Nick here from Division, and on behalf of the band, let me say how incredibly thankful and humbled we are for being named the winners of last night’s Bunker’s Battle of the Bands. The competition finals included five diverse and talented acts, and we were grateful simply to be on the bill. Every single band brought their A game, and it made for one intense night of music!
The finals came about as the result of three preliminary rounds, with three winners and two wild cards. The finals featured acts from several different genres of music, but I think it’s safe to say everyone was very good at hitting what they were shooting for. Over the course of the night, we chatted with folks from every band, some of their managers, and tons of their fans, and everyone seemed to love the atmosphere and the entertainment. We wanted to take a few minutes to share the love and to tell you, our fabulous fans, about these acts.
First up was the R&B band known as Arteless. Arteless features three talented vocalists in rapper Young Cratic and soul-filled singers Sy and Myz Rae. The trio perform together, or switch off, energizing the crowd while the band (R&B, Robo, and Manwich) hold down the groove. The band is on the verge of releasing its first CD, and performed several songs from the expected release. Check out “It’s All Good“, one of the highlights of their set. Battle of the Bands are one of the only times Division gets a chance to do cross-genre performances, but we really enjoyed these guys (and girls), and look forward to catching them again.
Next up was Along Those Lines, a Vienna, VA-based four piece that hit the stage with the energy of a thunderstorm. Slamming through upbeat rhythms and huge choruses, these guys have radio rock down to a science. The band is fronted by guitarist Benjamin Bradley, joined on guitar by Will Trenum. Bassist Isaac Shields and drummer Jared Dumale drive the rhythm section. Shields is a particular stand-out, adding a second voice that fills in the band’s huge hooks. They performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s (by way of Dylan) standout, “All Along the Watchtower”, which really got the crowd jumping. It was obvious every member of the band really got into jamming out during that cover.
I had a chance to catch up to Shields after our set, and he was still pumped from their performance. It turns out these guys are getting ready to head over to Afghanistan in support for the USO. Make sure to show them some love and respect for making such an incredible effort. The troops will positively dig these guys, and I have a feeling that ATL is going to deliver a ton of shows with amazing energy. Check out their single, “I Wish it Would Rain” for a taste.
Division performed third. Expect us to post up plenty of photos and videos from the set on our official site and our YouTube Channel. If you attended the show, leave a comment here. We’d rather hear your take on our performance than ours!
After us came the seriously heavy stuff. Never to be Silenced is a local Leesburg band that just pounds the hell out of the crowd from the opening note. The rhythm section of Shane Montgomery and Chris Simon are the equivalent of brushing your teeth with a sledgehammer. Guitarists Mark Spooner and Paul Dodderidge thrash away with blazing fretwork, and Kenny Medieros makes sure you never get a chance to look away from their on-stage onslaught. Never to be Silenced is like watching a movie from the Hostel franchise. You know it’s going to be brutal and in-your-face, but you couldn’t turn away if you wanted to. Check out their tune, “Equilibrium” on their MySpace page.
The last band is the very talented, and very busy, Scream/Ruin. This band treats every show as if it was an arena. If Never to be Silenced is a Hostel movie, Scream/Ruin is something from the Saw franchise; just as brutal, but presented differently. S/R has a somewhat unique approach to its live show, as the band opts for its own light and stage setup over what the club provides. The final result is a somewhat backlit presentation, as frontman Zack Teague growls, accompanied by Jarrett Michael and Jeff Lee on guitars, held together with Kyle Michael’s creative drumming. Scream/Ruin has a number of CD’s and singles released since 2003, and the most recent release, Restored, is available from iTunes and also at any of the band’s live performances.
We all said it last night, and I’m repeating it here. Every one of these bands brought it to this gig. Every member of these bands was respectful, upbeat, and professional. Any of these bands could have won last night’s competition, and every one of these bands is worth checking out.
Special thanks to Toby Gomez (Above the Altar) for organizing this event. Thank you to HM Productions, Q Entertainment, Graphix Station, and SeeJoeRock.com for assisting. As always, thanks to our fabulous, rowdy fans who came out to support us, and to the new fans of Division!
Next stop: Alley Katz in Richmond, VA. Catch us on March 5th as part of The Rockin’ Massacre! If you need tickets, please see our Shows page. Till then, check out a few of our songs HERE!
Thanks for all the continued support! We’ll see you on the Road.