I don’t attend to live music events very often, but whenever I do I always enjoy myself. There is something amazing about that unmistakable feeling of hearing your favourite songs being played live. I distinctly remember being at Suncorp Stadium last December and hearing the entire crowd singing ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ by U2; I had goosebumps and shivers down my spine. This is a famous international band and those types of experiences are expected, but the array of talent on offer at the Battle of the Bands this weekend, didn’t leave me disappointed.
As I was setting up the QUT stand outside, conveniently opposite the BBQ area, I was pleasantly surprised by the modern rock music TRILBY DOGZ were playing. It was a strong start and their set left me optimistic for the rest of the night. As soon as I heard Two Door Cinema Club being played by AFTER OPENING I couldn’t stay outside any longer. The two original songs that followed seemed effortless for the band and it’s a shame there weren’t more people around to check them out. To me, they were my clear winner.
A little bit of The Wombats from LUCID DREAMS had me excited for when I actually see them play in October, and it was the first time the crowd were standing right up at the stage. This was followed up by a strong performance by CALAIS that earned them a well-deserved second place. Poncho-clad ARMISTICE changed the mood slightly, but it was a cohesive look set them apart. Trying to take on Gotye’s “Eyes Wide Open” is a difficult task, but the fact this was attempted by AVANT BARDS was impressive; definitely in my Top 5 bands of the night.
SHORT NOTICE had a quirky background story that drew me into their distinctive sound straight away, and the ROSEWOOD CONNECTION’s female voice was such a nice change at this stage of the night. GRAPE SODA and DRONE CHILD were very entertaining, but the lively onstage performance of SERENADING SARAH left me wanting more.
ARCHIVE was clear standout and definitely deserved to win. Their cover of American Idiot by Green Day had the whole crowd clapping and dancing along. COLD VENGEANCE were a clear crowd favourite with possibly the most people I’ve seen up dancing at the stage all night. The charismatic lead singer and overall stage presence of DAKOTA CALLING was great, but I would have loved to hear more songs with the piano. And SLEEPWALKER finished off the night with some classic Jimi Hendrix and Guns and Roses.
The whole night left me quite nostalgic to be honest, as I used to love going to these types of events that my high school friends played at. It such a hard feeling to describe, but it’s almost as though everyone in the audience is just sitting, waiting, wishing for someone to take over the stage and change your whole night. Because imagine if one of these bands really made it and you were able to say, I knew them when no one else did.
I sincerely congratulate all the bands on a great night.