Many people will tell you that music is not a competition. Typically, these individuals are correct. But this month that's just not the case. Billy and Renee's is hosting a Battle of the Band. However, this is not your normal Battle of the Bands. They will hold a round each Thursday night starting at 9 pm and every week different bands will take the stage in hopes of winning not only a money prize at the end of the month but $500 worth of recording time. This month long battle will all culminate into a final round where each of the week's winners take on one another in front of special guest judges that will be familiar faces to anyone who is up to date on the local Tulsa music scene. Last night was the first round of the BOTB and, needless to say, it was a great start to what is shaping up to be a fantastic display of how diverse and talented our local musicians really are.
First on the docket Thursday night was the band Lights of Alora. This band hails from Pryor and describes themselves as Rock/Post Hardcore/Screamo on their Reverbnation page. While I would say this is a very apt description of these guys I would also say that this doesn't give them full justice. They put on a dazzling exhibition during their performance, incorporating their own lighting arrangement along with the house lights from Billy and Renee's.
They pulled out every stop during their set and backed up their musical skill with the type of onstage pageantry normally reserved for bands playing at a larger venue. Their final song of the night was a very original hard take on Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" that really got the crowd's attention and added a bit of humor to what was a great set.
The next band to take the stage was Nameless Society. From here in T-town, these guys have taken the risk of attempting a rap/rock band. But this risk has paid off in spades as they are becoming a staple band in the local area. Their skill set from each musician collectively truly demonstrates what is possible when the two genres are mixed in a unique and creative way. The drums are always on point, the bass grooves in each song encompass both styles of music, the guitar keeps true to the rock feel they envision and the lyrics are suitable and well pulled off by their frontman. Every time I've seen them perform it appears they are getting tighter and tighter with their act. They are an absolute joy to watch and the following that came to back them at BAR is an accurate representation of the success they are capable of achieving if they continue to push the envelope on their style.
And the final act to take the stage was Follow the Buzzards. Making the trip from Claremore, this is the most motley crew of musicians I've seen assembled in a long time. They are an eclectric group of individuals to say the least. And their appearance is as varied as the styles they can play. Anytime you go to see this band you can expect anything from classic rock stylings to punk rock to funk. They absolutely light up the stage and bring an unmatched amount of energy. Their panache is part of the charm that makes this band a must watch anywhere they play in town. I've had the pleasure of sharing the stage with this band before and they are as friendly as they are talented. To anyone out there reading this who books shows, I'd urge you to check this fine example of Tulsa talent out. They have never failed to bring the house down whenever they are asked to play a show and bring the same energy to every venue, large or small.
When the smoke cleared after from the fireworks display every band put on though, Nameless Society arose victorious and there was $252 in the pot. A well deserved win for this up and coming group. They will move on to play on March 30th in the final round. There are still three Thursdays left however to catch this spectacular event at Billy and Renee's. If you are a fan of local music it is a must see event, especially the final round with how much is on the line.
Below is a full gallery of selected images of each band that played on March 2nd: