Battle of the bands


As the dark blue curtains raised, instrumental sound explosion filled the audience’s eardrums as five musicians were unveiled to jam.

Capturing the full attention and admiration of the judges and audience with their fresh and unique sound, Crome Yellow won the first-ever Battle of the Bands at UNF.

An estimated 350 parents, students and faculty came out Jan. 22 for the free show to demonstrate their support for six bands that competed out of the 15 bands who applied.

For the winning prize, Crome Yellow will be entered in for chance to open at the Spring concert this April, which is expected to have an audience of 2,000-3,000.

“The stuff that we play is really like nothing I’ve ever heard before,” said Crome Yellow’s bass player Bill Sample, who attends FCCJ for pharmaceutical studies.

The winning band’s sound is a mixture of rock, hip-hop, reggae, jazz, metal, fusion and experimental.

“We don’t like to attach ourselves to a specific genre. We’re trying to break that mold,” said junior music major Tony Mayato, saxophone player and back-up singer for Crome Yellow.

Five judges rated the bands on their creativity, fluidity, vocals, lyrics, stage presence and audience response. After the show, the bands reviewed the judges’ score sheets to see which categories they rocked and areas that needed improvement.

Tommy Dobbs, a junior music percussion major, is the drummer for Crome Yellow and has been drumming for eight years. On lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Clayton Bush is a junior electronic media major at UNF.

The band members’ 40 years of combined experience playing instruments became obvious as the musicians collaborated their talents to produce a rhythm, causing every head in the auditorium to nod to the beat.

“We have so many different tastes in music between the five of us that we have everything at our disposal,” said junior English major John Dickens, lead guitar.

Crome Yellow has played at bars and clubs around Jacksonville, includingJack Rabbits, The Pit (Brewsters), Murray Hill, Ocean Club, and they will be playing at Shantytown this Friday, at 8 p.m Jan. 30.

In February, Crome Yellow will play during a fundraiser in the Hodges Stadium for money to build a water pipeline in Guatemala.

Although some members of Crome Yellow were skeptical about starting a band in the beginning, they have been strumming strong since May of last year. So far, they have one demo CD out and are currently working on a full-length album. In the future, they are planning to add more piano to their songs.

Mayato encourages fans in the future to “come up and talk to us about the music. Tell us how they feel, if they hate it or like it or not. We want to know what they think, what they feel. We want to know who is coming out to our shows.”

Other performers included Jonathan Meisburg, I Lie Spooning Homeless, Definition of an Izum, Cobanks and Coming This Fall.

The musical battle was the idea of Osprey Productions Playlist Chairman Ben Tollin, who first thought of the idea last summer.

It isn’t guaranteed that Battle of the Bands will be back next semester, since it depends on the future leadership of OP.

However, after the great turn out of the first battle, it will definitely be considered for future occurrences, Tollin said.

Director of OP Lauren McCallister also judged the event. She said the judges chose the winner based a lot on the audience’s response to the music.

McCallister, a senior graphic design and English major, considers attending Battle of the Bands and similar productions “a good way to show support of other UNF students that have bands.”

E-mail April Schulhauser at [email protected].