New York City indie rock band Bluish won top honors at Saturday’s 2006 Battle of the Bands competition, hosted by campus radio station WTSR. The band was one of four that played to a large audience in the Rathskeller.
Other participants included runner-up The Greenhouse Band, a hard-rock foursome from Jamesburg, N.J., Darling Says Die, an acoustic-pop trio from South Brunswick, N.J. and ska-punkers Jwepp, led by freshman biomedical engineering major Mike Holyoak on guitar and vocals.
A fifth band called Veda Skyes was scheduled to perform but had to withdraw at the last minute because its van broke down en route to the College.
Bluish guitarist/vocalist Anthony Bilotti said he respects the music scene at the College and was ecstatic that his band won the competition. Since the October 2005 release of its full-length debut album “The Likelihood of Storms” the six-year-old band has expanded outside of its NYC roots.
“(The College) and WTSR are very supportive of unsigned bands,” Bilotti said. “It’s a healthy attitude that’s rare nowadays.”
Bluish is distinguished by its guitar hooks and male/female vocal harmonizing. The sole female member of the band is flautist/vocalist Danielle Bilotti. With brother Joe Bilotti on bass, Bluish is a family band in true Beach Boys fashion.
The Greenhouse Band, with its rip-roaring guitar solos and thunderous drum work, is probably better suited to a larger venue than the Rat, but it still brought the house down with tremendous energy.
Darling Says Die was quieter and more introspective, while Jwepp was a sight to be seen – mostly due to the wacky stage antics of its bassist/trombonist Joe Ault.
Sophomore marketing major and WTSR promotions director Gavi Raab organized the event.
Raab said that the audience was double hat of last year’s battle.
“With this being my first time organizing a show, I was worried when (Veda Skyes) had to drop out,” Raab said. “But other bands showed up early and we were able to adjust.”
Anthony Bilotti was also happy with the audience turn-out. “Most of these contests are judged by how many friends of the bands show up,” Bilotti said.
Bluish was awarded 250 stickers and high-rotation on WTSR’s broadcasts.
In other words, WTSR fans can expect to hear a lot of Bluish on their favorite station. The Greenhouse Band also won 250 stickers and low-rotation on WTSR.
Raab intentionally restricted the promotion of this year’s Battle of the Bands because of the limited amount of seating in the Rat.
“We used facebook, our station, and word of mouth to promote it,” Raab said. “The turn-out was what we expected.”