WCU’s first ‘Battle of the Bands’ goes to…

Eight bands entered, but only one walked away with the opportunity of a lifetime: to be the opening band for We the Kings!

Last Minute Productions hosted their first Battle of the Bands competition Monday, April 6 at the A.K. Hinds University Center on WCU’s campus.

As the different acts began to prepare for their battle in the University Center’s Grandroom, the music coordinator for Last Minute Productions, Trevor James, sat down to answer some questions.

As the clock ticked closer to the start of the event, musicians were preparing their instruments and getting ready to go on stage. A variety of acts performed throughout the evening showcasing talents in all genres of music.

Guitarist, Zach Osborne. Photo taken by Becca Roberts.

Guitarist, Zach Osborne. Photo taken by Becca Roberts.

Zach Osborne was one of the participants.  Osborne is a freshman at WCU, his musical talent is playing electric guitar.

“I did performances in middle school, but I’ve never played in a competition like this,” said Osborne.

He has been playing guitar for eight years and he decided to sign up for Battle of the Bands because he loves performing.

“I am going to be pursuing music as a career, so I might as well get my foot in the door,” said Osborne before the show.

Osborne is from Cooleemee, NC and saw an advertisement for the competition over winter break on Facebook.

Gavin Stewart, bass guitar player for a band named Fault Union, found out about the event during a lawn event that LMP hosted on campus.

Stewart says he asked the LMP members if they were ever going to host a band battle event, and from there his band became the first to sign up for the competition.

Gavin Stewart, WCU freshman and bass guitar player for Fault Union

Gavin Stewart, WCU freshman and bass guitar player for Fault Union

Stewart is the only member of the band that attends WCU so when he found out about the opportunity, he quickly informed his bandmates.

The five-member band has been a group for about four years. They all met in their hometown of Gastonia, NC. They categorized their music as alternative metal or hard core.

Excited before the show and filled with anticipation, Jonah High, Fault Union’s lead singer or ‘screamer’ as he described it said, “We really just like playing and we like playing together.”

The band is inspired by a lot of different bands, but some of their favorites are A Day to Remember and The Devil Wears Prada.

Chairs were still being set up in the Grand Room when the show began at 7 p.m.

Painted Giants kicked off the event with two songs as well as some technical difficulties with their piano, but they managed to keep the crowd entertained as they quickly made some adjustments.

Two single acts followed, Placeholder and Zach Osborne, both playing electric guitar.  Rapper Dope Antics was combined with DJ Tripp to make up the fourth and fifth acts. Dirty Mark and the Boys took the sixth spot in the competition playing an instrumental song that consisted of electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and piano. Dan Edwards, who woke up the show playing a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama, got the seventh spot in the lineup.  Fault Union, the last group to perform, got audience members to get up from their seats and move their feet.  Audience members even asked them for an encore.

After all the acts finished performing, audience members were given the opportunity to submit votes in the back of the Grandroom. Members of LMP counted up the votes as everyone anxiously awaited for the winners to be announced.

Fault Union won the competition, with Dirty Mark and the Boys close in second and DJ Tripp coming in third place.

Winners of the first ever Battle of the Bands competition, Fault Union. Photo taken by Rebecca Romo.

Winners of the first ever Battle of the Bands competition, Fault Union. Photo taken by Rebecca Romo.

Members from Fault Union were filled with happiness upon hearing their name called as the first place winners. Stewart mentioned that the group as a whole was unsure of what the results would be because they had no idea who they were going to be up against, and as the competition proceeded they agreed that a lot of the acts were really great.

“The fact that we get to open for We the Kings is mind-blowing!” Stewart shared. “We have played a lot of shows in the past 4 years, and never have we opened for a group so iconic and well-known…we are beyond excited!”

The band is currently working on an EP that they have named Lighthouse. Stewart said that it was an overall wonderful experience for all of the members and that he hopes they get to continue to be involved on campus and “bring different/untraditional music to students.”

With around 250 guests in attendance, including friends and supporters of the different acts in the show, Trevor James was also pleased with the overall turnout for the event.

“The show was amazing with so many talents. I would definitely go to see something like this again!” said Spencer MacDonald, a junior at WCU.

LMP Music Coordinator, Trevor James. Photo taken by Rebecca Romo.

LMP Music Coordinator, Trevor James. Photo taken by Rebecca Romo.

James said that he’s wanted to do the event for a while because “it would be a great chance for students to show their talent and give the student body a music event that they would enjoy and interact with.”  His idea for the event came to him after watching the movie Blues Brothers.

“With this being our test run, it was a learning process that we can build on for the future,” James mentioned. “Reaching our target goal with attendance and participants was my main concern, and we did that so I was very satisfied.”