And the crowd chants, “Koa. Koa. Koa.”
Belmont’s Battle of the Bands has always kicked off the school year with an incredible display of Belmont students’ talent; but this year the cheers were louder. The air was electric with anticipation of the judges’ decision.
As performance time drew near, the South Lawn began to quickly fill up with friends, fans and freshmen, eager to hear what Belmont has to offer. Blankets dotted the back of the lawn, but from the stage to the sound tent, it was standing room only.
Battle of the Bands has always drawn a decent crowd, but according to the show’s producer, junior Hailey Cirovski, a change of venue and a little creative marketing with the help of the bands created a fun, festival-like atmosphere for the night.
The line-up promised a high-energy evening with a diverse selection of bands. From alternative bluegrass to what has been described as a galactic space party, the line-up featured popular Belmont bands The Candle Kid, The Captain, Kel, The House United, Koa and Holla Koala.
The evening started off with a lively set from alternative, bluegrass folk band The Candle Kid. Within seconds of hitting the stage, the crowd was hooked on the foot-tapping, hand-clapping rhythms of the mandolin and upright bass and enthralled with the witty lyrics.
The show continued with a spirited performance from contemporary rock band The Captain, who was followed by talented and charismatic indie-pop singer-songwriter Kel. The two sounds contrasted nicely, keeping the audience on the tips of their toes to hear the next song.
As the sun was setting, Kel left a lasting impression with an unexpected and clever mash-up of “Team” by Lorde and “Paradise” by Coldplay. After Kel finished her set, alternative rock band The House United turned up the heat as the sun turned down.
By the end of The House United set, the audience was starting to get impatient. There was restlessness in the air. They were ready to crown their winner. About this time, Koa walked out onto stage, and the entire atmosphere changed.
Koa, a soulful rock band with funky undertones, has been featured by Lightning 100 and thrives off making its audience dance. With playful audience interaction, tight pockets, soaring saxophone solos and an ingenious cover of “Lisztomania” by Phoenix, Koa stole the show.
While Holla Koala tried to win the audience’s favor with dubstep beats and background dancers to create their galactic dance party, the audience had already chosen their winner. Now they only had to wait to see if the judges would agree.
After a short deliberation time, during which the crowd kept up the chant, “Koa. Koa. Koa,” the judges couldn’t deny their overwhelming response. Koa was announced the winner, receiving a spot in the “Musicians Corner” line-up this fall.
After a thunderous applause, the Battle of the Bands came to a close, marking one of the most successful shows to date.
This article was written by Haley Buske