Review: Impact Gainesville’s Battle of the Bands

Impact Gainesville’s “Battle of the Bands” presented by Swamp Records and Alpha Epsilon Delta was an overwhelming melting pot of the talent that central Florida has to offer. With 100% of all proceeds going to Florida Diabetes Camp, the night was not only a great time, but for a good cause as well. Spanning from the head banging, punk-influenced sound of Bothering Dennis to the chilled out, folk melodies of Matthew Fowler, the lineup exceeded expectations on this chilly Tuesday night at Rockey’s Dueling Piano Bar.

Originally from Jacksonville, the alternative band Flipturn kicked things off with their upbeat, indie-rock set. Although it was an early start, and the venue had not quite started to completely fill up, neither of these factors seemed to stop them from producing the high-energy, feel good set we all jammed out to. If you missed them, you can catch them next Thursday, November 17th, playing at High Dive along with Glass House Point and Connor Vance Five.

Things really got kicked into high gear when punk-rock, Orlando based band Bothering Dennis took the stage. Rockey’s began to fill up just in time for the mosh pits to break out during classics such as “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and their own “revised” version of “Earth Angel.” Causalities consisted of two broken bass drum legs, one bloody lip, and a whole lot of bad jokes. If you find yourself in Orlando this weekend, you can see them playing at The Social opening for The Supervillains this Saturday.

Solo act, Matthew Fowler, came out just in time to bring things down a few notches after Bothering Dennis’ set. An independent folk artist from Orlando, Fowler’s percussive acoustic guitar playing and soulful voice mellowed out the room. Closing with a sing-a-long original “I’m Still Trying,” Matthew Fowler had a row of spectators sitting on the floor swaying back and forth to his sweet tunes.

Arrows in Action shifted the mood of the room once again with their up-beat pop punk, and lively stage presence. With their cover of “Misery Business” by Paramore they quickly won over the majority of the crowd. Continuing with this momentum, they announced they’d be starting to record their new single in the coming months.

Closing things out with their tight, bluesy set Latchkey ended the night with some serious audience participation. Playing “All These Things I’ve Done” by The Killers, they had each lead singer from the other bands come up and sing along with them on stage. This sparked the entire audience to join in as well, finishing the night off in the most appropriate way possible: together.

Battle of the Bands not only raised money for a good cause, but brought together people of Gainesville and beyond for a night of head banging and hip swaying. With each band contributing their own unique sound, performance, and personality it made for a tight competition. However, at the end of the night we have to give a huge congratulations to the winner of the night: Flipturn!

-Dillon Harris

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