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Battle of the Bands wage music war
Thirteen was the lucky number Saturday night as amateur local bands met for the first time to wage a war of music during the 2009 Battle of the Bands.
Fourteen bands had been booked to compete, but one dropped out at the last minute.
The huge crowd of music lovers rocked in time with the music under a balmy, star-lit night, as they shouted and whistled for their favorite bands.
Cody Beeson, a judge for the event, was impressed with the musicianship exhibited by the bands.
"I’m really surprised," Beeson said. "We’ve had some pretty great musicians come out and it is really interesting to see the bands engage the crowds differently."
Beeson said there were some bands who really caught his attention.
"There have been a couple who have stood out. They have won my heart by how they performed and that means a lot. If you get out there and have a lot of energy and engage the crowd, that's a show."
Beeson said he is glad the annual Battle of the Bands has been such a hit locally.
"There have been groups and organizations that have tried to do a battle of the bands before, but it wasn't until (the Yuma Sun) stepped up over the last six or seven years that it became what it is. This is awesome and I hope it keeps getting bigger and bigger. You can tell by looking around that people are just going to keep coming."
Javier Magana, the guitar player for the band Apollo's Groove who smashed his guitar at the end of their performance, had an interesting way to describe his band's unique sound.
"It's the funk essence, like the funk between (our singer’s) toes, or like a ham-hock in your cereal. It's funky-jazzy-soulful-blues. Its intense."
Magana said his band has a special appreciation for Apollo.
"Apollo is the god of music and somebody has to represent him. Everyone is all up on Jesus, but nobody is representing Apollo."
Magana was stoked after his band's performance, but couldn't remember how well they had done.
"I have no idea. It's a flash, it's a blur, it is like being in a car accident but way better."
Sidney Flint, a guitar player and singer for the band Mexican Ostrich was glad to be able to compete again in the competition. His band won in 2006, and this is the first time they have reentered the fray.
"I’d say we did well," Flint said. "We haven’t played together in four and a half months before today. I like the different location this year, and I think we did better (than in 2006)."
As Flint sang on stage, several members of the audience knew the lyrics to the songs and sang along.
"It's a fantastic feeling," Flint said, adding there is nothing better than getting up on stage. "Nothing, besides playing in an arena I guess, which I’ve never done, but someday... that would be great."
Adrianne Wagner, the Yuma Sun marketing manager, who was hopped up on energy drinks to keep up with the fast pace of the event, was very happy with the results.
"Everything is going great," Wagner said. "We are on time and on schedule. The bands are rocking the heck out of our crowd. As the sun goes down the crowd continues to grow and that adds to the energy. There is a great energy from the crowd and the staff. It is a lot of fun. The bands have, as they do every year, put out great performances. Every year it seems to get better and better and more fun."
The band Golden Child and the Good Guys took home $250 for second place. The top prize, which includes $500 and a recording session with Tronix Sound, went to the Raging Hyenas. The winner of the 2009 Battle of the Bands had not been announced by press time Saturday for the print edition. See Monday's print edition of the Yuma Sun or check back with YumaSun.com for more on the winning bands.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.