Battle of the Bands highlights Hilliard musicians

Darby artists The Cigs and Junior Anna Wallace competed in the high stakes Instaband West Semifinals for a chance to record their music and pursue their passion, while Time Out performed as special guests. The Semi-Finals, located at Groove U Music Career College, took place on Friday, February 10th. The doors first opened at 5:45 pm, and the music began at 7:00 pm. There were nine high school bands in the running to move onto finals, but only four could make it. The show was hosted by Derek Grosso from Columbus Young Professionals, a community organization.

  There were three judges: DJ Charles Erickson from Damn Girl, DJ Big Bink from Power 107.5, and Phillip Fox from Phillip Fox Band. Each act was critiqued on stage presence, talent, musicianship, and overall performance, while having ten minutes to perform. The acts that performed were W.U.V.A.L., NLC, Krystin McGuire, The Long Acres Band, Cami Raquel, Maya Mougey, Corey Chapman, The Cigs, and Threat Level Midnight.

  There were many performances by students from Hilliard, but The Cigs were the only band entirely from Darby. The band consists of Junior and singer Justin Earley, Junior and guitarist Kendall Baver, Senior and bassist Alex Bickle-Davis, and Freshman and drummer Preston Nash. The first song they played was “Piggies”, and they followed it with “Consumerism”.

  Despite Baver being sick the day of Instaband, even throwing up three times moments before going on, The Cigs still performed well and received constructive criticism from the judges.

  “I brought a bucket on stage in case I puked…but the energy of playing music made me feel better. We had accomplished what we practiced, and most of the [judges’] feedback made me feel good, and the only criticism was constructive,” Baver recalled.

  After the final performers, Threat Level Midnight, including Darby violinist Anna Wallace, finished their set, the audience voted for their favorite acts and the winners were picked based 60 percent on the judges and 40 percent on those who voted. Along with the four acts to move one, there will also be a fan favorite moving on, which is decided by which band gets the most likes on a video of their music.

  Time Out, another band from Darby, won Instaband last year and played after the competition as special guests. The band is made up of singer and guitarist Ryan Gunter, bassist Bryan Biros, and drummer Connor Stewart. During the concert, Time out explained how Instaband helped provide them with the chance to record in a studio, as well as have a music video produced by students at Groove U.

  The concert was an overall fun experience, as well as a great opportunity to allow young local Columbus artists to show off their talents and learn how they can improve and possibly make a career out of doing what they love.

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