WEB EXTRA: Battle of the bands take over GW

Two student organizations, the WRGW radio station and Epsilon Sigma Alpha, hosted two unrelated “battle of the bands” concerts last weekend, both marked by lively audiences and musically striking performances.

WRGW’s Rock the Bottom concert featured a variety of hard-hitting and highly original sets with an audience turnout of over 200. The event spanned three days, with initial shows on March 29 and 30, and finalists on March 31. Familiar performers included GW’s own Roma Condor and White Hat, while musical newcomer Le Loup ultimately took first place.

“It was a great live performance, but for us, it’s not about the competition. It’s really just about getting up there and having fun,” said Le Loup songwriter Sam Simkoff.

The group featured a line-up of seven performers, including French horn, keyboard, and guitar, and conveyed stylistic influences from groups such as Destroyer and Broken Social Scene. This appearance was especially notable because, in addition to taking first place, it was their third performance ever.

For their recognition, Le Loup will receive a free studio recording session, a showcase as the opening act of Mount Vernon’s Fountain Day concert, and a free year of Zipcar service.

Judges also scored GW-based White Head as the runner-up.

“This was our first time doing a battle of the bands, but we were really pleased with the outcome,” said judge and WRGW rising general manager Hannah Byam. “We’ve never really done anything this ambitious before with three nights of music and so many great acts.”

Audience reaction was also positive. “I’m really digging White Hat’s sound and the cool atmosphere of this place,” said junior Paul Baker. “Hopefully it’ll continue next year.”

Epsilon Sigma Alpha’s corresponding Battle of the Bands, held on March 30, showcased familiar campus groups such as Jukebox the Ghost, Hello Society, and Roma Condor. All proceeds went directly to the St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

A panel of four judges voted high school trio Lemonface as the winner, while the audience opted for the GW-based Jukebox the Ghost.

“We haven’t done any shows on campus in a while, but this was a fun gig to get back into the GW scene,” said Jukebox pianist Ben Thornewill. “We’ve really been making some good friends here, and it seems like a good charity atmosphere.”

High school sensations Lemonface drew quite a reaction from both the audience and judge panel. The group, which consists of three 16-year-olds from Washington, DC, has performed at the 930 Club and the Black Cat, in addition to touring nationally. Their new album, produced by legendary rock musician John Molo, is set for release this spring.

“These kids are really accomplished for their age,” said Hello Society trumpeter Phil Chow. “They’ve brought quite a following to this event, and I think it’s really doing a favor to the whole charity drive.”

The show’s committee, chaired by Epsilon Sigma vice president Bri Connors, hopes it will continue as an annual event. “The turnout here was amazing,” said sorority president Neeru Peri. “We sold over 5000 raffle tickets and we’re really excited that it might happen again next year.”

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