Photo courtesy of Deadwood Floats
The first brazen notes ring out across the music hall as the lights come up on the stage. A roar of approval erupts from a crowd that’s lusting for a bloody musical war.
The Battle of the Bands has only begun, but the winner was decided long ago: United Way, the beneficiary of the charity concert, is certainly the victor.
In its 13th year, Ohio State sophomore class honorary, Romophos, will host the Battle of the Bands, a competition among local music groups whose proceeds will benefit the United Way of Central Ohio. It will kickoff Friday with the first show starting at 7 p.m.
Cara Nadler, a second-year in English and earth science and chairwoman of the Battle of the Bands project, says Romophos has high aspirations for the show, despite previous years’ somewhat poor turnout.
“Last year, it was the same night as the Big Free Concert (hosted by Ohio Union Activities Board), so it was kind of a dud,” Nadler said. “We’re hoping this will be the biggest Battle of the Bands yet.”
Steve Winick, a second-year in finance and marketing and Romophos president, agreed that the concert will be a greater success than in previous years, adding that the notoriety of many of the bands should help draw a large crowd.
“We’re pretty confident that this is going to be a huge event,” he said. “We have some really awesome bands that have big fan bases.”
One of the major differences in this year’s battle is that the show will be held at Newport Music Hall opposed to the Ohio Union.
“We’re going to have a bigger area,” Nadler said. “It kind of has a more concert-feel to it. It’s got more of a grunge-rock feel.”
The docket for the evening includes a wide variety of acts, ranging from rappers like Poitier and CG to indie groups like News of Your Departure.
A handful of OSU acts will perform as well, including acapella groups Buck That and Key of Gee and several OSU dance troupes.
Deadwood Floats piano and ukulele player Drew Williams says that the Battle of the Bands will be a good opportunity for the group to go beyond their normal show.
“It’s a big show, so we’re going all-out with our instrumentation, which we don’t usually do,” Williams said. “I think it’s awesome.”
But the real star of the night will be United Way of Central Ohio, to whom every dollar of ticket sales will be donated, Winick said.
“We looked for a program that offered an opportunity to help underprivileged children looking to find a way to college,” Winick said. “(United Way) has such a diverse array of things that they’re involved in that they have a program benefitting kids just like that.”
At the end of the night, Romophos will crown two winners: one chosen by a panel of three judges and one audience applause-voted favorite. The audience’s choice will receive gift cards for a local business, while the judge’s pick will receive more than ten hours to record in a professional studio for free.
“I love the music scene here (in Columbus), and I wanted to try and coordinate a great concert,” Nadler said. “It really comes down to the music.”
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the Ohio Union or online at http://www.ticketmaster.com. Group discounts are available. Tickets will also be on sale at the door before the show. Doors will open at 6 p.m.