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Battle for Crossroads: Battling bands show both competition and companionship

Staff March 30, 2012 News No Comments

The band Hairy Tribe of Conquerors lived up to the latter part of its name after winning the vote to open for Crossroads, but it was not all about competition at the Battle of the Bands.
Crossroads is a night of concerts sponsored by the Student Union on Black Awareness (SUBA), Campus Programming Board (CPB) and WCSA.
The Battle of the Bands competition was held to decide which of the six acts would be the opening act for Crossroads. At the end of all of the performances, the audience voted on who they wanted to see as the opening act.
“We are a little surprised; we were not really looking at it competitively,” freshman Ben Anderson, drummer for Hairy Tribe of Conquerors, said. “But at the same time, we are not too taken aback because we are musicians, and this will be a sweet growing experience for us.”
The band played all instrumental songs, making use of complicated guitar riffs and effects by sophomores Brihat Sharma and Alex Michener and keyboard effects by sophomore Alex D’Amore-Braver.
D’Amore-Braver said they consider their music to be progressive rock, but said they have played many types of music, even including reggae.
Anderson said the band started in the first semester of this school year. The band members aren’t planning to become a big group. They just want to have fun.
“If we feel like playing, we play,” Sharma said.
While the event was competitive, there seemed to be a sense of unity among the bands performing. In fact, there were students who played for multiple bands throughout the night. Sophomore Mike Cormier and senior Bobby Kuhlenberg played for both Log Jam and Pop’s Lake.
Cormier was the drummer for Log Jam and for the first song by Pop’s Lake. He then stepped out from behind the drums to sing a trio with the other members of Pop’s Lake, sophomores Sam Sonnega and Erika Nininger. Kuhlenberg played guitar and sang for Log Jam and played bass for the first song of Pop’s Lake.
“I hadn’t rehearsed with Pop’s before the show, they just asked me for some help, so I filled in some of the low end,” Kuhlenberg said.
Kuhlenberg said he was excited to see that many of the band members playing throughout the night were freshmen and sophomores. He said when he was younger Log Jam was the only band on campus.
“Despite having literally no competition (when he was younger), I think that fact ultimately hindered us because we lacked the support system that these younger folks enjoy now, the encouragement of a music community,” he said.

The band members of Hairy Tribe of Conquerors are also involved in the music community Kuhlenberg described.
“We all participate in different groups on campus, but we still all stay together as a group,” Anderson said.
Hairy Tribe of Conquerors will take stage at “Crossroads” on this Saturday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in Gray Chapel.
The band will get to play a 20 minute set before the headliners for the evening, Lloyd and Hellogoodbye, begin their shows.
Tickets are $10 with an OWU card and can be purchased at www.owutickets.com.
“I am ecstatic that Hairy Tribe won the contest,” Kuhlenberg said.
“I am close with some of them and they definitely deserved it, hands down. For once, a vote reflected wisdom!”

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