The Differential took the stage, emerging out of smoke and starting with a darker, Tool-inspired sound. Followed by alternative rock, grunge and jazz, Battle of the Bands represented the diversity of the northern Colorado music scene.
“It’s a sampling for people to see bands,” said judge and local musician Greta Cornett. “It’s diverse; hip-hop to blues, psychedelic. It gives you a taste of what’s coming in Fort Collins.”
The bands included High Voltage, Trailer 77, Square Peg, The Differential, The Varmints, The Don’ts and the Be Carefuls, 11 Sounds Better and Mr Mention.
A majority of the bands frequent local bars and venues, and The Varmints were competitors last year.
“I like to see them, when you’re a newer band you’re growing so much, trying to find their sound, that it changes so much from the last time you see them,” Cornett said. “A [member] from The Varmints told me they’re taking a totally new direction with their songs, so they have a totally new sound.”
Although not all of the participating bands are moving in a new direction, they all of their own way of describing their sound.
“We call ourselves kind of down tempo, metal grunge,” Kurt Fleckenstein, drummer for The Differential said. “We’re in it for the fun. We like to get the crowd moving and have a good time, that’s what it’s all about.”
Each band sent in CDs, demos of their sound, to be picked to compete.
“We actually invited a few bands because we know they’re good, and needed a foot in the door,” Cornett said.
Five judges ranked the bands on style, originality, vocals, instrumentation and presentation with a total of 50 possible points.
The Don’ts and Be Carefuls won first place and will receive ten hours of recording time, local gig hook-ups and a spot on the cover of “Scene” Magazine.
Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Kelli Pryor contributed to this article