Speedbumps hit Battle of the Bands

Allison Bugg

Sanity Fare’s Nate Mahan, of Pittsburgh, jumps into the air with his bass guitar while Brian Yost, freshman electronic media production major, plays on the drums. Sanity Fare was one of the five bands that played Tuesday night at Acoustic Rock night for B

Credit: Beth Rankin

In the midst of a harsh winter snowstorm, many found live music in the basement of the Student Center.

The snow continued Tuesday night, as did the Battle of the Bands competition. The night featured an acoustic rock battle in which five bands played 30-minute sets, all vying for first place.

Susan Heidinger, special events coordinator for ACPB, announced the winner at the end of the night: The Speedbumps.

About the bands

The Speedbumps is the ultimate acoustic rock band. The group includes Erik Urycki, Sam Kristoff, Andrew Adams and Ryan Wilkins, who joined just three weeks ago. With a debut album already recorded, which should be released this spring, The Speedbumps continue to play local venues in Akron as well as out-of-state venues.

The band’s musical influences range from Damien Rice and Elliot Smith to Wilco and Nick Drake. The sweet melodies the group produces only adds to Urycki’s soft but powerful voice, and 17-year-old Kristoff’s capabilities on classical cello are well beyond his years.

Mars Hill is a Kent-based band consisting of Eric St. Jean, Kait Swanson, Jim Bossler, Betsy Sang and Tyler Stump. The core of the group has been together for almost two years, with the addition of Stump only a month ago. It was the band’s first competition.

The group played an energetic set with strong female vocals and guitar rhythms. Musically, the band has a wide range of styles and influences for the band, including John Mayer, Maroon 5 and Switchfoot. Mars Hill plays at 9 p.m. every Thursday for the Dive meetings in Van Deusen Hall.

Sanity Fare is a lively band that’s been together for more than three years, often playing shows in the Cleveland and Youngstown areas. Members include Jeff Gargas, Brian Yost, Nathan Doutt and Nate Mahan. The group’s alternative rock-style playing stems from musical influences such as Incubus, Dave Matthews Band and Nirvana.

The band’s energetic stage presence coincides with Gargas’ leading voice, which produces a distinguished performance. It’s apparent the group enjoys playing for crowds and likes to have fun on stage.

The Movement is a band with two years of experience, playing shows at the Agora and special events such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last summer. Pauly Battista, Jim Sanders, Eric Sukalac and Steve D make up the group.

The band’s acoustic rock performance provided a unique sound that separates it from others. The group’s folksy guitar rhythms overlap solid leading and back-up vocals. The Movement’s musical influences include Switchfoot, Eric Clapton and Mae.

Loonsdale is a dynamic band with a wide-ranging sound. The core of the group has been playing for three years, with the most recent addition a year ago. The band includes Zach Malone, Steph West, Matt Anderle, Jim Bogacz and Greg Morgan.

This eclectic rock group showed its musical abilities in a lively set consisting of rhyming raps and exceptional drumming. Some of Loonsdale’s musical influences are Sublime, Dave Matthews Band and Outkast.

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