Athens radio station ACRN is hosting a new event, Battle of the Bands, this weekend with the intent to focus on local artists.
The show will feature seven local bands, and crowd members will vote on the winner with tickets they will be given at the door. At the end of the night, tickets in each band’s jar will be counted, and the band with the most tickets will win $150 and an ACRN in-studio performance. An audience member will also win a Thanksgiving-themed prize through a raffle.
“When people come together and make bands, it just makes me really happy because I don’t have the guts to be in a band,” Diana Buchert, a senior studying music production and recording industry, said.
Buchert has been a part of ACRN since her freshman year and is now the station’s head of promotions.
“We wanted to do something that was unique and showcased the talent in the area,” she said. “That could draw in more people at once than grilled cheese stands every month.”
Sneakthief will be one of the final bands to perform, beginning at 11:45 p.m. The group classifies itself as an acoustic punk rock band. Daniel Palmer is the lead singer and guitarist, Nolan Quigley is the bassist and guitarist, and Joe Fradette is the drummer. Palmer and Quigley are seniors at Ohio University, and Fradette is a junior.
The band started with Quigley and Palmer as the original members for a few months, and later on Fradette joined as the drummer. Fradette also plays keyboard on occasion, and he hopes to play it during one of the songs at the performance Friday. Sneakthief plans to play its four biggest hits during Friday’s set: “Choke Me Out,” “Graduation,” “Fallacy” and “Sistine Chapel.”
“The Union will be our first real stage, like, 4-foot elevated stage show,” Palmer said. “I’m excited for that.”
Sneakthief’s two favorite performances so far were at Casa Nueva and a house party during Halloween weekend.
“Casa Nueva was really cool, because normally when I play drums in crammed basements where the sound echoes off the walls, I’ll have to play with chopsticks instead of drumsticks, but I actually used drumsticks there,” Fradette said.
The Infinite Improbability Drive will be the first band to perform, beginning at 9:15 p.m. The band consists of drummer Jonathan Sisler, singer and guitarist Julian Runyon, guitarist Max Pelletier, guitarist Jesse Steward and bassist Emersynn McGuire. Sisler, Runyon and Pelletier are juniors at OU, McGuire is a sophomore and Steward is a recent graduate. They classify their band as progressive rock with a touch of psychedelic rock.
The name The Infinite Improbability Drive comes from the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The band started as a joke, but they ended up forming a legitimate band specifically for Battle of the Bands.
“The joke became reality, and, here we are,” Sisler said.
The band has only been together for three weeks.
“We applied for Battle of the Bands before we had a band,” Steward said.
Runyon and Steward recorded an extended play together and later recruited the other three members. All members had their own solo musical endeavors prior to joining the band.
“We’re excited because The Union has a really good sound system, and I’m the drummer and I’ll actually be able to play with my giant drum set,” said Sisler.
The three songs The Infinite Improbability Drive plans to perform on Friday night are “CPU,” “Into Eternity” and “You Know Me,” with narration in between that ties the songs together.
“I’m excited because I’ve played at every place in Athens personally except for The Union,” McGuire said.