Campus Activities Board Revives Battle of the Bands at FCLC

Winning Band Client 9 Rocks Their Socks Off; Talentless Hacks Finish Close Second


Client 9, Battle of the Bands winner, covered four classic rock songs. (Ali Watts /The Observer)

Published: May 1, 2008

It was a night of both classic rock and original songs when the Battle of the Bands returned to Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) on April 19. Held in a packed Lowenstein Atrium, the event featured 10 bands and over three hours of music.

“We had a great success with Fordham Idol, and we want to give students a chance to show their talent as individuals as well as in a group,” stated a Campus Activities Board (CAB) executive Ryan Murphy, FCLC ’11, as the reason for the revival of the Battle of the Bands. Judging from the enthusiasm of the large crowd that attended, the Battle of the Bands was a massive success.

The contest, organized by CAB entertainment chairperson Brandi D’Esposito, FCLC ’11, was presided over by three judges who handed out a first place prize of $200 and a second place prize of $100. The judges were Jeremiah Hernandez, FCLC ’08, assistant director for programming Megan Siemers and assistant director of admissions Matt LeBlanc.

First place went to Client 9, while second place was given to the Talentless Hacks (formerly known as the Bob Saget Syndicate). Second place was only awarded to the Talentless Hacks after they went head-to-head with Monumint in a one-song tiebreaker. The 10 bands that performed that evening were the Sarkies, Monumint, Jurassic Sparks, Three Dollar Heels, the Talentless Hacks, Thirsty Travelers, Tanzler, Me and Chris Idell Band and Client 9. While all the bands were talented, there were a few highlights that helped make the event a success.

Monumint, the second band to hit the stage that night, played three engaging and original songs. The first two songs were instrumental, while the third contained very few vocals. The band made heavy use of an echo effect on the guitar, giving a hypnotic quality to their music. The guitarist used a large array of effects to create a very appealing and innovative sound.

Consisting of six band members, including a harmonica player, a pianist and a saxophone player, the Talentless Hacks played classic rock tunes from the 1960s. These songs included “Lady Madonna” by the Beatles and “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, which got the crowd to their feet and dancing. The group had a very playful quality to their music, and it was clear to anyone who was there that they were having a good time performing for the crowd.

Me and Chris Idell Band was one of the best bands to perform that night. This comedic trio played four original songs. The first song was sung in Spanish with English subtitles about a man with no shoulders. The third song was about how the singer deals with his dislike for certain people in his life by pretending that a bear ate them. At the end of the song, an audience member jumped up with a bear mask on and started roaring, prompting lead singer Francis Pastorelle, FCLC ’10, to quip a one word response: “Weird.”

The final band of the evening was Client 9. The group played four classic rock songs, including “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC, “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones and “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry. During the solo in “Johnny B. Goode,” the lead guitarist did a spot-on imitation of Chuck Berry’s style. Not even a small hand injury was able to slow down the guitarist, who continued the set without missing a note.

The Talentless Hacks, who astoundingly made up a song on the spot with everyone playing in time, due to the fact that the band used up all the songs they knew how to play, won the tiebreaker for second.

Support for the event was widespread afterwards, many people having enjoyed it greatly.

“This is probably one of the most successful acts we’ve had. We’re definitely doing this again next year,” said CAB secretary Juliet Ben-Ami, FCLC ’11.

Talentless Hacks guitarist Chris Castro, FCLC ’11, summed up the general feeling about the show. “It was a really cool event. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about seeing how people at Fordham are into music.”