After weeks of extended auditions and attempts to draw interest, a night of live music put on by local student bands went off without a hitch.
Students packed into The Observatory on March 16 eager to see who would be crowned the best up-and-coming musical group at Algonquin.
The Last Band Standing: Battle of the Bands event was put on by the SA and saw performances from very diverse styles of play. It featured a panel of judges including Patrick Newell, clubs and communities coordinator and Dylan Cole, first-year radio broadcasting student.
Tev Bourque, music industry arts student as well as a third judge for the event, said that there is a lot more that goes into deciding a winner in this sort of competition than flashiness and applause.
“What I look for is something that pays respect to the history of the genre and at the same time brings something new to the table,” said Bourque.
The tech metal stylings of the four-piece group Venator, who rounded out the contest playing last, won the right to call themselves the best headbangers around.
“They were scary for all of the right reasons,” said Bourque.
The band consists of singer Lov ‘Shakes’ Tomar, bassist and back-up vocalist Arne Zargarian, guitarist Sadab Yemin and drummer Deen Persaud.
Zargarian said that because the band focuses on playing metal, they didn’t expect to go home winners.
“We were really just here to have a good time,” said Zargarian. “Seeing everybody come out and have a good time with us, that was cool too.”
The band lists Pantera and Lamb of God as their main influences.
The new acoustic duo Jaxon Bones Diamond Kolt (JBDK), took to the stage first, playing their bubbly, harmony-filled set. The band is made up of Ryan Saunders, police foundations student and Leigh Morris, graduate of the public relations course. They list their influences as everything pop, from early ‘90s Matchbox 20 to Taylor Swift.
Below 6 were second to take the stage playing their energetic fast-paced set. They say that their name derives from the fact the bands five members are all under 6’0 ft. The band consists of vocalist Matthew Snook, percussionist Marc-Andre Sabourin, bassist Marc St-Jean, guitarist Mike Snook and first-year game development student Alex Sabourin on lead guitar. The group unanimously announced their main influences to be Rise Against.
“The bar here at Algonquin is an awesome venue,” said Snook. “It’s our favourite place we’ve gotten to play.”
The winning group Venator was awarded $500 as well as an entry into the Central Canadian Last Band Standing competition. Here, they will compete and showcase their talent at 12 other post-secondary campuses in Ontario.