By Jeremy Thacker
What a great night for local music. The night wasn’t without its hiccups, but overall it came down to four high energy sets from very talented musicians, over 200 passionate fans, and one of the closest calls I’ve ever seen in a Battle of the Bands before.
Black Tie Event started off the night. They had a lot of infectious energy from the get-go. They began the set by proclaiming, “We love to dance and we hope you do, too!” and inviting the crowd to sing along with them. Black Tie Event had some fun pop/rock melodies that had a way of sticking in your head after the song was done. There was a lot of funk influence in their songs “Our Luck is Out” and “Bad Conversations,” which I really enjoyed. Brothers Mike (guitar) and Noah (bass) both sang lead vocals, switching off on different songs. I appreciated the diversity in their voices, which helped give each song a distinct feel, but they lacked the confidence and power that I’ve seen from dedicated vocalists. I think a lot of that confidence will come as they gain more experience performing. I’m excited to see where this group goes.
Psychedelic Purple has been on a hot streak after recently winning the PTA Battle of the Bands bands and performing at Fork Fest a couple of weeks ago. Psychedelic Purple was the heaviest band of the night, which really set them apart from other bands I’ve seen here at Velour. The band members were all aged between 16 and 18 years old, but you never would have guessed that they were so young from listening to their music. Their technical prowess makes them sound like a much more seasoned band. Their last song, “Death Row,” featured a guitar solo that I could only dream of playing (guess it’s time to renew my Fender Play subscription). The vocalist, Grace, was a powerhouse reminiscent of Joan Jett or Heart’s Ann Wilson. My favorite song of their set, “Avalanche I,” gave both guitarist Elijah and vocalist Grace a spotlight with electrifying riffs straight out of the intro and big moments for Grace to belt. Their hot streak continued tonight, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more come out of this band in the future.
The third group tonight, Hollow Hill, is an alt/rock band that comes from Orem that’s been together for 2 years. “Cruel Intentions” was my favorite song that they played, and the crowd was seriously into it. People were jumping and dancing through the entire song. Heck, they were pretty active through the entire set. This has been one of the more polished bands I’ve seen at any night of the BOTB so far, and while their vocalist didn’t have the same power as Psychedelic Purple’s, I did feel like he was the most consistent singer of the night. Overall they had a really fun set, with some solid music and great crowd reaction. Hollow Hill’s releasing an album soon and I couldn’t be more excited for others to listen to some of the music they played here tonight.
Hurtado was the last band to perform tonight. The crowd had thinned out quite a bit by the time Hurtado took the stage, but that didn’t stop them from giving their all. You could tell during their set that they were having a ton of fun, which translated to the remaining audience members having a lot of fun as well. Hurtado had great vocals and really clean guitar tones. Their new single, “Energizer Bunny,” had a dreamy guitar riff throughout and some of my favorite lyrics of the night. It’s definitely worth a listen.
After Hurtado, time was given to tally up the votes. Holy cow was this close. During this time, I was able to converse with the judges and some people in the audience and heard votes for every band from the different people I spoke to. When it came time to announce the winner, they informed us that this was the closest night so far – in fact, each of the four bands had taken first place from at least one judge. In the end there could only be one winner, though, and tonight’s winner was Psychedelic Purple! With their addition to Saturday’s set we’re looking at some really fierce competition.
Velour’s Summer 2022 Battle of the Bands Night 4 is tonight! No Diploma, Frantic Memories, VI, and Breakfast Biscuit will perform. Doors open at 7:30 PM. While you’re waiting for the show to start, check out “Avalanche I” by Psychedelic Purple below.