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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Students show off talent at Annandale High School's Battle of the Bands

The Morning Commute with guest musicians from Generational Jazz Combo. [Chelsea Place]
By Chelsea Place

In a night of music and entertainment, six acts took to the stage to prove their talent at Annandale High School’s Battle of the Bands March 9.

The music flowed from the moment the audience started filling the auditorium, as the house band Say Something performed before the show and during intermissions as people cast their votes. Principal Tim Thomas, emcee, energized the crowd.

The first musician, Thinh Dang, set the precedent for the evening as he stepped out on stage playing the piano without sheet music. The crowd silenced as they took in the beautiful emotion-filled music drifting out from the stage.

Martyn Negley, appearing as Martyn Cow, the only other solo act, alternated acoustic and electric guitar between songs, including melancholy covers such as “The Story So Far” by Navy Blue and “Creep” by Radiohead.

Saxtastrophe and the Generational Jazz Combo both filled the room with instrumentals.  Saxtastrophe had the crowd rocking out to Queen songs, including “Under Pressure” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The quartet maintained the heart and soul of Queen that fans have grown to love over the years.

Generational Jazz Combo wowed the crowd with upbeat jazz music on a variety of instruments, including saxophone, trumpet, drum set, keyboard, and bass. 

Rocking out to the crowd, the bands Gabe’s Fault and the Morning Commute both won audience favor by advancing to the second round.

Gabe’s Fault appropriately started their set list with a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana and blew the crowd away with their rendition of “Zombie” by the Cranberries. That earned them the most votes coming out of the first round.

The Morning Commute got the second most votes by wowing the crowd with covers of “Treasure” by Bruno Mars and “She Don’t Have to Know” by John Legend.

Battling it out in the second round, Gabe’s Fault rocked the crowd with a cover of “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy while the Morning Commute really shined with “Put Me Thru” by Anderson .Paak.

As the crowd and bands waited in anticipation for the final tally, Say Something entertained them with classic rock covers.

The Morning Commute was declared the overall winner. Taking full advantage of the honor and excitement of winning, the band invited Generational Jazz Combo on stage to round off the night with “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5. This mashup of bands resulted in an extended performance consisting of a drum off and solo riffs as the crowd went wild. 

Thomas presented awards to the finalists, including a $500 Guitar Center gift card to the first-place winner. Guitar Center sponsored the event, along with Clarocode and Nowsight.

There was also a reminder of the upcoming “Hunchback of Notre Dame” by the drama department April 19-21. If the preview at the beginning of the night’s festivities was any indication, it should be a good show.

Exiting the stage and summarizing the night perfectly were the Morning Commute’s parting words to their fans, “Thank you, it’s been incredible.” 

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