February 4, 2014 > Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands
By Medha Raman
For 51 years, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) has sponsored the longest running musical special event in the entire state of California Ð the Battle of the Bands! The event began in the mid-1960s with the vision of former superintendent of recreation Leroy Pergis who wanted to provide a competition for local bands. While varied musical styles from rock, indie, and grunge, to punk, funk, and reggae have grown in popularity and fallen out of favor, the battle has marched on through five decades.
Durability of the event only slightly overshadows the thirty-five years that emcee Mick Flaire has anchored and presented the show. MickÕs incredible energy resonates with the audience and the bands benefit from a pep talk from this four-time participant before they take the stage for 12 minutes of fame.
HARD Ð acronym for the largest recreation district in California Ð is an independent special use district that has been providing residents with high quality programs, recreational classes, and beautiful parks, since 1944. The Park District serves over 250,000 residents living in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland, and Fairview. HARD aspires to encourage life-long learning, fitness, and fun through its recreational activities, special events, and services. Proceeds from the Battle of the Bands will go toward HARD funding so that it may continue to provide youth programs for the community and improve the quality of life for citizens of all ages.
Battle of the Bands will be held on Saturday, February 8 in the Reed L. Buffington Performing Arts Center at Chabot College. The event is a wonderful opportunity for bands to demonstrate their talent in musical arrangement, song composition, instrumentation, and vocals. Since its creation, the competition has drawn performers from throughout northern California. Of the more than 30 bands that show up to audition, only a dozen are selected to play at the event. This yearÕs finalists include the Rob Sesma Band, Alyssa Granados, Love Lamp, Catatonic Society, There Goes the Neighborhood, Rusholme, Se7en Dead, Gigantis, Nexus, Faith and Bullets, Time Frame, and Zephyr.
Judges for the event include musicians, songwriters, and other professionals in the music industry. The winning band will be determined through a combination of judgeÕs points based on performance and originality as well as audience reaction. While there have been prizes for new equipment, advertisements, photo sessions, and studio-recording time for the winners, the bands value the prestige of the title Champion of the Battle of the Bands the most. Previous titleholders have gone on to be members of bands such as Faith No More, Y&T, Deep Purple, Mr. Big, Billy Satellite, and Metallica!
Through the 1980s, the event often sold out, drawing about 1,500 people each year; HARD is expecting a gret turnout this year, so buy your tickets soon!
Tickets can be purchased at the HARD District Office at 1099 E Street in Hayward, the Matt Jimenez Community Center located at 28200 Ruus Road in Hayward, or online at www.haywardrec.org. For more information, please contact Mike Maine at (510) 888-0211 or visit haywardrocks.com.
Battle of the Bands
Saturday, Feb 8
6: 30 p.m.
Reed L. Buffington Performing Arts Center
2555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
Tickets: $10 Advance, $12 Door, $5 Camera