On Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 7 p.m. the 8th Annual Battle of the Bands took place at West High. Students walked into a completely transformed auditorium. Amid the colorful guitars, drums, and microphones, posters with the individual band names were in full view display. This year’s Battle of the Bands performances consisted of a variety of genres: Rafa Tribe and its vibe of punk rock, Meowza, Continuous Intentions with soothing acoustics, West Swell with a mix of dub and reggae, Dinosaurs with alternative rock with a modern twist.
The highly anticipated Battle of the Bands started out with a loud uproar from the crowd in response to the two MC’s of the night, Eunice Kuo (12) and Garima Totlani (11). Rafa Tribe was introduced first, instantly setting the mood for the night. Next was Meowza, three upbeat girls who appealed to the crowd. Each band member took turns playing the bass, drums, and vocals for different songs. Although there were some technical difficulties with the malfunctioning microphone, the passionate performers put on a fabulous show.
The very mellow Continuous Intentions was next. Very much like the popular Secondhand Serenade, the two performers were excellent partners and harmonized well. The two talents also write their own songs.
West Swell, a group comprised of ninth-graders had the most response from the audience. As soon as the freshmen readied themselves to play for the crowd, they began to emit an unexpected burst of energy accompanying the songs. The audience clapped along to West Swell’s reggae songs.
The Dinosaurs, another band, evoked an emotional response from the crowd. The songs played by Dinosaurs had a romantic air to it. The duet had an acoustic consonance. The most intriguing was the personal style incorporated into the mainstream songs that they sang. “Horrible covers of the songs we picked on youtube inspired us to perform those songs to prove that they can be played and sung well” Steve Lee (11) said.
In the end, West Swell won the title of “winner for Battle of the Bands.” West Swell members were surprised that they won; “We expected either Rafa Tribe or SM57’s to take first place,” Steven Ingraham (9) said. The group has only played two shows, and Battle of the Bands was the biggest crowd they have ever played for. Marcus Vicari (9) who plays bass, Ingraham, and Joseph Fleming, a freshman at Bishop, made West Swell only two months ago. Even though one of the members attends Bishop Montgomery High School, the band manages to practice at least three times a week. Steve Lee (11), a member of The Dinosaurs, was not surprised to see this fresh group to win. Lee said that “[West Swell’s] instrumentation and their interpretation of style of music was right on.”