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Bands battle it out in Canyon Country

Posted: May 18, 2014 10:29 p.m.
Updated: May 18, 2014 10:29 p.m.

Members of the Santa Clarita band "Good Chum" perform on stage Sunday in the Battle of the Bands competition held at the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus.

Despite which band came out on top, the real winners of Sunday’s Battle of the Bands were the more than 75 spectators who got a fresh, free and exciting concert of new music at College of the Canyons’ Canyon Country Campus.

Beginning noon Sunday, the band “Good Chum” took center stage outdoors at the college’s campus on Sierra Highway and were met with enthusiastic response at the close of their first song.

“They were clean and it sounded crisp and that’s saying something when you play an outdoor venue like this,” said Robert Wasson as he waited his turn to take the stage.

Wasson, drummer of the Antelope Valley band “Out of Ashes” enjoyed the music his competitors offered up, eager to share some of the original hard rock material he and his band have been sharing with audiences across Southern California.

Asked how he anticipated an edgy sound would translate with a college audience in the Santa Clarita Valley, Wasson said: “Some of the people don’t like the harder sound but I think they’ll find it refreshing and different.

“We’re put together well,” he said of his bandmates.

The seven finalist bands were chosen from more than three dozen hopefuls.

Sunday’s performances were judged by a panel of three music industry veterans that included: Andrea Standley formerly of Warner Bros. Records, Grammy Award-winning producer David May, and actor Tracey Gold, best known for her role as Carol Seaver on the 1980s sitcom “Growing Pains.”

One young judge from Victorville gave the concert a thumbs-up critique. Eleven-year-old Dominic Fox described it simply as: “Pretty good.”

Many of the concert patrons were friends and family of the competing bands, with moms and dads proudly recording the show with their tablets.

“In my totally biased opinion, I really think the band ‘Brightside of Blue’ is really good,” said Lou Costanza, proud father of his daughters Ellie, 16, and Emma, 15, who front and write songs for the band.

“I think they’re really unique,” he said, while listening to ‘The Murrows’ wrap up their three-song set. “When you hear them, you’ll be impressed.”

When his daughters heard they were selected to be finalists in the Battle of the Bands they “were excited and immediately went on Facetime, excited to let the other members of the band know.”

Other competing groups included “Randy Violin and the Hard Ones,” “Good Deeds,” and “The Voxes.”

The three top bands are expected to receive cash and merchandise prizes from the College of the Canyons Associated Student Government, and sponsors Keyboard Galleria, Remo Drums, KHTS, Yamaha, D’Adarrio, SIT Strings, Dunlop, Earnie Ball and Zildjian.


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