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February 4, 2009 > Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands

By Mona Shah

The Battle of the Bands has long served to give young musicians a chance to show their stuff and this year is no different. On February 7, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) will host its 46th annual event at Chabot College Performing Arts Center. 27 bands from the Bay Area and beyond auditioned and 12 of them will compete for prizes that include, among other things, musical instruments, television appearances and free studio time. A twelve judge panel of music professionals and local enthusiasts will award first place to one lucky band. Last year the honor went to The French Cassettes of Ripon.

Music that will be showcased ranges from Indie, Rock, and Alternative to Pop Punk, Funk, and Reggae. Although a winner will be declared at the end of the evening, most bands are thrilled to simply be a part of it. For many of the musicians involved, this will be the first time they will be performing in front a large crowd. The event is great exposure for bands and a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate talents in musical arrangement, song composition, instrumentation, and vocals.

HARD's Battle is the longest running event of its kind in the country. Since 1964, this musical showcase has featured ensembles from numerous communities, genres and ages. It is especially popular in the East Bay and draws over 1,000 enthusiastic fans annually. Throughout the years, one thing has remained constant: winning bands have proven that inspired songwriting and charismatic performances captivate audiences and impress judges. "The purpose of all this is to have a family-oriented event that showcases young, extremely talented musicians who would never have the opportunity to play in such a large venue," said the late 41-year-old Roxanna Salinas, Battle of the Bands coordinator for twenty years.

The winning band will be determined through a combination of judge's points (based on performance and originality) as well as audience reaction. However, highly valued by participating bands is the prestige of holding the much-coveted title of Battle of the Bands Champion.

Finalists for this year's event include: Braata, Monsters Are Not Myths, Erica Lee Band, The Dialed, Finish Ticket, Solcraft, Hey Yong Believer, Faded Dreams, Billy the Kid, Stereo Freakout, Kneehigh in Dwarves, and Picture Me Broken.

Battle of the Bands will be held at the Chabot College Performing Arts Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:00 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $8. Admission at the door will be $10.

Battle of the Bands
Saturday, February 7
7 p.m.
Chabot College Performing Arts Center
25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward
(510) 888-0211

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