Battle of the College Bands: The Mysteries, Avenue Eight, Minor Setbacks, and Hyper, Inc. Spring Into Action

Photography by Samantha Sweeney and Stephanie DeFeo

There’s nothing like a competition to bring a crowd together and that’s exactly what the Spring Semester Edition of Rock On Philly’s Battle of the College Bands has done! The sold-out show brought many a student and seasoned concert-goer to the hallowed trenches of the Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia. Following a rigorous submission process, four college bands emerged from all corners of the Philadelphia and New York regions to gallantly compete for the Grand Prize Package that includes recording time at Forge Recording, one-year membership to Reverbnation and ZipCar, a consultation with entertainment lawyer Lori Landew of Fox Rothschild, LLP, and an editorial feature on Rock On Philly…with one walking away with the title of Winner.

Avenue Eight, hailing from Fordham University, brought their unique blend of pop-funk and rock to the stage in a big way. The ten-piece squished together on the tiny stage and brought a sound just as big and unique as they, complete with three horns, a saxophone, two guitars, a bass, keys, percussion and three vocalists. Their audience interaction was superb, and they had the whole venue dancing throughout the night.

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Avenue Eight performs at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia – Photo by Samantha Sweeney

The Community College of Philadelphia’s own Hyper, Inc. was up next with a spirit and punk-rock energy that energized the crowd. Though the sound was a bit off (could barely hear lead vocals Misha Datskovsky next to the stage!), the guys delivered a great set that solidified their place in the competition.

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Hyper, Inc. performs at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia – Photo by Samantha Sweeney

Minor Setbacks, with members hailing from Drexel University and Temple University, proved they are anything but minor! The guys’ surf-rock sound was a hit with the crowd and had many wondering what they would do next.

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Minor Setbacks performs at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia – Photo by Samantha Sweeney

And, at long last, our winner The Mysteries was best saved for last. The University of the Arts undergraduates tore up the stage with their impressive Sixties-sound and unforgettable stage presence. Lead singer Anthony Marchione held the crowd’s attention with his effortless rockstar-style and trippy dance moves, Jim Morrison-style, as his bandmates quickly supported his vision through sound and professional dedication. The crowd and judges clearly could not get enough of their performance and voted them their favorite act of the night.

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The Mysteries perform at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia – Photo by Samantha Sweeney

Last year’s winner, Andorra, held the crowd’s attention during judges’ deliberations and as the audience submitted their votes for their choice of winner. The fellow University of the Arts undergraduates showed why they won last year’s Battle of the College Bands with yet another rollicking set. The guys knew it was time to pass the torch onto our newest winner and sent off the award in a big way.

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Andorra performs at the Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia – Photo by Stephanie DeFeo

The time to pass the torch came, as the deliberations concluded. The Final Score was calculated by a total combination of Social Media Score (calculated before the competition), Audience Vote, and Judges Vote. The Judges, who included Forge Recording‘s Producer and Lead Engineer Ron DiSilvestro, Philly Weekly‘s Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Rupp, and Rock On Philly’s Editor-in-Chief and MetroPhilly‘s newest Editor Jennifer Logue, judged the competitors on a combination of Audience Interaction, Stage Presence, and Sound.

Jennifer Logue announces the winner of the Battle of the College Bands Competition - Photo by Stephanie DeFeo

Jennifer Logue announces the winner of the Battle of the College Bands Competition – Photo by Stephanie DeFeo

When the Winner of the Battle of the College Bands was announced, The Mysteries could not contain their enthusiasm and quickly joined Jennifer Logue on stage to accept their prize. The energy and enthusiasm had by the crowd made for one of the best shows this side of Market Street, and we can’t wait until next time!

The Mysteries win Battle of the College Bands - Photo by Stephanie DeFeo

The Mysteries win Battle of the College Bands – Photo by Stephanie DeFeo

What was YOUR favorite moment at the Battle of the College Bands? Tell us in the comments below! Relive the night with all the photos from the show below.

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