Friday, December 05, 2008

Battle of the Bands round two sets high bar for finals

Backstreets was filled with anxious music fans on Saturday, November 22. The competition was tight but the fans spoke: The Moistmakers and Morphium Theory will be moving on to the finals.

Four full bands performed during the second round of Madstop's annual Battle of the Bands.

Newcomers Goodnight Moon opened the show, playing to an intimate crowd. The trio, made up of Crane students, had a solid rock sound with a nice keyboard layer on top. The guys looked a little nervous at first, but their demeanor and playing settled in very quickly. One song had the vibe of Sonic Youth, but accessible. This band definitely has a lot of promise. Hopefully they will be more comfortable and smile more next time they perform, and maybe play a few more tunes people can dance to.

Out-of-town metal band Necrosis followed the local Goodnight Moon. They came from Clifton Park, NY and clearly brought a bit of a fanbase with them. While the musicians showed great technique on their instruments (especially the lead guitarist), one has to wonder where to draw the line between noise and music. Some people were extremely into Necrosis's gritty wall of sound, dancing and moshing in the front of the room. Others stood back, either in awe or pain. With so much great musical talent in the Potsdam area, it is unclear why Madstop felt the need to bring in an out-of-town act. Perhaps they ultimately found that there were not enough local bands who could commit to the performance dates, but Madstop could have found a band with a better sound.

The last two groups to perform were the winners. They had the benefit of the large crowd that had grown throughout the night. The Moistmakers have proven themselves as a fan favorite funk/party band, performing at several venues and parties around Potsdam. The group got many audience members up and dancing. The group's eclectic line-up of all Crane musicians allows them to explore all sorts of styles and timbres. The small horn section and two percussionists heated up the room. Out of all of the groups, The Moistmakers smiled and had the most fun on stage.

The last group, Morphium Theory, has also established a local fanbase. This melodic hardcore group provided accessibility and featured a nice mix of vocal styles. Their great sound secured their spot in the finals.

It was a close call for the winning bands, which will be moving on to play in the final battle. The final four contestants are The Moistmakers, Morphium Theory, Doug Campbell and Steve Muciolo. Due to a scheduling conflict with the venue, the date of the Battle of the Bands-Final Battle has been moved to Tuesday, December 9. The event will still be held at Backstreets Night Club from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Admittance is 18+ with a charge of $4. You must be 21 to drink.

Madstop concert production executive, junior music business major Sarah Hope asserted that the change is for the best.?"It will work because academic prep days give time to prep and to rehabilitate before finals hit, so it will be a nice chance to have fun amidst studying," said Hope.

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