Toad’s Place played host to the annual Yale Battle of the Bands this past Tuesday night, and the six bands did not disappoint.
Sponsored by 94.3 WYBC Radio, the show featured music that varied from punk to rock to hip-hop. In the end, it was the hip-hop group Budget Booth that captured the first prize honors — $200 and the opportunity to open for Third Eye Blind at Spring Fling.
Milo and Social Hero captured second and third place, respectively, and will both play at Spring Fling as well. To be considered for Battle of the Bands, each band had to send in a short demo tape. When asked about pre-show preparation, Milo said that they did not do anything different to get ready for the show.
“We had a gig Sunday. We have a lot of shows, so we have a concert repertoire,” keyboardist Joseph Hendel ’07 said. “There was no extra preparation.”
The small crowd present at Battle of the Bands consisted mainly of friends of the bands. In a few cases, professors braved the sticky floors of Toad’s to watch some of their students play.
“I came actually because the drummer [in The Ids] we know from teaching lessons to him,” said Naomi Seidman, a graduate student in the Yale School of Music. “It’s cool to see him out of his norm.”
Another such unlikely audience member was Graduate School Dean Peter Salovey. The psychology professor said he was at Toad’s both for the sake of nostalgia and to help in judging the bands.
“I’m here to do a couple of things,” Salovey said. “First, to make sure we pick good bands for Spring Fling and to reminisce about the days when The Professors of Bluegrass played at Toad’s.”
Salovey plays bass for The Professors of Bluegrass, a 15-year-old music group consisting of both professors and undergraduate students at Yale.
Given Salovey’s presence in the building, it seemed appropriate that a group called The Ids opened the show. The band blended a mix of funk and rock to pump up the crowd. Solos by Mike Bustamante ’06 on the electric guitar and Ethan Green ’07 on the drums highlighted the set.
Next on the program came The Masses, who exhibited a softer yet still punkish sound. A motley crew of Yale School of Music students, undergraduates and one Yale employee, The Masses had the crowd electrified with their catchy “I’m Not Going to Copenhagen.”
After the funkadelic and more light-hearted Milo finished their set, it was Budget Booth Production’s turn on stage. Working the crowd and turning up the volume, the group of Piersonites displayed a unique hip-hop style that seemed to really get the crowd going.
The show ended with the two rock groups Social Hero and Trigger Happy. The crowd wanted one more song from Trigger Happy, but it was not enough to get the band one of the top three prizes.
After all the bands were called onto the stage, the winners were announced. Once the third- and second-place finishers were announced, there was little doubt amongst audience members who would win the first-place honors.
Budget Booth Productions member Leveille McClain ’06 said he felt good about his band’s first-place finish and the monetary prize that came along with it. He also seemed excited about his band’s future performance at Spring Fling.
“We’re going to do some of the same stuff [as tonight, and] some new stuff,” he said. “We’re just going to go out there and hopefully have a good time.”