Sunday, June 4, 2017

SoJo Summerfest Battle of the Bands

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The city of South Jordan hosted their first annual Battle of the Bands competition, at their SummerFest celebration. The Summerfest had food trucks, carnival rides, and a large number of events such as a 5k race, a tennis tournament, etc...  They had several judges, who looked at various factors, such as originality of songs, crowd participation, stage presence, etc... Their were two categories of performances, those under 18, and those over 18, and each category had 4 bands. Everybody that performed, had to submit 2 videos of live performance, and the top 4 submissions of each category were selected.
We submit two songs from Full Fidelity Live Session video series, and we made it!


The first band, 7Bridges, were a Brazilian country acoustic duo. They were not only musicians, but performers. They dressed up. Their banter was scripted, and did a great job connecting with the crowd. It was more of an entertaining show, rather than a couple guys playing a bunch of songs. They harmonized on all of their vocals. I think that in general it is hard for an acoustic group to compete against a full band, because the full band has a more full sound with bass and drums. They were confident, and they did awesome.


Aaron, our drummer, is away on National Guard duty, so my high school friend, Trevor Ockey filled in on drums. He did an awesome job, especially since we only practiced with him once, 4 days before the show. We struggled in selecting the perfect set list; we weren't sure what the judges would find the most appealing. We ended playing 2 originals, and 4 covers. The covers were selected based on which ones would highlight different attributes of the band, such as guitar solos, and vocals.


Cephas, a folk/pop band, was really good. Instead of each member learning their parts to the songs, and playing those parts in unison, they took a step back and really focused on the quality of the overall sound. They played along to pre-recorded audio, which requires that their drummer play to a click track. We tried that route a few years back and it didn't seem to work with us. Also their bassist sang harmonies the whole song, every song, which Mark tells me is difficult.

Carver Louis & Old Lincoln Highway Band

Carver Louis & Old Lincoln Highway Band, a modern country band, was the last band. They're a Tooele band, which got me kind of excited, since I'm a citizen of Tooele now. They are currently finishing up an album at the same studio that we are, and the singer stated that they were going to release their album after it's mixed and mastered later this month, and I was thinking, "Yeah, us too." They had two electric guitar players, the singer played acoustic guitar, a bassist, a drummer, and another guy who played drums, harmonica, and mandolin depending on the song. It's hard to have that many instruments in the mix, but they sounded really good! People were really getting into their music. At one point in their show, they abruptly stopped playing, saying that there was something about the monitor mix not being quite right, and started on the next song.
They played well past the 25 minute limit, and it appeared that they had no intention of stopping until one of the event organizers ran up to the stage and told them to stop. Honestly, that's what we should have done, we had like 3 really good ones that we reluctantly dropped.


Image may contain: 3 people, people on stage and outdoorI was excited to be playing in my home town, and I was very excited at a city government event, especially after watching the television series, Parks and Rec. Every band that played was awesome, and deserved to be the recipient of the award. Cephas was the winner. We were honored to perform with such talented artists, in world's awesomest city. (Although, Rome is a close second.) My wife got a participation medal for playing at SoJo fest tennis tournament, and she may or may not have let me wear it a bit. 

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