Battle of the Bands hits a high note

by May Blake / Beacon Correspondent • September 30, 2015

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Rebekah Samarin sings for second place NOVI.
Rebekah Samarin sings for second place NOVI.

Five acts took the Little Building’s Cabaret stage for a shot at winning the audience’s support and the judges’ votes at the Battle of the Bands last Thursday. The competition was high, and each group performed with energy and passion in hopes of winning a chance to record an album with Wax on Felt, Emerson’s student-run label. 

The battle was open to both Emerson students and other colleges, and it boasted prizes including a full album recording, marketing, booking, and merchandise.

Ultimately, it was Jive McFly, a band from Berklee College of Music, that won first place with their blend of funk, rock, and pop. With their distinct sound and inimitable chemistry, Jive McFly brought everyone to their feet from the moment they took the stage.

“I really loved Jive McFly,” Catherine Amoriggi, a freshman marketing communication major, said. “I loved the mixture of funk and rock. I thought they had such great energy, and all of the band members had great stage presence. They definitely deserved to win.”

The band insists, however, that their performance wasn’t driven by a desire to win but by their passion for playing.

“This is a contest, but this isn’t a contest. For us, we just want to have a good time,” Evan Jenkins, pianist and lead singer, said. “It’s great to look at people’s faces and see they’re having a good time. We genuinely enjoy playing with each other, and bands that don’t do that have a rougher time.”

In second and third place came NOVI, an R&B and electronic band, and Cherry Mellow, a Boston-based rock band, respectively. Both won a full EP recording with Wax on Felt Records.

Malachi McDonald, a freshman performing arts major, said that NOVI was his favorite act of the night.

“They vibed really well with the crowd and got them really energized,” McDonald said.

Cherry Mellow closed the show off with heart-pounding energy, although their performance seemed to have a few technical difficulties.

“[Cherry Mellow] had some good moments and some not so good moments,” Ben Winters, a freshman visual and media arts major, said. “I don’t think it had to do with them, I think it was the sound. The guitar seemed a little bit too loud.”

Garage rock band Mark Buffalo and Pine, both Emerson bands, also competed. 

“I think [Mark Buffalo] had the best songs,” Harrison Jeffs, a sophomore visual and media arts major, said. “They were really catchy and the most fun to jam to.”

“[Pine’s] music was experimental, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” Sam Liebeskind, a freshman visual and media arts major, said. “They had really good riffs, and the lead singer was really good. He reminded me of Mac DeMarco.”

Despite minor tech tribulations, the two and a half hour show ran smoothly. With a diverse lineup and an appreciable audience, the majority consensus seemed to be that the show was a success.

“I [thought] the show was awesome,” Daniel McCorkle, a freshman visual and media arts major, said. “There wasn’t a single band I didn’t like.”