This year’s Battle of the Bands first place winner, Jaded Living, described by band members as “progressive rock ‘n roll with hard rock and metal elements,” and second place winner, Elk Startled by Thunder, a punk band will be performing their music on April 15 in the DUC Encore to showcase the best that the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has to offer.
Battle of the Bands is a yearly event where bands compete for the title of Best Band based on musicality, style, stage presence, song writing and crowd reaction.
Winners are selected by a panel of qualified judges to determine the best bands Stevens Point has to offer.
This year’s judges included two staff members from 90FM. One of the winners from last year’s Battle of the Bands who is a recent graduate of the music therapy program, and a worker that has attended every show.
First place winner, Jaded Living, includes Jacob Ramsey as guitarist and vocalist, Pete Koconis on bass and David Lawrence on drums.
Jaded Living started in fall 2015, however, after months of not being a band, Ramsey wrote a collection of songs while visiting his friends and family in Illinois.
While listening to music by Grateful Dead, the band name, “Jaded Living,” came to Ramsey as a complete opposite.
Koconis and Lawrence joined Ramsey for makeshift practices in Ramsey’s basement.
In their fifteen minute Battle of the Bands performance, the band members believe their originality, energy, confidence and crowd response was what put them above the other bands.
“The crowd response, I think, was what really won it for us,” Lawrence said.
Jaded Living is a band that plays based on how they feel in the moment, causing them to have a different sound each time they perform and leaving their audience not knowing what to expect.
“I just kind of strategically chose songs that I felt were going to be really good for the crowd,” Ramsey said.
Regardless of their recent ban from Guu’s On Main, their energy and intensity will be directed into the upcoming release of their EP, “Slosh,” and their initiative, “Up From The Basement.” The EP, predicted to come out fall 2017, is meant to showcase the diversity of the music scene in Stevens Point.
Second place winner, Elk Startled by Thunder includes Baily Sexton as guitarist and vocalist, Atticus Polansky on bass and Nathan Klink on drums and vocals.
The name, “Elk Startled by Thunder,” originated from the founder spending time in a national forest and literally seeing an elk startled by thunder during a storm.
The band also has an environmental focus that is encompassed into the lyrics of their songs.
Preparing for Battle of the Bands three weeks ahead of time, members of Elk Startled By Thunder believe they placed because they did not waste any time, performing six songs in fifteen minutes.
Baily Sexton said Battle of the Bands is fun because there is typically not much crossover in the music scene of Stevens Point.
“That’s really cool because you’ll have people who listen to one band that might not necessarily know the other ones and they get all genres of music,” Sexton said.
In the future, Elk Startled By Thunder plans to master their first album to show who they are and would like to see more mosh pits at their shows.
On April 15, attendees can expect to hear loud, messy and fun music as well as “something special” from Sexton and the rest of this year’s Battle of the Bands winners.