Group wins cash prize for second consecutive year
At the annual Battle of the Bands, sophomore David Casuga, left to right, seniors Aaron Kroeker and Daniel Hopper, and his brother and sophomore Josh Hopper perform two songs by Switchfoot. The group placed first and received the $150 prize.
Rather than spend the evening studying for finals, many students attended the third annual Battle of the Bands in Ground Zero, May 24.
At the show, five musical groups performed in competition for a cash prize of half the admission income. For the second year in a row, the band Five Guys on a Bench received the most votes and emerged victorious, though winning $150 compared to last year's $250.
Consisting of seniors Aaron Kroeker, Daniel Hopper and Ryan Swain, and sophomores David Casuga and Josh Hopper, the band performed "Politicians" and "Gone" by Switchfoot.
"It felt awesome," Kroeker said. "I'm so glad I won [during] my senior year; winning the top prize means a lot. Now, we may not have put a hugely insane amount of work into the whole thing, but it still feels good to know that it paid off."
While five bands performed, only three were in pursuit of the award. Third place went to Save the Date and second to The Unbelievable.
"I really liked the other bands this year; they were all talented and sounded great," Kroeker said. "I also liked how many of them chose to perform original songs. I've written some songs myself, but never performed them. It takes courage to put forward an original work and I applaud them for doing that."
As close friends, the members of Five Guys on a Bench use their companionship as a strategy.
"The thing that's great about our band is that we are comfortable with each other," Kroeker said. "We are willing to listen to each others' ideas and work well together. Most importantly, we know how to have fun and get work done at the same time."
"I'm so glad I won [during] my senior year. We may not have put a hugely insane amount of work into the whole thing, but it still feels good to know that it paid off." --Aaron Kroeker, '10
During Battle of the Bands last year, Five Guys on a Bench only performed one song. However, this time around they took advantage of the stage, executing two pieces. As result, they hyped up more energy into the performance.
Seniors Daniel Hopper and Ryan Swain played guitar in their band, Five Guys on a Bench. Five groups participated in Battle of the Bands this year, which was held May 24.
"I think we also got a little more into it this time," Kroeker said. "The show as a whole was different because there were less bands there and, honestly, the atmosphere felt more laid-back to me."
To freshman Jordan Boudreau, the crowd's energy was not sufficient for the concert.
"I felt like the atmosphere was a bit too relaxed, and the people weren't excited enough about music," Boudreau said. "It could have been more exciting with all the lights off in the audience."
In spite of the week filled with finals, Boudreau chose to rock out at the show.
"I finished studying beforehand, so I was ready to go," Boudreau said. "I enjoyed it because I got to see my friends play, including people who made up their own songs. That's cool because I have a lot of respect for people who write their own music."
As opposed to Boudreau, sophomore Allison Camden chose not to attend Battle of the Bands.
"I went last year and had fun, but it was earlier in the year," Camden said. "This time it was during finals week, and I needed to study. It made it harder to compromise time."
For Kroeker, the final band experience underscored the end of his high school career.
"It felt great to be up there with the band again," he said. "I love rocking out with those guys. We had a blast. I wish I could do it more often."
For more information, read the May 24 article, Bands to battle for cash prize. For photos of the event, check out Last performance and Rock on!