Eighth Annual Battle of the Bands Sings Success at Adam’s Farm Field Day

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Laura Drinan

To end the summer and kick off the new school year, seven of Walpole’s best bands competed against each other at the eighth annual Battle of the Bands at Adam’s Farm Field Day on September 17, 2011. With the first place prize of $300, the bands played their best material, trying to woo the judges with their talent. The bands showcased a tough competition, while upholding a friendly attitude towards each other. Their good sportsmanship and musical talents made for a captivating show.

Alex Marcinkowski, junior, exhibited his many talents at the Adam’s Farm Day Battle of the Bands. Presenting his skills in playing acoustic guitar, harmonica, and singing, Alex played a seven song set list, showing the audience the variety of music he can perform. Being the first to perform, Alex kicks off the start of the show as the other six bands watch and prepare for their own performance. His first song, “Knowledge”, a cover from Operation Ivy, followed by “1, 2, 3, 4”, another cover from Catch 22, was well received by his audience. Alex impresses the crowd with his harmonica during “Ring of Fire”, and continues to hold the audience’s attention with several covers from his favorite bands. Keeping the mood animated throughout the performance, Alex also gets some laughs when he begins to sing Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. Abruptly ending the infamous song, Alex says ironically, “This next song is called ‘Art is Dead’, because that’s what it is…” Overall, the soloist’s performance was admirable and respectable, a great set to start off the competition.

Civil Revolt makes an appearance after Alex and plays a five song set. They play “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1”, a song originally done by Flaming Lips, and move on to an original called “Blue Shirt”. The four friends and band members, Nyk Chatzis on the guitar and vocals, bassist Tony Cedrone, guitarist Dan Meyers, and saxophone player Derek Caneja, exchange playful banters between songs, showing the audience their lighthearted humor. They play Sesame Street’s “C is for Cookie” and an original, “Silences”. The band’s friend, CJ Romeo, comments on the performance, admitting, “Chatzis’s voice is sultry. And buttery.” As they finished with a cover of “All Along the Watchtower/Stairway to Heaven”, the band seemed content with their playing. The audience was left amused and entertained by the time the set was over. Civil Revolt was proud to have regaled the fans with their rock genre and animated banter. Civil Revolt – Adams Farm 9/17/11

Downdraft grasped the judges and audience’s attention with their arrayed set list. The band, comprised of four sophomores: Andrew and Brian Hazerjian, Jimmy Martin, and Mikey Van Der Linden, each adding a refreshing sound to their music. Downdraft played five classic rock covers and one original song. Their first song, “Gimme Shelter”, a cover done originally by The Rolling Stones, did not have as much influence on the audience as their next song, “Shipping Up to Boston”, did. With Andrew doing vocals, Jimmy on bass guitar, and Mikey on drums, Brian switches off his guitar for an electric keyboard, creating an invigorating atmosphere with their captivating cover of The Dropkick Murphys. They continue strongly as Downdraft performs an original track, “Rooster” by Alice in Chains, “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, and finishing with “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin. A friend of the band, Mike Griffin, says, “I thought it was damn good”. With their well-rehearsed set, Downdraft steals the judges’ favor and places first in the competition.Downdraft-Adams Farm 9/17/11

Sophomore, Maria Earabino, plays a five-song set, accompanied by her brother, Anthony, and their friend, Dan Lemieux, from Lt. Dan’s Magic Legs. Maria impressively performs three covers and two originals. She starts with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, followed by an enthralling adaptation of “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People. Maria richly covers the popular song, “Rolling in the Deep”, by Adele, and continues to her original song “This is it”, and ending with another original. Being the sui generis female singer at the competition, Maria had a good advantage of being remembered by the audience and judges, despite performing in the middle of the competition. Maria has been an uprising musician for some time now, and has played with Red Fox Motel at their gigs on several occasions. Having both a noteworthy voice and guitar skills, Maria delightedly claims the second place prize.Maria Earabino- Adams Farm 9/17/11

Red Fox Motel, the one of the most well-known teenage rock bands from Walpole, also competed at the Battle of the Bands. Coming from different social circles to create a successful, well knit group, Red Fox Motel is comprised of guitarist CJ Romeo, drummer Connor Godfrey, WHS graduate and bassist, Dave Frizzell, and vocals from Norwood resident Matt Thibeau. The unlikely group blends their talents and experiences together to create a successful and likable alternative, blues rock sound. The county’s renowned group is welcomed to the competition as they play their first song, “Alive”, a Pearl Jam cover, moving onto their original song “I Don’t Care”. The band does a cover of Sublime’s “Santeria”, and then plays more of their originals, including “Just Another Day” and a track that is, for now, untitled. Although they did not place in the competition, Red Fox Motel surely continues to flourish as they are recognized throughout local towns.Red Fox Motel – Adams Farm 9/17/11

Lt. Dan’s Magic Legs puts on a praiseworthy performance and also a special act for the audience. The four seniors, Pat Maloney, Evan Sulprizio, Dan Lemieux, and Anthony Earabino, play an original song and four covers. Lt. Dan’s plays “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, and proceeds with their next song, AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”, dedicating it to their friend, Dan Adorn. The band also recognizes the Lions Club and thanks them for hosting the event, to war veterans, and to fellow competitor Downdraft. As they continue their set with “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, they move into a well rehearsed and humorous skit from SNL, “More Cowbell”. As Lt. Dan’s attempts to play “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, they are bluntly interrupted by The Bruce Dickinson, played by senior, Pete Dugdale, who tells them they need more cowbell. The skit was amusing and enjoyable to fans of SNL and fans of Lt. Dan’s Magic Legs. They wooed the viewers and received a third place award.Lt. Dan\’s Magic Legs – Adams Farm 9/17/11

Added into the competition last minute, Bendingtree wraps up the show. An instrumental band, formed by guitarist Andrew Myers, bassist Evan Quinn, and drummer Connor Godfrey, performs a three-song set. Their fourth member and keyboardist, Lukas Knight, did not play with the band. Bendingtree plays their original songs, “Oh-Hungee”, “Mindf*** Jungle Blown”, and “Golden Arches”. Connor describes the story behind “Golden Arches” and says, “We went to an Eagles concert and it was raining and I cut myself on an umbrella. We wrote a song.” The band’s humorous anecdotes to fill the silence between tracks are enjoyable, as are the songs themselves. Bendingtree creates an interesting, unique sound that was a nice change from the other bands. Each member of the group has strong talents, and brings their experience to the band to compose songs that holds the audience’s attention. Bendingtree – Adams Farm 9/17/11