Guitar, amps the weapons as bands square off in Basalt
Twenty-six bands are prepared for battle.
Bands representing high schools and garages from Aspen to Rifle will compete for cash and prizes this Saturday, May 11, at the fourth annual Battle of the Bands.
The battle takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Lions Park in Basalt. Two stages will be set up, according to event organizer Biff Phillips. While one act performs on one stage, one takes down and another sets up on the opposite stage. Each band has exactly 10 minutes to perform their best two or three or four songs.
All acts are observed by a panel of four judges and are battling for a chance to win trophies, bragging rights, and the larger share of a cash pool, which goes to their school’s, band’s or organization’s music department. Every band gets a piece of the cash pie, with the larger slices going to the top-placing bands.
Returning this year is the two-time Best High School Band winner, the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Advance Band; the Roaring Fork High School band, Dimentia, which took Best Garage Band in 2001; and Cats Meat Men, from Rifle High School, which took Judge’s Choice the last two consecutive years.
Last year’s cash prizes totaled about $2,200, and $2,500 was divvied among the bands in 2000, according to Biff.
“We hope to raise more money this year,” he said.
That cash comes largely from a silent auction and entry fees for contests held throughout the day. Admission to the event, however, remains free.
This year’s contests, according to Phillips, include a “sidewalk chalk graffiti guitar championship,” where people can draw a guitar on the sidewalk – entry fee is $1; the “best rock `n’ roll hairdo contest,” which anyone can enter for $1; and, for a slightly higher fee (estimated at $5), artists can paint or epoxy their best guitar onto Biff’s 1986, rusty Isuzu.
Guitars, with this year’s logo, “BOB02,” will also be for sale.
Other activities, for all ages, include a climbing wall, booths, food vendors and more.
Six professional musicians and bands will also perform throughout the day, with Sector G7 kicking off the event, followed by opening ceremonies and the National Anthem.
Battle of the Bands was born when Phillips, a guitar and piano teacher who has won a few awards in his time, was performing public service in local schools. Pretty soon, his natural talents came out and he was giving students music lessons. He found himself wondering how he could keep influencing students to play more music, as he had been influenced in his youth long ago.
Fellow musician and friend Dan Sadowsky recalled when he was a kid in Rochester, N.Y., and bands would duel on stages at opposite ends of his school gym.
“We’ve taken that idea, and invited all the middle and high school bands from Rifle to Aspen to come,” said Phillips.
He recalled some of the people who influenced him to become a musician, including bluegrass musician Sandy Munro of The Flying Dogs and owner of The Great Divide music store in Aspen, and former classmate Jim Bascom, who got him playing guitar in the first place. He said he hopes that battle participants find their own influences through the event that will push them further along on their journey to becoming life-long musicians.
Just the chance to perform for a cheering crowd can mean a lot to an up-and-coming musician.
“They get 10 minutes of fame in front of their family and girlfriend or boyfriend,” said Phillips. “You can’t buy that experience.”
Battle of the Bands 2002
Order of Events (acts alternate from left to right stage, starting at the left):
11 a.m., Sector 7G (pro);
11:50 a.m., Opening Ceremonies; noon, Strip Shelter – Glenwood Springs High School;
12:12 p.m., Harvest of Fear – Basalt High School;
12:24 p.m., DefKong – Roaring Fork High School, Carbondale;
12:36 p.m., Glenwood JAS Aspen Middle School Band – JAS;
12:48 Crucial Intent – Yampah High School/Colorado Rocky Mountain School;
1 p.m., Roaring Fork High Big Band – RFHS;
1:12 p.m., Caution – Glenwood Springs Middle School;
1:24 p.m., CRMS Advanced Band – CRMS;
1:36 p.m., Steve Skinner – Professional;
1:48 p.m., CRMS Intermediate Band #1 – CRMS;
2 p.m., Robert DuBois – GSHS;
2:12 p.m., CRMS Intermediate Band #2 – CRMS;
2:24 p.m., Mutlip – Aspen High School/GSHS;
2:36 p.m., Disgraceful Youth – GSHS;
2:48 p.m., DJ Phat Head – pro;
3 p.m., FSU Crew – CRMS;
3:12 p.m., FreshFunkHipHopReggae – GSHS;
3:24 p.m., Zak Garage Band – CRMS;
3:36 p.m., Lynx 93 – Compass/Aspen;
3:48 p.m., Cats Meat Men – Rifle High School;
4 p.m., Steve Postell, Smokin’ Joe Kelly – pro;
4:12 p.m., Dimentia – RFHS;
4:24 p.m. Oblivion – GSMS; 4:36 p.m., Numb – GSHS;
4:48 p.m., Caballo Loco – pro;
5 p.m., WGCR – AHS;
5:12 p.m., Urban Urchin – GSMS/GSHS;
5:24 p.m., Aspen Skier Jazz Band – AHS;
5:36 p.m., Eternal – GSHS;
5:48 p.m., Antihero – Bridges High School, Glenwood Springs;
6 p.m., NightPlane – pro;
6:20 p.m., Awards Ceremony.
Get some gear while
listening to some tunes
The KDNK Summer Sports Swap happens from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Lions Park. The event takes place during the fourth annual Battle of the Bands.
Proceeds benefit KDNK community radio. Buy or sell and help keep community radio strong. Drop off your items, in good condition, between 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 963-0139 for more info.
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