Battle of the Bands; Provo’s fight against homelessness

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Battlegrounds no longer necessitate swords, shields and spears. Young folks can duke it out with guitar riffs, cutting-edge lyrics and piercing vocals.  At least at Battle of the Bands they can.

This year Food & Care Coalition will host their second annual Battle of the Bands Benefit Concert on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at 299 E 900 South, Provo, UT, and will help end the fight against homelessness.

Last year’s Battle of the Bands Benefit Concert was a huge success. Six bands played for nearly 800 people, and the event raised several thousand dollars for the homeless cause. Heather Hogue of Food & Care Coalition has high expectations for the second annual Battle of the Bands.

“We learned a lot from the event last year,” Hogue said. “We worked harder and tightened things up, and we know it’s going to be a success.”

The frontline of the battle will be bands hand selected from the Provo music scene. Those in attendance will cast their vote for whichever band they deem worthy to win. During the deliberation of the ballots, Lovecapades from Utah County will headline the event. Adam Heimbigner of Vocal Point will be the emcee.

“We worked hard putting together a show everyone can enjoy,” Hogue said. “Picking only four bands from over 30 demos wasn’t easy. We wanted to pair the bands together in such a way that would make for the best show. What we came up with was a very eclectic mix.”

The bands that were chosen to compete are Seven Second Sunset, Mary K. Jackson, And the Winner Is!… and Kenzie James and the Knockouts.

Erik Gibson, the lead guitarist and back-up vocals for Kenzie James and the Knockouts, felt especially honored to be chosen. He and his band have been volunteering at the Coalition for years and feel music is the way they can give back to the community.

“We have never been in a Battle of the Bands competition before,” Gibson said. “Even if we don’t win at least we were able to help the coalition and hear some good music. That will be enough for us. If we do win, the reward will be worth the work,” Gibson said.

And the Winner Is!… is another band that is not a stranger to community service. The band has previously participated in a march for gay rights at UVU and a Walk for Psoriasis in Salt Lake City this past July. Chase Hammer, drummer for the band, said they felt privileged to be one of the four bands chosen to compete.

And the Winner Is!… is a newly formed band brimming with confidence. They are currently working on their first album and music video. Formed in February of 2012, the band is excited for the opportunity of playing at the Battle of the Bands.

“We expect a lot from this show,” Hammer said. “This is our chance to get out into the music scene, which we desperately need. It will be good for the homeless, and it will be good for us.”

Front-woman of Mary K. Jackson said she is touched to be a part of this opportunity to serve.

“When I think about the people and what I’m doing, I start crying sometimes,” Jackson said. “It’s hard to explain, but I just care about the people. My goal is not to be the most popular,  but I want to reach into the hearts of the people who otherwise would have kept silent.”

Jackson feels this is a great experience for her to see what the community has to offer and to meet other musicians who care as much as she does. Whether she wins or loses, she said this will be a great experience for everyone involved.

Headlining the event is Lovecapades, an award-winning British/American pop rock band. Singer, guitarist, and quasi-manager Colin Rivera said the band was more than happy to perform at the benefit. Having participated in many benefit concerts in the past, including Lean on Music and various Cancer Awareness benefits, this band loves the chance to give back.

“We feel lucky we are able and have the fan base to do our part,” Rivera said. “We’re not the biggest band out there, but we have been blessed to have gotten where we are now. Our number-one job is to show people a good time while raising awareness, support and money for the cause. It’s not something we’re going to take for granted. We can help people by playing music we love; it’s great.”

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