Joe Podelco / Photo editor
The Clark Manson Band consisted of a diversely dressed group of people. One wore a black shirt with a skinny red tie, another held a guitar in a plaid button-down and tight jeans and a girl stood by the keyboard in leopard-print leggings.
But the moment lead singer Clark Manson opened his mouth, revealing his southern-rock twang to the expectant audience at Newport Music Hall, he was met with their roar of approval.
The band had only been together for a month prior to competing in the 13th annual Romophos Battle of the Bands on Friday.
“Clark has always been geared toward being a modern country vocalist,” said Nick Christian, guitarist for The Clark Manson Band. “He wanted me to pull together a band to diversify that sound and make it … an edgier approach to modern country music.”
The band was chosen by a panel of judges to receive 12 free hours of studio recording time and a promotional press package as the winner of the Battle of the Bands.
“Being that we’re a brand new band, it’s a great jump start to getting new gigs,” Christian said. “Our goal is to find a local bar that will allow us to perform once a week or once every two weeks and have a country night featuring The Clark Manson Band, so this will really help us to push toward that goal.”
Although the judges named The Clark Mason Band their winner, the audience had a different band in mind. By sound of applause, they chose the folk rock band, Deadwood Floats, as their victor.
“We just couldn’t believe the sound from the audience when they asked them to cheer for us,” said Adam Schutz, guitarist and vocalist of Deadwood Floats. “We all kind of agreed that was way cooler to us than winning the judges’ award.”
Drew Williams, vocalist and instrumentalist for Deadwood Floats, agreed that winning over the audience was “the most humbling outcome.”
“(Band mate) Katie (Kramer) and I looked at each other with just sheer disbelief,” Williams said. “We’d really made some kind of really special impact. (It was) pretty unreal.”
The Battle also showcased some of OSU’s performing arts talents, from the all-men’s singing group, Buck That!, to the 3D Urban Dance team.
The event was a fundraiser for the United Way of Central Ohio, ultimately hosting more than 400 people and raising $4,048.
“It was unbelievably awesome. It went better than I expected it to or anybody expected it to,” said Cara Nadler, a second-year in English and earth science and Battle of the Bands chairwoman. “Enough people came out to surpass our high hopes.”