Christina Casci

Battle of the Bands will take place today at Downtown Brew. It is a benefit concert for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation organized by students involved in Rotaract, the college student form of Rotary Club.

Five bands will play in a competition for five prizes awarded by a panel of 10 randomly selected judges when they walk through the door.

The judges will have a blank sheet to write their evaluations, said Holly Dragovich, a business junior and coordinator of Rotaract events. The winners will be announced at the end of the night.

The bands will be similar, but varied a little bit, she said. Featured bands include New Tomorrow, Longview, A Funk Rock Organization, Play it By and Burn Aurora.

Each ticket sale ($8 presale and $10 at the door) will be accompanied by a free raffle ticket, they will also get a free raffle ticket as well. A few prizes will also be given to audience members. Some of the prizes include Hearst Castle tickets, a Boo Boo Records gift certificate and a Moondoggies T-shirt, Dragovich said.

Bands – from garage bands to semi-veterans of the stage – were recruited with fliers posted around campus and on the scrolling marquees on campus.

The bands are looking forward to the night, said Kyle Dozeman, a business junior and Play it By front man.

“I am nervous due to our lack of experience though,” he admitted.

Two of the bands taking the stage have had experience performing in front of crowds and are rather well-known compared to some other bands, Dozeman said.

“We have only performed three times and have been together for a year,” he added.

He believes New Tomorrow is favored to win.

“They are super experienced and super talented, and they have an amazing live show,” he said.

Each band that applied for the contest was researched by the organization planning the event. They looked on Myspace.com to hear the music of each band, Dragovich said.

“We really wanted to combine bands that would sound the best together in a concert,” she said. “There were two we were really stuck between, and now we are happy with our choices.”

Even though the bands are competing, they still respect each other, Dozeman said.

“We are all playing against each other, but we are doing the same thing; working for the same purpose – so there’s some love there.”

The free exposure will be a huge thing for the smaller bands, Dragovich said.

Fifth place gets gift certificates from different businesses, fourth place gets an acoustic guitar, third place gets a rough mix of their live performance from the night, second place gets six hours of recording time and first place gets 10 hours of recording time, Dragovich said.

However, for bands like Dozeman’s Play it By, the experience is enough.

“The prizes are pretty cool, but doing well would be a better prize than anything physical,” he said.

Also, the random judging isn’t discouraging, Dozeman said.

“That’s how it is in real life. Random people listen to your music and if you can’t get it past them you can’t get it past anyone,” he said. “If you’re not confident in yourself who’s going to be confident in you?”

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