such as the Getup Kids. The group performed with exceptional drumming and provided a well-defined combination of vocal styles.

n Firestone Elementary kicked off this year’s Battle of the Bands competition by winning the hard rock/heavy metal battle Feb. 1, beating out four other bands. This group, formerly known as Civil Funk, has been playing around the Youngstown area for almost five years.

The band performed a powerful set filled with clashing drum cymbals and hard bass rhythms. Firestone Elementary combines the necessary elements to be a rock band and completes its sound with two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer.

Contact local music reporter Allison Bugg at [email protected].