M. Lewis Barker
Last night were the Battle of the Bands finals. Muse Music was absolutely packed with people, more than I’d ever seen there before. Six bands competed for money and studio time.
Xan & Chase played first. I only caught their last two songs, but they actually put on a very energetic performance. I still didn’t like it because they play (as a friend of mine put it) “Disney Pop”. The crowd enjoyed them and they did a fine job of whatever it is they do. They can appeal to Provo’s pop loving crowd I suppose.
The Crylics are just okay. I really wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to them, but I’m also still a little peeved that they beat the much superior Kite Theory and Ring of Scribes Thursday night. We caught them at the incredibly underwhelming Man Expo in Salt Lake earlier that day. I haven’t paid enough attention to them to make a firm decision on what it is I don’t like about their band, but it’s probably just that they’re still young and inexperienced. It’s no worse than anything I did at that age.
We were up next. For the first time in all the many performances I’ve done, I felt kind of like a rock star. The room was absolutely packed and everyone cheered us on. Archie, JJ, Matt, and I played our hearts out. One nice thing about playing bass is I could make mistakes and no one noticed since I was being so energetic about it! I was actually enjoying listening to the performance as much as being in it that I kept wanting to clap after each song. I think we may have become a punk band last night with how fast we went through the set.
Foxheart (who I keep accidentally calling “Foxtrot” all week), once again brought a lot of fans. For how new they are, I really have no idea how they have such a fan base already. They are so close to being good, but something is off and I just don’t enjoy listening to it at all. An electric guitar would really help, but I just don’t really like the songs. More power to them though for somehow getting all those people to like them. I just have no idea how.
White Elephant is actually a very good band. I just hadn’t seen enough of the set on Friday to properly judge them. They had a couple songs that I didn’t like, but for the most part it was a solid performance, thanks in large part to Marina’s fantastic voice. (I want to steal her for Wild Apples so very much right now.) I think you’ll hear more of them in the future.
Last, but most definitely not least, was The Lunatic. While I don’t care for their band name, they really blew me away once again. I already talked about them extensively yesterday, and all those points still stand. I wouldn’t have been very upset if they beat us.
We waited nervously as the judges cast their votes. Archie was especially jittery. He had all but given up on local music before Wednesday, opting instead to just play bass in Wild Apples and Empirates. Now he was finally seeing a payoff to all the work he, and we, have put in this past year. It took a long time for Jake Haws to get on the stage and announce the winners, but he finally did.
Third place, $50 and 2 hours of studio time, went to The Lunatic.
Second place, $100 and 5 hours of studio time, went to White Elephant.
First place, $150 and 10 hours of studio time, went to Archie Crisanto & the Travelling Salesmen.
Suddenly all was right in the world. Personally, I would have chosen The Lunatic over White Elephant, but I’m just really glad that these are the three bands that placed. The other three were just OK at best, but I wouldn’t listen to their music in my free time. But they have their audience, and it’s just not me.
Thanks to everyone who came and supported us. I don’t know when we’ll be playing again as the Salesmen, but Wild Apples, a very similar band except more indie/alt, has some shows coming up. So check it out.