Local high school group steals show at Battle of the Bands

On Friday Feb. 17 six eclectic bands competed in the Battle of the Bands in the Union Ballroom for a $500 cash prize.

The competition, organized by Mac's Place and Special Events, allowed Mammal is a Mountain, Red Kettle, Red Skeleton at Elk's Breath, Rob Rubsam and Pat Smith, Through the Crowd, and Quasars in the Mist to play a set of songs to an eager crowd of friends and family.

Four of the six bands were comprised of Geneseo students while Through the Crowd came from Geneseo Central High School and Quasars in the Mist from Mount Morris High School.

Lead coordinator freshman Jenny Keller said that Mammal is a Mountain was the only established Geneseo band, so she had to turn to local bands for the competition, hence the two high school bands. Keller also went on to say that both Red Kettle and Red Skeleton at Elk's Breath were essentially formed for this competition. Battle of the Bands was the first real show for Red Kettle, and Keller said she thought they really pulled it off.

Half of the bands had a folk sound, with passionate singers and beautiful melodies. Red Skeleton at Elk's Breath had a trumpet, viola, bongo drum, xylophone and acoustic guitar which lent a wonderful and unexpected tone to the band.

Red Kettle impressively mixed freestyle rap with alternative rock. Through the Crowd looked and sounded like Blink-182, and they covered two of the popular band's songs, which prompted a small mosh pit.

But the performance that stood out by far was that of the closing act and winners Quasars in the Mist. Quasars came out with a lot of energy and they got everyone in the ballroom pumped up.

Their sound was reminiscent of the rock from the British Invasion era and their cover of Regina Spektor's "Us" was a fantastic take on the song. After Quasars finished their set, the audience cheered for an encore and the band enthusiastically obliged.

Lead singer Brock Saltsman, a sophomore at Mount Morris High School, said the win felt "glorious," and his bandmates Javan Levey, Benjamin Chesnes and Andrew James Zaso said they agreed.