Bundy & the Spins: No Balance and Knavery turned in tight third-round sets, but the true battle was between the Spins and hard rock group Desalitt, who brought the biggest crowd. However, the high-energy garage rockers advanced to the finals with the judges' support.
Todd Clemmer: The singer for rock act May the Sky opened the fourth round with just an acoustic guitar and his big voice. The performance found him tied for first place with Steven Gregory.
Steven Gregory: This solo artist accentuated his original songs with a loop pedal and his smooth, soulful voice. He and Clemmer received more votes than rock trio Lucid Wasteland and Literary Squirrel, an acoustic artist that performed with backing tracks and a drummer.
Kindergarten: It was another competitive night with the UD indie rock quartet besting pop punks Better Anyway, instrumental rock trio Short of Infinity and teen hard rockers the Kiwis.
What's in the prize package? The Dayton Battle of the Bands winner receives studio time at Reel Love Recording Company, a music video from Sound Valley, a photography session with Dylan Digital Media and a slot at the Sound Valley Winter Music Festival at The Brightside on March 7.
WANT TO GO?
What: Dayton Battle of the Bands Finals with Gabe Maas and the Bruins, the Katawicks, Bundy & the Spins, Steven Gregory, Todd Clemmer and Kindergarten
Where: The Brightside, 905 E. Third St., Dayton
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25
Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
More info: 937-410-0450 or www.thebrightsidedayton.com
** PREVIOUS COVERAGE (Dec. 18, 2019)
Zac Pitts and Ashley Karsten of Sound Valley have been heavily involved in the local music community over the last several years, so it’s no surprise they’re some of folks behind the new Battle of the Bands.
Pitts and Karsten worked with local music promoter Libby Ballengee on the five-week competition that began at The Brightside in Dayton on Jan. 14 and will take place Tuesdays Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11 and Feb. 25.
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Zac Pitts and Ashley Karsten of Sound Valley (pictured) worked with music promoter Libby Ballengee on the Battle of the Bands competition. CONTRIBUTED
“This is a true collaboration with myself, Sound Valley and the owners of The Brightside,” Ballengee said. “We realize it’s a little audacious in a lot of ways to try to do this, but I was surprised other people haven’t tried to do this. But now, after getting a small one together, I see why people haven’t done it. There’s a lot of minutiae involved, so I don’t think any of us would’ve tried to do this alone.”
“This is a true collaboration with myself, Sound Valley and the owners of The Brightside,” Libby Ballengee (pictured) said. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Registration is now closed to bands, but the competition was open to bands playing original material that have been together for five years or less. Participants are required to have at least two members living in the Dayton area, which includes Springfield, Middletown, Eaton and Greenville.
Four bands will compete each week and the winners from each of the five Tuesday-night battles will advance to the finals on Feb. 25. Weekly winners will be selected through a combination of audience votes and input from a panel of judges, including this writer.
“Adding the element of the judges gives the competition a little more legitimacy,” Ballengee said. “There’s something helpful about young performers getting real feedback from professionals who really understand music. It’s hard to be objective in a band, so getting constructive feedback from people can actually help them even if they’re not the winner.”
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The Battle of the Bands is a five-week competition beginning at The Brightside in Dayton on Tuesday, Jan. 14. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM
The winner of the competition receives free recording time at Reel Love Recording Co. in Dayton, a spot at the Sound Valley Music Festival at The Brightside in March and other prizes.
“The winner gets to record an EP and they’ll get professional photos and a video from Sound Valley,” Ballengee said. “Hopefully those prizes will help take the winner to the next level. It will also expose these bands to an audience. We’ll have four bands each night, so people will be exposed to all these bands.
“Then, whoever wins the Battle of the Bands, gets to play the big stage at The Brightside during the Sound Valley Music Fest,” Ballengee added. “It’s an opportunity that is hopefully a big leap up for them.”
More info: www.thebrightsidedayton.com.
WANT TO GO?
What: Dayton Battle of the Bands
Where: The Brightside Music & Event Venue, 905 E. 3rd St, Dayton
When: Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11 and Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
More info: Website