Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Battle of the spring concert bands

On Monday, March 21, 2011, the battle of the bands that decided who was going to play this year’s spring concert kicked off at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

The first band to perform was The Wolfman Conspiracy, a reggae/funk band with an edge. The band consists of Nate Kielb, Nick Gingras, Kyle Mooney, Dom Mazzolli, Alex Drenga, Kat Rapacki, Colin Nelson, Ryan Emken and Taryn Smith.

“We play shows all around the area,” said drummer and vocalist Kielb. “We play shows in Boston, we’re breaking into New York and we’re opening for Rubblebucket on April 16, 2011 at Pearl Street in Northampton.” If you would like to check out The Wolfman Conspiracy, head over to Pearl Street on April 16. It’s definitely worth a trip to Northampton to hear this band’s edgy sound. Judges score: 7, 8, 8, 8.

The second, one-man band to get on stage was Richie Pace, who performed a song called “Freeze Time.” He sat on a stool on stage and played the acoustic guitar while the crowd began to clap their hands and sway to the music. Pace’s musical project is called, “A Robot Waiting For Air,” and can be found at Judges score: 9, 6, 7, 8.

After Pace finished his set, a reggae/rock band called Kitchen Jams hit the stage . The band consists of Jake Clough, Sam Foppema, Eli Foynes, Stanley McGriff and Nate “Spray paint.” The energy in the room lifted as soon as Kitchen Jams took the stage and the crowd began to dance to the music. At the end of their final song, the entire band grabbed drumsticks and began to play as the crowd went wild. Judges scores: 7, 8, 8, 7.

Pridefalls was the fourth band to battle it out Monday night. Paul Dionne, Steve Becker, Sean Croteau, Tim Cullinan and John Veit are the members of this alternative rock band. “The band started playing together in 2005,” said Dionne. “We’ve played the Webster Theater and Maximum Capacity in Chicopee.” Judges scores: 8, 7, 9, 7.

After the fifth band, Force The Fallen finished their set, Brendan Ryan’s group took the stage. The other members in the group, Jake Goldman, Sean Nolan and Matt “Crisco” Criscuolo backed up Ryan as the crowd was impressed by the group’s unique sound and Ryan’s vocals. Although the band looked like they had been playing together for years, even though they had only practiced for the first time the night before the show. “The band got together last night, Brendan is a mutual friend between all of us,” ,said Goldman, a sophomore at UMass. “I threw together a CD of my acoustic songs on a whim and sent it in,” said Ryan. Judges scores: 9, 9, 9, 8.

Kids on a Hill got ready to take the stage next. The nine-person group not only filled the stage, but also filled the room with their edgy funk/soul hip-hop sound. Chris Said Kazarian, the lead singer of the group, “We do rock as well, [and] we are a very versatile band. I came from a hip-hop background while our guitarist has more of a jazz-rock background.” Other members in the band include Madeleine Maggio, Alec Hutson, Greg Blair, Nick Pope, Ben Falkoff, Ben Silverman, Nora Murphy and Craig Holland. According to Maggio, “The band got together for the 4/20 festival in 2009 and we’ve been together ever since.” Judges scores: 9, 10, 10, 10.

The following performers Lolo & Mooga (Laurie V. Joseph and Michael McKenzie) began their performance with a freestyle rap. Their hip-hop sound got the crowd moving while they rapped about reaching for your dreams and never giving up. “We’ve been together for two years now, we met through a mutual friends and have made six songs together,” said Joseph. “We performed one time before this together in Providence, Rhode Island.” Judges scores: 8, 8, 8, 8.

ABDI hit the stage next with an electro-pop sound. Abdi Thomas, Jules Belmont, Keith Blake and Shaquille Harris make up the band, but Thomas himself has been performing and making music for years. “I basically needed to link up with the right band,” said Thomas. Battle of the bands is not the first time Thomas’s music has been heard. A song he wrote called “Ghostly” recently made it onto Kiss 95 radio station. Judges scores: 8, 9, 9, 9.

The final band was Arrows Over Athens. The group consists of lead singer Michelle Herrick, Randy Burlingne, Preston Bailey and David Marcus. The band has an alternative rock sound and great stage presence. “We have only been a band for a year and a couple months. We’ve played pretty much all up and down New England,” said Herrick. Judges scores: 9, 9, 10, 9.

Once the ten bands had finished playing, the three with the highest rating moved on. Because two of the bands tied, four performers continued. These included Arrows Over Athens, Brendan Ryan, Kids on a Hill and ABDI. The energy in the Ballroom picked up as round two started. Kids on a Hill did their own version of the Nicki Minaj and Kanyne West collaboration “Monster.” Maggio took center stage and sang the entire Minaj rap from the song. The crowd went wild as she perfectly rapped the lyrics. After the judges scored each band, the final two groups were Kids on a Hill and Arrows Over Athens.

The audience made the final decision. with the winner being Kids on a Hill.

At the end of the Battle of the Bands the University Programming Council announced that the Spring Concert will be held on April 17 at the Mullins Center featuring 3OH!3, B.O.B and Pretty Lights along with Kids on a Hill. Admission for UMass students is $10, for five college students $25, and general admission is $40. Tickets are currently on sale at the Mullin Center box office.

Kaitlyn Bigica can be reached at [email protected].

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  • J

    JoeyJan 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Actually, I was quick to say that (becaues I was sad that kitchen jams lost). I actually just head kidson the hills album and its sick. they totally deserved to win

  • J

    JoeyMar 28, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Kids in a Hill suck, really overrated

  • C

    cyanMar 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    nice pictures, good band, dumbass article though

  • A

    A.T.Mar 23, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Wow. Weak, weak article. Do you guys even edit your articles?