Pitt musicians to compete in Battle of the Bands

Joe Chilson | March 21, 2012    

Pitt musicians will square off in a Battle of the Bands tonight, but in the end only one band… Pitt musicians will square off in a Battle of the Bands tonight, but in the end only one band will win the opening spot at Bigelow Bash.

Pitt’s annual Battle of the Bands will take place today from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room, with each of the 15 battling bands playing a 15-minute set.

The dubbed winner, which the judges will choose at the end of the night, will open for Cobra Starship and Twenty One Pilots at Bigelow Bash, run by the Pitt Program Council, on April 15.

Pitt Program Council Public Relations representative Rachel Kasab said that at least half of each band’s members are required to be students at Pitt’s Oakland campus. The groups usually represent a wide variety of styles and genres and are evaluated by three judges — one Pitt student and two local musicians.

Last year’s winner, Legs Like Tree Trunks, got to open for Ke$ha at last spring’s Bigelow Bash, but the reigning champs will not make a second appearance in the battle this year as winning bands are barred from competing again.

Instead, Legs Like Tree Trunks frontman Matt Holden will serve as one of the judges at this year’s contest. And when it comes to his judging criteria, it’s simple.

“I’m looking for people having fun, and bands pushing the envelope,” he said.

Holden sees the Battle of the Bands as a great way for Pitt students to get introduced to local artists.

“If you find a band you like that’s from your area, you can see them once a weekend instead of once a year,” Holden said.

Sophomore Eric Matthew Silverman, the singer and guitarist for the student band Too Young, will face the judges tonight. The Battle of the Bands will be only the fourth show that Too Young has performed. Silverman said that the band normally plays in Shadyside or Bloomfield.

He said the Battle of the Bands is a way to get Pitt students excited about musicians around campus.

“Pittsburgh has a great local music scene,” Silverman said. “It’s a great community for students to venture into.”

Alana Miller, a member of Pitt Program Council and the organizer of the event, called the Battle of the Bands, “a great opportunity for Pitt’s campus to showcase student talent.

“Pitt students should come out and appreciate the talent that the University has to offer and support the bands,” Miller said. “Whatever band wins gets to open for a Billboard-chart-topping band. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

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