Saturday 10 student-run bands competed for the title. PC and CU Late worked to find music for everyone, and Saturday night saw a huge variety in types of music.
Despite the diversity in music, some bands just didn’t strike a chord with any of the audience members as the crowd suggested. The first act was a DJ named Benny Loco, whose set featured himself and his computer. The crowd responded lukewarmly, primarily due to his lack of stage presence.
“I thought he was good, but he didn’t interact with the audience at all,” said 18-year-old freshman mechanical engineering major Julian Pitt.
Other bands that fell slightly short included Ocean Automatic and The Say So, mainly due to the sound. Ocean Automatic, a hardcore band, had nice instrumental and vocal harmony, but the sound entirely overpowered it. Instrumentals were so loud the audience could hardly hear the lyrics. Volume became such an issue that many people walked outside during this set.
For those who could decipher the lyrics, students like 19-year-old freshman linguistics major David Hankin said that became an issue as well.
“I wasn’t a big fan of Ocean Automatic,” Hankin said. “Emo music, I don’t care if your girlfriend breaks up with you.
The bands that placed shined in all five categories: musicianship, style, originality, stage presence, and audience response. Third place winner, Gang Forward’s instrumentals were a standout quality. Several audience members commented they did not necessarily like them but definitely found them more interesting than preceding acts.
Second place winner Great Argus was the standout act of the night. A six-piece bluegrass folk band, their instruments featured a fiddle, banjo and ukulele, all instruments that created an immediately unique sound. Another noticeable feature was the presence of a girl, as Great Argus was the only band to feature at least one female rock star.
Although Great Argus was the definite fan favorite, West Water Outlaws took home the first-place prize.
First-place prize included: headlining Club 156, six hours of recording time at Coupe Studio and 50 percent off additional time, a $75 gift certificate to Wahoo’s Fish Tacos and a concert ticket to any Soda Jerk contest. Winning also entitled West Water Outlaws to increased recognition on campus; last year’s winner Air Dubai played at this year’s Welcome Fest and has opened for Flobots.
Matthew Kallhoff, an 18-year-old freshman open-option major, said the event inspired him to get his band together and audition in the future.
“I’m going to try to compete in it next year,” Kallhoff said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Caitlin McCluskey at Caitlin.email@example.com.