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Battle Of The Bands showcases local rock talent

The+Promotion+takes+a+step+up%21+Band+members++Casey+Kiernen%2C+Jack+Lowman%2C+Chris+Westcott+and+Jimmy+Kelly+playing+%22In+Bloom%22.
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Battle Of The Bands showcases local rock talent

The Promotion takes a step up! Band members  Casey Kiernen, Jack Lowman, Chris Westcott and Jimmy Kelly playing

The Promotion takes a step up! Band members Casey Kiernen, Jack Lowman, Chris Westcott and Jimmy Kelly playing "In Bloom".

by Julia Spano

The Promotion takes a step up! Band members Casey Kiernen, Jack Lowman, Chris Westcott and Jimmy Kelly playing "In Bloom".

by Julia Spano

by Julia Spano

The Promotion takes a step up! Band members Casey Kiernen, Jack Lowman, Chris Westcott and Jimmy Kelly playing "In Bloom".

Julia Spano, World Views editor

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Despite its somewhat erroneous title, the Battle of the Bands showcase continues to showcase the best of Hillsborough’s rock-related musical talent. With five bands playing a combination of throwback hits, recent successes and original material, the night, hosted by senior Dante Walker, provided a solid dose of showmanship and thrills for its small, but dedicated audience.

“When judging the bands that try out we’re looking for several things: technical competence, stage presence, potential audience appeal, and whenever possible, diverse musical styles,” coordinator Robert Fenster said ” In recent years we haven’t had a ton of bands try out, so the decision making is a bit easier, but we used to have 10 or 12 bands try out… it was really difficult making these choices.”

Fenster himself performed in the teacher’s band, Arthur Itis, the first of the night’s bands; with Fenster on lead vocals, Nelson Kelley on bass, Wayne Szabo shredding on guitar, and Dan Epstein on drums, they performed a set of covers from Joe Strummer (“Redemption Song”), R.E.M. (“Pop Song ’89”), and Rush (a somewhat streamlined cover of “Limelight”).

The second and third bands took things in a more ambitious direction. Paper Mache, consisting of seniors Chris Machala, Tommy Demchik, and Mike DiPietro and sophomore Justin Tanis, performed mostly original material in their low-fi, grunge-influenced set, no doubt helped by Teresa Buzzoni, the sound mixer for the show.

“We also have students doing stage crew, lights, and a variety of other tasks,” Fenster said, “but a music show all hinges on the sound.”

They were followed by The Fellas, a self-depreciating punk band whose stage presence lit up the auditorium.

“We’re so bad,” senior bassist Quinn Obrupta joked, “that the band after us is literally called “The Promotion.”

And the Promotion made its way to the stage, performing ’90s hits from the likes of Nirvana and Blink-182. After their short set, Walker came out to announce Crimson, the unofficial “senior band” of the school. As all members of the bands are graduating soon, the audience took on a solemn tone as they performed some throwback hits a bit beyond the twenty-years-or-less ambitions of the other bands.

But the crowning performance of the night was the grand finale: Crimson’s excellent performance of “Comfortably Numb,” aided significantly by guest senior Harry Strunk on keys and a thoroughly David Gilmouresque vocal. This is the one moment where everything seemed to come together: the vocals finally came in clearly, the audience finally woke up for a phone-waving sendoff, and all was right with the Hillsborough Battle of the Bands showcase.

” I love doing the show, first and foremost, because it gives talented students an outlet that they otherwise do not have,” Fenster said. “Most of the students in the bands are not in the school band, and there are no venues in town or even nearby that are good for these kinds of bands. They look forward to this show all year, being able to perform in front of their friends, families, and peers on the big stage.”

 

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Battle Of The Bands showcases local rock talent