Six bands promise top-notch performances as they take their on-stage energy to the next level in competition for a taste of Eugene’s musical limelight.
The University’s Ethos Magazine, UO Cultural Forum and Ninkasi Brewing are hosting an all-out band brawl and have selected enthusiastic, hopeful local bands to compete. The chosen bands are expected to bring their varying styles and backgrounds to battle it out at WOW Hall in “The Bandest of the Bands” for the winning title of “Bandest Band.”
The event will showcase the following bands: Gladhander, Ladies and Jackson, On The Tundra, Splash Attack!, Sea to City and Sea Bell. The range of groups will create a vast
array of music, including reggae, funk, rock ‘n’ roll, pop and heavy metal. The band battle, created by Ethos Magazine, will not only raise money for the magazine’s publication, but it will bring together the student and Eugene communities.
The winner of the contest will be featured in a story in the next issue of Ethos Magazine, recording time and a set at the Willamette Valley Music Festival in the spring. Ethos
Editor-in-Chief Kevin Bronk said that the whole idea of the contest was to really showcase the winner in Eugene.
“The main prize is the write up and to give exposure to this new band we have discovered. It is about giving them publicity and really showing them off,” Bronk said.
Bronk said the reason they chose this particular music event was because Ethos wanted to delve into the local Eugene culture.
“This event is being hosted by a multicultural publication, and we want to continue to cover international topics. But, we want to start digging into Eugene culture as well,” Bronk said.
“Music is a big part of Eugene, and we want to put it out on display.”
Brandon Riemer, lead melody guitarist of Sea to City, said that there is some extraordinary hidden musical talent in Eugene and that competitions like this were
opportunities to display what Eugene has to offer.
“There is some amazing talent that I didn’t know existed in Eugene. We have played with other local bands that have just blown our minds,” Riemer said. “I can’t wait to see all the other acts; they sound extremely talented. These are going to be excellent performances.”
Splash Attack! has been playing most of its shows outside of Eugene, but lead guitar player Kerry Jeffrey said the group was excited to branch out and perform at WOW Hall.
“We usually play in Portland, but we definitely want to start playing for different crowds of people,” Jeffrey said. “We want to gain exposure in other cities other than our little niche.”
With more than 70 band applicants for the competition, David Frank of Ethos Magazine
said that it attracted bands by posting ads on the Internet and using old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Frank said they were looking for bands that appeared to be up-and-coming and were working hard to get their music into the community.
“I went through all of the bands and evaluated each one and came up with six bands with very different styles but all really motivated and working hard to get their music out there,” Frank said. “The varying bands and styles will appeal to anyone coming to the show.”
Riemer said he heard about the competition from an ad on Craigslist, and he has always wanted to perform at WOW Hall.
“WOW Hall is a great venue, and I am glad they are able to hold cheap shows and still have a lot of reputable names come to town and play there,” Riemer said. “Once I saw the ad on Craigslist, I wrote the organizer, David, the nicest e-mail that I could and just crossed my fingers. Then when we heard back, it was a shock. It was cool because I knew we were out of 70 applicants. That’s big.”
Bronk said that they were thrilled to hold the event at WOW Hall because it’s an ideal location to include the community.
“We wanted to find an appropriate venue, and we looked for something off of campus,” Bronk said. Frank also added that WOW Hall is a venue for all ages and does not limit the audience to over-21.
For Riemer, the competition is not all about winning because he said just being a part of it all was the biggest reward.
“All of the prizes sound enticing, but even if we don’t win, we come out winners because we will have played in front of a large crowd and have made alliances with other bands. That is always good,” Riemer said.