By Laurajane Blaser
This past week Muse Music Cafe hosted their annual Battle of the Bands, and on Oct. 18th local punk band, The Ladells, walked away winners with one hundred dollars of prize money in hand.
The Ladells performed on Tuesday night, the first day of the competition, and beat two bands in order to advance to the final battle on Saturday. Three other bands also made it to the final: Kindred Dead, Coma Pilot and Okkah.
Each band played four or five songs, and the voting for the winner occurred after the last set. The winners were determined based on audience votes and guest judges. One of the judges was Darcie Roy, one of Muse’s owners, and another judge was C. Jane Kendrick, the brains behind Provo’s rooftop concerts.
The Ladells’ lead singer, Andy Andersen, known as Max Punck on stage, was off stage at least half of the time, swinging a hammer around the audience and prancing the dance floor in a Batman mask and cape.
“We are huge believers in the power of punk,” Andersen said. The Ladells are frequent performers at Muse, and enjoy playing at the venue. “I like playing anywhere that’s dangerous, on a more creative level,” Andersen said.
His wife, Jenna Andersen, is the bassist of the band, and agrees. “The scene [of Muse] is a little more open to our kind of music,” she said. The other two members, the guitarist and drummer, are Andy Andersen’s younger brothers, Olin and Karl Andersen. They are Provo natives, and their familiarity with the music scene is extensive. All of the brothers are also sufficiently skilled in the art (or sport) of head banging.
Okkah brought a different vibe to the stage as well. One member played an electric viola and all four members played at least one drum. Their sound was refined (perhaps it was the viola) and exotic with their chants and shouts. During their last song they even invited the audience to join them on stage and dance.
Emmett Florence, the lead singer of Kindred Dead said that their band members aren’t as tight as other bands that have been playing together for years, due to members leaving and new ones joining since 2013 when it was founded. Despite this, their music reverberated well with the audience and was quality sound.
“I’m a big believer in positive energy, optimism, writing about things that are going to lift people,” Florence said. Every song of Kindred Dead’s got the audience jumping and dancing, so at least on Saturday night people left Muse with the resulting warm buzz of listening to good music.