The second installment of the Battle of the Bands held at Billy and Renee’s Bar was loaded with a lot of talent, but only one would move on the final stage at the end of the night. The three bands playing this week were Contingency Plan, from Tulsa; Dixie Wrecked, also from Tulsa; and Judgement Finger, from Wichita, Kansas.
First on the stage was Contingency Plan, who delivered a soothing brand of indie rock. The song that really stuck with me was “Chaos” – the melody was super contagious, and Rosy
Mangual’s, the lead singer, rich alto had me moving to the beat without even realizing. Christine Bailey rocked on the drums, and when I asked Jett McCurley, the guitarist, about their bold choice to play without a bassist, he said “We sort of adapted to playing without it, we like the feel of it for now.” Local patron Danita Wright said Contingency Plan was “electric,” and that she had a ton of fun listening to them play.
Next up, Dixie Wrecked brought their unique country parodies on stage. One of the most interesting things about this band is their versatility; nobody stays put on an instrument. They have singers playing guitar, drummers taking over bass, and I’m pretty sure I saw a tambourine once or twice. Roger Seago III, Mike Meacham, Rick Tahdooahnippah (Jones), Jason Jaster, and Byron Mons make up this lively band. My favorite song of theirs is “Tear in my Beer” and after the show, I talked to Mike about how intense their stage presence was: “We brought the energy, and the crowd responded. It was a blast playing here.”
Tiffany McBee, another patron, said she “got chills” while they played. Someone threw a one billion dollar bill in their pot as a joke. Goes to show their fans have as good a sense of humor as the band itself.
Last, but definitely not least, was Judgement Finger. This punk metal band from Wichita, Kansas consists of Jimmy Shy, Ryan Leer, and Blake8Barnes, all on guitar, Dennis Stout on drums, and Johnny “Mustache” Doornbus as the lead vocalist. This veteran band has shared the stage with bands that even I’ve heard of – Twisted Sister, Texas Hippy Coalition, Styx – so they knew how to play the crowd. Judgement Finger is an energetic, eccentric band; they dressed very punk, their microphone resembled Negan’s Bat from The Walking Dead, and they had no problem pushing the drums to the limit.
Their song, “Ho Chi Minh” absolutely killed on the drums. Johnny told me after the show that he “loved the crowd, [they are] the perfect cross between absurdity and reality.” Local comic Jackson Nichols said Judgement Finger was “dressed to kill, and played to win. They definitely prepared for the show.”
Dixie Wrecked came out on top this round and after the money was counted up there was $242 total contributed. That puts the full total at $492 raised for the first place prize at Billy and Renee's to be given away on March 30th. There is still a lot of music to be played too. Thursday, March 16th they have Left Strait Down, Madcow and Alterblood battling it out for a spot in the finale. So come out and support your local bands, artists and venue!