By Nadine Sander-Green
We were blown away with the talent and energy at Friday’s Battle of the Band’s event. What a night! The Yukon College’s woodshed was packed the entire evening as six bands rocked out on stage; there was rock ‘n roll, hip hop, creative dance moves, smooth brassy notes, and a whole lot of excitement in the air. It was impossible to walk down the college hallway and not peek into the woodshed to check out what all the fuss was about. A big thanks to Solid Fuel, the Pelly Road Street Band, Dead Simple, An.Arc, Vision Quest and the Brass Knuckle Society for making the night such a wild success.
This year’s winners, Vision Quest, had the crowd dancing on stage with them by the end of their set. The hip hop duo is made up of Nick Johnson and Yudii Mercredi, two First Nations artists born and raised in Whitehorse. They made the crowd go wild with references to the 867 area code and working at -40 below zero. The duo was invited both Friday and Saturday night to play with Frostbite’s Hollerado, and they rocked the mainstage Saturday night as part of their prize for winning Friday’s Battle. Vision Quest will also receive a recording package from Old Crow Studio. BYTE is honoured to give this year’s title to Nick and Yudii; these guys have so much talent, drive, style and zest. This is just the beginning for Vision Quest and there’s no doubt we’ll be keeping a close eye on their journey from here.
Dead Simple came in second place. This group of 16 year olds set the bar high, really high. Selina Heyligers-Hare stunned the audience with her powerful vocals while Erik Vasseur, Andrew Crist and Will Rees rocked out to their set of new, original songs. Dead Simple won a video shoot with J. Hall productions, while the night’s third place winners, the Brass Knuckle Society were awarded a photo shoot with Gary Bremner Photography. The Brass Knuckle Society, with Jesse Whitehead on trumpet, Will Hegsted on tenor sax. Wiliam Bellemare on tuba, Thibaut Rondel on alto sax and Matt Cameron on Drums, did exactly what they promised: they made the crowd boogie. Their brass sound was both smooth and wild, and they sure looked sharp in their 1920s style. The Brass Knuckle Society also won the first annual People’s Choice award and were given a $100 gift certificate to Unitech.
The Battle of the Bands would not have been such a success without our judges, volunteers, bands, and audience. We owe a huge thank you to all of our sponsors: Frostbite Music Festival, Unitech, Gary Bremner Photography, Old Crow Studio, J.Hall Productions, Triple J’s music, Boardstiff, What’s up Yukon, Inkspirations, Climate Clothing, and Mark and Paddy’s Wondrous Musical Emporium. A big thanks to both Zipline, last year’s winners who opened the evening, and Death in Venice, who came back together for a special reunion set at the end of the night. We’d also like to recognize Jona Barr, Kasey Rae Anderson and Scott Carlson who worked tirelessly for this event.
See you next year!