Battle of the Bands brought the best talent to MNSU stage

It was loud, it was bright, and it was original. It was a local Battle of the Bands that engaged the audience.

It also pitted three of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s best singer/songwriters against each other and three local bands in a head-to-head competition.

If you missed it, it was your loss, as the Student Events Team once again put on another great event.

The evening began with the singer/songwriters. First up was Matt Ruff singing three of his best. He had a commanding presence on stage with a strong and original sound. He showed a great contrast in his music choice. Next was Anastasia Ellis, an excited young singer with a great sound, a tremendous voice and a great selection of music for the crowd. From soft to aggressive, her range was enthralling. Last was Dustin Gill, under the stage name, “Drawn to the Sky.” A strong male singer who also gave the audience a powerful spread of his talent.

Another great performance to end this category. The judges expertly critiqued them all with some heartfelt advice.

The band called “Fourtune” was the evening’s opening act in the band segment. It is a band formed from the tragic death of Chester Bennington. This band brings a pleasant blend of musical styles together for a great sound, especially for such as young band who only started playing with one another three months ago.

The night’s next performance was “Irie Minds,” a local Midwest reggae band by their own definition. They were the first group of the evening to bring the Mavericks to their feet for some serious dancing. They were a hard driving and confident band with a great sound that pulled the crowd in.

The last band, “The Only,” was another band with a great stage presence and a well-practiced style who finished with a slow ballad after a hard driving start.

Each band stood for their turn before the judges and came out with their heads high. Then it was time for the student fans to have the last word via their phones and the winners were declared: “Drawn to the Sky” won in the singer/songwriter category and “Irie Minds” won in the band category.

This year’s Battle of the Bands was brought together for a strong gathering of our campus music community to hopefully help enrich the experience for next year.

The evening’s judges for the night were Douglas Snapp and David Gadberry, professors from the music department at MNSU, and Bill Tourville, advisor for the Student Events Team. Some great critique was used to encourage growth and improvement in the contestant’s abilities.

Alex Wieland, leader of the organization and assembly of this event, said that he definitely enjoyed putting this event on.

“I loved this event because it gave an opportunity for students at MNSU to showcase their talents,” Wieland said. “I also liked how we were able to use the stage and professional lighting to create a real concert atmosphere for these students.”

It was great to see the connection and comradery among those in MNSU’s music community, committed to making the experience even better in the future.

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