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LouFest Battle of the Bands

LouFest High School Battle Of The Bands,  Pt. 1, at Off Broadway, May 7, 2011

The LouFest High School Battle of the Bands, held at Off Broadway in St Louis, is a two part competition where young musicians compete for a spot on the side stage, “Area K’, to perform at the 2011 LouFest Music Festival, which will be held in August 2011.  The first leg of the competition was held on May 7, 2011, and St Louis Music Press contributor Christopher Davis was there to report on the action….

Dubb Nubb

Dubb Nubb. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Dubb Nubb consists of two sisters, twin-sisters. They specialize in indie-folk. Their names are Hannah and Delia Rainey. There is a inexplicable charm about them. Maybe it is that they are twins, maybe it is that their songs are mean and sweet, maybe it is the simplicity of their acoustic vision of a summer moon shining up above. I don’t know. This I do know, however, they have been playing music together since the age of fifteen and are self-taught, playing the acoustic guitar, ukulele and the mandolin.  Hannah has five years of classical training and Delia likes to incorporate her lyrical poetry.

Dubb Nubb

Dubb Nubb. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis

Dubb Nubb

Dubb Nubb. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Hannah seems to possess the wisdom of someone older than herself, something about the way she plays and the confident way in which she did so. Her harmonies were good, too. Delia looks to me like she is ready to burst at the seams; she had this little bounce to her when she stood singing and or playing an instrument. Not in a nervous way, more of an excited curtsy.  Her melodies reminded me of Belly, and also Neko Case a little bit, with more of a younger appeal to it, like if you threw some Lisa Loeb in the mix. I don’t think this will be the last we hear of these twins from Saint Louis, Missouri.
Set List:
1. Tennessee Mountains
2. Johnny
3. Michigan
4. Mound City Baby

21 Days

21 Days. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


21 Days took the stage next. This foursome is a pop-punk/alternative group that has potential, and I think that is why they continue to pursue their music here in Saint Louis. The foursome has a pop-punk and alternative feel to their tunes. It seems that their influences range from acts like 90’s alt rock to modern day alt rock, including bands like My Chemical RomanceREDSick Puppies and even local heroes Building Rome.

21 Days

21 Days. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Nathan Haskenhoff provides lead vocals and guitar. Austin Liniger plays the guitar and also does some background vocals. Kyle Fulhorst plays the bass and also sings background, while Roger Thomas plays the drums. The thing that I particularly enjoyed about 21 Days was that you can tell these guys have been working on the music over time. The drummer plays a solid rock beat, while the bass keeps the low end driving and the guitars provide a rhythmic atmosphere that allows the vocalist to shine with the melody. In time, if they keep working hard, they will only get even better. Overall, the songwriting is really beginning to shine for these guys.


21 Days

21 Days. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Set List:

This Disaster
Dear Chelsea
No Surprise


Feedback

Feedback. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Feedback is Asuka Okuyama, Tommy Kessler, Nick Sorel, Austin Flick and Jeffrey Hoerner. The group’s collective influences are acts like Muse, Led ZepplinThe BeatlesWhite Stripes and The Dead WeatherFeedback is considered an alternative rock band and I must let you know, they truly are creating some magic.

Feedback

Feedback. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Feedback’s Asuka Okuyama is engaging and has a good voice. When you listen to their song “Witt”, one will notice that she does a great job providing the 70’s feel with a modern twist. Each song they played was unique and was executed well. The dimensional feel of “Coated” seems easily ascertained by the guitarist’s delay effect; once the rhythm hits, they have got you. “Illogic Is My Logic” is an acoustic song with a U2 type of sound to the music. It progresses from it’s humble introduction into quite the acoustical epic. They received a good ovation afterwards.

Feedback

Feedback. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Setlist:

Witt
Coated
Illogic Is My Logic


Belief

Belief. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Belief, a blues-infused rock trio, consists of Kyle Mathias on vocals and guitar, Josh Hagelstein on bass and Paul Carollo on drums. They hail from Imperial, Missouri. The group is stongly influence by such acts as John Mayer, The Black Keys, The White Stripes and seems to have a slight punk rock influence as well. I noticed that their Facebook information also lists Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Interesting.

