BYU students win grad prize at Battle of the Bands

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    By Joseph Ellsworth

    The Muse Music Battle of the Bands competition ended Saturday night with the grand prize going to a band composed of BYU students.

    Muse Music declared The Sugarland Run the winner of the contest after five days of intense competition between the 16 competing local bands.

    The Saturday night, June 15, finale featured the four bands that had won the nightly contests during the four-day competition that took place last week. Andrea”s Fault, The Sugarland Run, Simple People and The Shades of Gray made it to the final night of judging.

    The three judges, made up of accomplished musicians and local music professionals, gave the bands point scores on categories like originality, stage presence, and crowd response. The Sugarland Run scored only two more points than Simple People in the final tally.

    “It was fun playing with this many talented bands,” said The Sugarland Run lead singer and bassist Eddie King. “We just feel good that we were able to play as well as we did and crowd was as into it as it was.”

    Contest judge and musician Trent Holland said the competition was difficult to judge because each band was so uniquely different.

    “It was competitive,” Holland said. “The bands gave good stage performances, and they all seemed to have their own drive and desire to win.”

    Muse Music owner Chuck Hamm was happy with the competition and plans to hold similar contests on a bi-annual basis. The five-day event drew hundreds of music fans. 150 people attended the Saturday night finale alone.

    The members of The Sugarland Run received a $150 cash prize and Papa Lees gift certificates as part of their winnings. The band will also make an appearance on the local Warner Brothers television affiliate sometime next week as part of the grand prize package.

    Along with high musical energy, The Sugarland Run brought both theatrical and audio-visual elements to their live performance Saturday night. Eddie King wore thick black glasses and a white cowboy hat during the set, while TV monitors propped on stage showed the audience clips of old 60”s movies.

    Saturday night”s win was a pleasant surprise for band members. They acknowledged that all the participating bands were equally worthy of the win.

    “Any one of these guys could have won, and it”s not a question of how good the bands are,” King said.

    As for the band”s future, the four BYU students take their studies seriously and consider the band just a fun way to perform the music style they call “punk-influenced indy rock” for friends and local audiences.

    “I don”t think any of us are banking our futures on this. But if it goes somewhere, we”d totally go for it,” King said. “We just love performing and having a good time with it.”

    The Sugarland Run will perform this Friday at BYU”s Summer Concert event starting at 8 p.m.

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