By Grant Fry
SOLD OUT! For the first time in the history of Velour’s Battle of the Bands, this night was completely sold out. The room was buzzing with energy from a huge group of music fans. And while not as close as the night before, it was still a very tough competition. The judges had only 1-2 points difference between each of the bands. There was some amazing talent. Let’s jump in.
Terrell Thomas & the Niños kicked off the night. Terrell’s vocals were silky and he was calm and confident on stage. His lyrics especially shined for me on their third song. It was heart-wrenching and beautifully written. The drums and bass were right in the pocket, and everyone followed the groove perfectly. Overall it was a very polished performance, with an incredibly high level of musicianship. The only downside was that the crowd response was a little flat for this act compared to the rest of the night. Terrell’s stage banter was great, but there was just not as much energy back from the crowd during their set when compared to the rest of the acts.
The second act was a rock band called Sweet Tangerine with a slick, polished sound. Their lead singer provided some powerful vocals. This was arguably the best vocal performance of the night. He was gritty and raw on the low end (in a good way), but he had a nice clarity of tone at the top end of his range. The band was clearly comfortable on stage, and they had a good crowd response. The energy of the crowd really started to pick up with their set. There was a great flow to the set as well, with a high energy start, a dip to a couple of slower songs in the middle, and right back up to a high energy finish. Their songwriting wasn’t quite as creative as the first act, but it was a great performance nonetheless.
No Such Animal played rock reminiscent of the early 00’s. They wouldn’t feel out of place in the old Tony Hawk games. Their set felt like a party, and they also had an awesome crowd response. With witty lyrics and fun variety in the songwriting between the songs in their set, it was the highest energy performance of the night. The downside of having so much energy was that there were quite a few moments where the rhythm got a bit too loose and the band was out of sync with each other. They recovered well from these moments, but it did happen more than a couple of times. A little more polish in that regard would help bring them to the next level.
Beeson rounded out the night. Their set wasn’t quite as high energy as the previous group, but it was a very polished and energetic performance. The crowd response was still high energy and the relaxed, comfortable interaction from onstage was awesome. Beeson provided great banter and background story about the songs. And her vocals? Powerful. I loved the vocal runs and the overall control. Very impressive. The guitarists made some great choices when it came to tones, and the band was locked into the groove the entire time. There were zero drawbacks to their set. The songwriting was great. The performance was great. Beeson was fantastic. Declaring them the winner felt right.
It’s good to know that talent in Provo is alive and well. Velour’s Winter 2021 Battle of the Bands returns again tonight! Sunfish, Nicole McMahan, Kin Lodge, and Basement Waves will perform. Doors open at 7:30 PM. You can see the full schedule for the week here. While you’re waiting for the show to start, check out “syrup” by Beeson below.