Belief

Belief. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Belief’s song “Worried Mind” reminded me somewhat of George Thorogood; the blues-rock style of Kyle really shines on this one. “Don’t Even Know Your Name” really shows all of their collective influences at play and has a swaying feel to the verses. “Jane” is the most rocking song of the three. You can really hear the White Stripe’s influence on this one.  The solos are reminiscent of a Jimi Hendrix influenced style; it has some good hooks, too.


Belief

Belief. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Set List:

Worried Mind
Don’t Even Know Your Name
Jane


Clockwork

Clockwork. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Clockwork is a three-piece alternative rock group from St. Charles, MO. The band started in 2008 and continue to open doors for themselves. All of their practice and patience is beginning to pay off because they are making their way into more venues and showing that they have not only dedication, but good control in songwriting and the execution of performing those songs.Clockwork is Jordan Slone on vocals and guitar, Logan Slone on vocals and bass, and last but certainly not least, we have Logan Mohler on percussion.

Clockwork

Clockwork. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Clockwork’s collective influences are bands like MuseColdplay and Brand New, just to name a few. They have a modern rock sound with an alternative twist to it. they can sound happy or bright; they can sound sad and reflective, all the while coming across in a positive nature. This is not easy to do, and I like it.

Clockwork

Clockwork. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Jordan Slone has a good singing voice, and can also hit those falsetto notes with ease. He has a certain charisma about him. He is the front man and also plays guitar. His brother, Logan, is also a natural performer, and it shows. He is the bassist and sings some background harmonies. Drummer Logan Slone’s earlier influences of heavier sounding bands certainly comes into play, but not in a domineering fashion; he chooses his beats wisely and has been playing since the age of three.


Clockwork

Clockwork. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Set List:

1) Moshi Moshi (A cover by Brand New.)
2) Save Me
3) Calling You Out
4) Screen Play


Since 1902

Since 1902. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


1902 is from Saint Louis, Missouri. It consists of Justin Enoch, Pete Holohan, Nathaniel Endicott and Robert Don. Their brand of rock is surely an avant garde one. With influences like What Laura SaysAnnuals and Saint Louis, Missouri’s own Ra Cailum along with Kid Counselor, you can achieve this notion.

Since 1902

Since 1902. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


I especially enjoyed the first song. It was upbeat, even anthemic to a degree. Take some Radiohead, an Irish folk-song vibe and mash it with some rockabilly feel, and ou get “Sailing Rivers”, sort of an Irish pirate gone rockabilly.(Yes, only in St. Louis.) Then something even more exciting happened!

Since 1902

Since 1902. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


One of their guitarists/vocalists switched up with the drummer. They went into a shortened version of their song “Blood Orange”, which is an instrumental track. I thought this was a smart move for them to try at the show. It really was entertaining.

Since 1902

Since 1902. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


“Hiding Out” was bridged together by the instrumental song. The drummer, now up front of the stage, continued on performing with different, simple element changes for effect. For example, in different parts of the songs, he would lay a towel over the drum head to muffle the sound. Then, after that, he would lay a cymbal on top of the drum to tap for additional sounds for ”You Never Know”.. Smart. This way, he doesn’t scratch or slash his drum and drum head. In addition, he uses it to his advantage for the change in sounds. I thought they were creative and quite unique.

Since 1902

Since 1902. Photo credit: © Christopher Davis


Set List:

Sailing Rivers
Blood Orange – Shortened intro. to “Hiding Out”.
Hiding Out
You Never Know


The Battle for LouFest continues on Saturday, May 21st at Off Broadway. It is an all-ages, matinee show and it costs $5 to get in. Advanced tickets can be purchased on the Off Broadway website (listed in the footer of this article). The doors open at 4pm. Show is at 5pm sharp. It is hard to say who is going to make it to the festival so far… you can be the judge and listen for yourself, then come down to part two for the second battle. Let’s do this.


(Also, search them on You Tube for music.)

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