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Audience votes Chasing the Horizon to number one
Clad in skinny jeans, V-neck T-shirts and skate shoes, students anticipating an evening of competitive musicianship filled the Tilley Student Center Friday, Feb. 24, for Student Activities’ Battle of the Bands.
Five bands representing several musical genres took turns performing in hopes of winning the evening’s grand prize, a $1,200 gift card to Musiciansfriend.com. Each band was required to perform two songs, one original and one cover. Students voted for their favorite acts, and the two bands tallying the most votes proceeded to the second and final round of the event.
“Regardless of winning or losing, it’s just really fun to be able to play the music that you create,” Justin Smith, electric guitarist for Spencer York, said. York and his accompanying band played his original“Lighthouse,” followed by a cover song combining The Police and Adele.
The evening was highlighted by well-received cover songs and crowd pleasing originals. The House Dynamic, a quartet brimming with vintage rock appeal, began with a tune titled “Goldfever,” before breaking into a rambunctious rendition of Jet’s hit song “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?”
Guitarist/singer Luke Thornley captured the audience’s attention throughout The House Dynamics entire performance, walking into the crowd while playing guitar, then throwing his guitar at the end of the set.
Adalia, an alternative rock band whose name means “God is my refuge” in Hebrew, according to guitarist John Clampet, connected with the audience as well, encouraging them to sing along during their energetic cover of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.”
“It was awesome,” Clampet said in reference to the event. “There was a little pressure because of the money, which kind of made me nervous, but all the bands were really good. We were just really lucky to play with all the bands. All of them were really good and positive.”
“I wasn’t really expecting to have the crowd get so into it,” Cory Kick, Adalia’s bassist, said. “And we’re the kind of band that feeds off of that. There were some people that were really close friends of ours that were way up front, singing the songs and everything. It’s worth more to the bands on stage than people may think.”
After the bands – Chasing the Horizon, Spencer York, Smoke and Mirrors, The House Dynamic and Adalia – performed their songs, students voted on the Student Activities Facebook page for their favorite performance. The two bands earning the most votes — Adalia and Chasing the Horizon — proceeded to the final round of the competition.
Taking the stage for the second time, Adalia covered Taio Cruz’s successful number “Dynamite,” as well as another tune of their own. Richmond-based Chasing the Horizon followed with “The Anthem” and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” much to the approval of the audience. The performances drew equally positive responses from the crowd, but Chasing the Horizon received the grand prize.
Daniel Lalonde, singer/guitarist for Chasing the Horizon, said the band plans on investing the prize money in needed equipment, such as guitar amps.
“Being here, you really do thrive off of the crowd,” Lalonde said. “The Lord’s given us so much ability to play places we never thought we’d play and do things we never thought we’d do, and this crowd response encouraged us so much. It put a smile on my face. I can’t stop smiling.”