Battle of the Bands


Sarah Kochanek

Celebrity judge Drake Bell and SDA Senior Mark Kaplan at the Battle of the Bands Finale.

Last night, five student bands performed in the annual Battle of the Bands finale. The event was announced by seniors Karen Vela and Kirsten Walz. The night started by thanking 91X for sponsoring the event and introducing the judges, which included childhood actor turned indie artist, Drake Bell.

Bell, famous for portraying himself on “Drake and Josh” on Nicklelodeon, surprised the crowd with his appearance. Students screamed and during intermission were eager to get autographs signed and take pictures with the start.

The first band was Sacred Cow, a loud, head-banger, metal band.  Their songs feature guitar solos, lyrics about frustration, and impressive amounts of drums.

Changing up the musical vibe of the event, the singer-songwriter Jason Matkin played next. (Matkin won the Carnegie Hall songwriter search contest and will be touring with South Africa’s top musicians this December.) He wowed the crowd as always.

Showing the true SDA vibe, Vinegar Tom played some very chill, low key, reggae tunes. Despite the pressures of being in a contest, they were not fazed by the competitive atmosphere evidenced by their funky dance moves and calm, collected style.

The Endos featured some incredible original mixes of popular songs. They displayed a wide musical range by incorporating reggae with pop and trumpets with Chelsea Cardenas’ strong vocals.

As the last band of the night, Fifth Season amped up the volume for their set. The second song was played by the lead guitarist, this time on an acoustic, with original lyrics while the rest of the band stood behind him swaying. Their last song was another head banger complete with cowbells.

After a short judge discussion, Vela and Walz called for a drumroll to announce the finalists. Jason Matkin came in third and the Endos came in second. And…wait for it…in first place was…Sacred Cow. The night ended with a mad dash to the car in the pouring rain.