Usually the short green grass fields west of the Lory Student Center is littered with wandering students and sun-soakers.
But last Saturday night the quiet setting got a little louder. The sound of local birds chirping and leaves rustling was inaudible over the blast of acoustic drums, electric guitars and singers of all different styles. Saturday night was CSU's Battle Of The Bands.
ASAP and Live Life Late presented this band versus band competition in the trees at Meridian Avenue and Plum Street. It was a chance for six local bands to rock their little hearts out in thirty-minute attempts to win some studio recording time. The wind was at a chill breeze allowing for the audience and the bands to comfortably wear T-shirts and relax under the autumn moon.
The energy of a rock 'n' roll show – where people are pushing, shoving and moshing around in the intensity of ten-foot-tall speakers – was not the same scene last Saturday night. Each band played with incredible charisma and some even managed to leave that little annoying ring in your ear, but for the most part, the Fort Collins crowd watched some music in its truest and most raw form: the live show.
The audience sat or stood as if the performers on stage were at an award show or a slam-poetry reading rather than a typical, bloody-nose rock show. And the way things turned out, it was just the perfect setting for a couple local bands to shine in undivided attention.
Well-composed and undulating, the show was absent of major technical difficulties. Each band was credited with applause and cheers, for each band propelled a different taste to the sweet fall air.
Heike Mannix, ASAP's concert coordinator and sophomore open-option business marketing major, was the main woman in charge of the competition.
With a glare in her eye and the smile on her face, she was not the kind of person you might see at a competition, but rather, her face held a joyous expression of a successful celebration. She had no judgment of any band and it was clear she was just happy to be able to simply gather people up to see some bands that are all incredible in their own way.
"The Ghosts Of Verona," a hardcore, part-punk, part-punch-in-the-face band hit the stage with screams that echoed the intensity of Thrice and even got their metal-riffage burning, recalling their obvious metal influence.
"Nobody's Heroes" had a more melodic approach to their performance, switching in and out of soft acoustic balladry to heavy emotional guitar solos and two singers held the stage together – not to mention they also had a female bass player, which is so rock 'n' roll.
"Syless Hope" closed the evening with its heavy, down-tuned distortion and harmonic singing acrobatics. The band brought the crowd closer to the stage than any other band that evening and the stage charisma is easily a sign that this band may just be too bold for a local scene, so watch out.