One of Tech’s newest student groups is hosting a battle of the bands at 7 p.m. on Feb. 23, bringing the Nashville and Cookeville music scenes closer together.
Underrepresented, New, and Creative Live Experiences, formed last semester to give people a better local opportunity to listen to and perform live music.
“We were jealous of the Nashville scene,” Amy Rauch, UNCLE vice president said. “We wanted to show the Cookeville artists some love.”
UNCLE has been sponsoring open mic nights at the Backdoor Playhouse, but the battle of the bands is the group’s first big event.
“The open mics have been really solid for singer/songwriters, but we wanted to have a place for bands with a drum kit to come and play,” Rauch said.
President Austin Phy said, “We wanted something between open mic and having a large band here. It’s multiple artists that are a little smaller, like open mic-size artists, but they’re able to play for more than 5 minutes.”
Local bands had an opportunity to submit their music for the chance to compete. Eight bands showed initial interest.
“We were looking for some solid rock and hopefully living in the Cookeville area so we could enforce our Cookeville scene,” Rauch said. “That’s the heart of this show.”
The bands chosen to compete in the battle are Her Inspired Virus, Brie and the BAD Tempos, Color the Lifeline, Otherwize and Reach.
The winning band gets the opportunity to open up for Wax Fang, a Nashville-based band that recently toured with My Morning Jacket, at the Backdoor Playhouse in March. UNCLE is also hosting the Wax Fang show.
There will be a panel of judges picking the winning band, and will be judging stage presence, audience participation and overall musical talent.
“We’d like to have one or more of Wax Fang’s members to take part in the judging, but we’re not set on that,” Phy said.
According to Phy, the bands are not the only ones who will benefit from the Battle.
“It’ll be great for Tech and kind of making us known as a place committed to art and promoting underrepresented groups,” Phy said. “Nashville has a ton of quality acts that aren’t country, which is what a lot of people think of when they think of Nashville.
“Those bands aren’t really known outside of Nashville. They could really benefit from being promoted here, and we could benefit from them playing here. This is the first step toward hosting great events that couldn’t happen otherwise.”
The first band will take the stage at 8 p.m., and the free admission show is expected to last about two hours.