Rockin’ the hall: Battle of the bands

by Quinn Welsch and Andrew Edwards

Horizon Reporters

Dancers filled the pit in front of the stage as several groups presented their unique sounds, from vintage rock to the “acoustic, alternative, pop rock” of Into the Wake.

“We’re a lot different than all the other bands,” said Kyler Simpson, half a duo of acoustic guitars that defines Into the Wake’s serious style.  Their songs are filled with lyrics about dealing with death and depression.

Winning the prize would have been nice, but “we just want people to hear our music,” Simpson said.

Eventual winners Redwood Sol were awarded two hours of recording time at Binary Recording Studio in Bellingham.

Redwood Sol has been playing together for the last four years, but became serious when their vocalist Alec Pennylegion joined up a few months ago.

The event kicked off when Astronauts in Air balloons came on stage, rattling a low-key audience from their seats. “You usually have to holler at them once to remind them they’re at a rock show,” said Astronauts’ guitarist and vocalist Barret Lizza.

Coming in a close second was Odd Ones Out, the last band of the night. The group, composed entirely of middle-school students, brought with them a posse of screaming teenage fans that mobbed the stage. Dressed in a decorated leather jacket and rose-tinted shades, the band’s 14-year-old front-man Vincent Blackshadow said they play a style of music defined as “hard rock, borderline heavy metal.”

“We wanted to raise the roof with screaming teenagers,” said Blackshadow.

Despite the competition, all the bands achieved the goal of bringing more entertainment to Whatcom Community College.

“We just want people to hear our music,” Simpson said.  An event like this one “brings a lot of different people together.”

The event was coordinated by Katrina Petty, special events coordinator for the Programming and Diversity Board with help from the student council.

“It’s been a really fun ride,” said Blackshadow. “I hope it continues.”

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