Movin’ On puts on Battle of the Bands
While students thrashed out in HUB Robeson’s Alumni Hall to listen to local bands of various rock genres, the musicians presented the crowd with their best skills in an attempt to impress judges.
The Battle of the Bands is an event where bands from the State College area compete to be featured as the opening act at Movin’ On and occurs from 6-8:30 pm on April 4 in the Alumni Hall.
After “unforeseen circumstances” that had Joe Downs and Valendina removed from the lineup, the night’s acts included Forrester Grey, Mellow Honey, Alvarius, Sunday Antiques, Scotia and Queen of Peace.
The judges included professors who double as music legends, including Molly Countermine who plays in the group The Hi-fi every Friday at the Phyrst, Jeff Brown, who is the local radio voice of 99.5 The Bus and general manager of CommRadio, and John Hook, who ran Movin’ On in 1981 and 1982 and is the deputy director in a nonprofit creative coalition in NYC.
To start the night, Forrester Grey, who sang in a group that has been working together for two months, showed off their folk, midwest-emo sound with impressive trumpet playing by Brendan Blake.
Forrester “Grey” Connor, secondary education with a history focus, said the night was a “massive upgrade.”
“It was so good because the sound system was on a whole different level,” he said. In comparison to where he usually plays, he said it was a “weird experience playing on an elevated platform.”
The singer will be releasing an EP “Of Garden and Grassroots” coming April 14 on every streaming platform with a release party at Webster on April 24.
The second group to play was Mellow Honey, who described themselves as “psychonautic cerebrum-space pioneers.” It consists of players Marcin Borysiewicz, Rob Borysiewicz and Dillon Holzheimer.
Notably, the group entered in matching uniforms wearing white tanks, jean shorts and headbands.
The band appreciated the quality of the set-up and the opportunity to play at Battle of the Bands.
“The lighting makes you feel like a real rockstar,” Marcin Borysiewicz said.
The group played two untitled and unreleased tracks that are more indie than their usual releases. The goal was to take the “risk” and play songs that they were not entirely used to, Rob Borysiewicz said.
Alvarius, the third band to rock out, said they were nervous yet excited to get out of their comfort zones with the performance.
Like most of the other bands, Alvarius normally performs at different “punk” locations which are found in basements throughout State College.
Original songs are a contest condition, so the group selected the songs that they believed the crowd would “vibe” with the most.
“It let us be a bit creative with it… I appreciate the fact that we had to do that and figure out stuff that we haven’t done before,” drummer, Ty Tkacik said.
Additionally, the group donned frog hats for one of their favorite songs “frog rock,” which was an idea that guitarist “Weastie” created.
Next was the Sunday Antiques who played with an indie rock concept.
The group's singer, Harry Hons, distinctly sang with a growl in his throat and lightened the mood of the stage with love songs.
Metal band Scotia played after and presented the audience with a high-energy set.
The group said they appreciated the staging. “To have an actual stage, to have an actual sound engineer who is not myself it’s pretty sick,” second singer and lead guitarist, Jake Bersabal said.
They are hoping to release their first album by the end of 2023.
The last group to play was Queen of Peace who debuted some new songs for the crowd.
At the end of the night, the judges concluded that Mellow Honey would be the opening act at Movin’ On on April 28.
Before then Mellow Honey will also be playing on Friday, April 7 at a venue titled “Your Mom’s House” with other local bands.
Erell Williams is a second-year majoring in broadcasting journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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