Battle of the Bands features four OU bands

The Habitat was filled with music, fans and good vibes on March 22 when the Student Program Board (SPB) hosted their annual Battle of the Bands. Four bands performed in front of the students, with music ranging from metal to Japanese rock.

The event was kicked off by third year emcee Daryl Blackburn, coordinator of leadership and service programs in the Office for Student Involvement (OSI). Blackburn said turnout was good, and he is looking forward to future events where more and more people seem to be attending.

“I love it because I think students love to come out and, one, support each other, but then, two, just be able to hear the performances and just have a second away from the stress,” Blackburn said. “For me, it’s super fun, because I get to, one, be around students, and then, two, see the talent.”

After a warm welcome and a slight delay, Blackburn was able to get things going and handed it off to the bands.

The first to go on was the group Currently Unknown, a rock band whose own description of themselves is currently unknown. Playing songs like “Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure and “We Are Young” by fun., they started the night off strong.

Next up was a metal band from Metro Detroit named APOTEH. Billed as hating corporations and loving the planet, they did what they sought out to do by rocking the house with four of their own original songs.

The third act was LiVING Ai, a group influenced by Japanese rock music. They released their first single, “Summer Checklist,” in December 2022, and kept the energy high as they returned to the Battle of the Bands stage after appearing at last year’s event.

The closer for the night was Nathan Gonzales, a pop-rock/indie artist, who, alongside his band, already has four singles out on Spotify. Playing a mix of original songs and covers, he ended the night by keeping everyone entertained, even covering “Ripped Pants” from “Spongebob Squarepants.”

After some fan voting, Gonzales was deemed the winner and received a prize valued at $500 for him to choose at a later date. The former OU student was not expecting to win, but said it felt great.

“I think it was fantastic — it was actually my band’s first time ever performing on a stage like this, and also our first time together,” Gonzales said. “I like to say that I feel at home on stage, and I like to visualize everybody as my friends.”

Gonzales is part of two other bands, Lyons Lane and drive safe!, and is on his way to releasing an EP. To celebrate, he will be having a concert on April 14 at The Loving Touch in Ferndale.

Three of the bands from the event can be found on Instagram @apoteh.ig, and @nathangonzalesmusic, while Currently Unknown can be found on campus at WXOU.

For more information on future SPB events, follow them on Instagram or go to their GrizzOrgs page. Some upcoming events include International Night on March 31 in the Founders Ballrooms at 5 p.m. and Drag Queen Bingo with Naysha Lopez on April 5 in the Banquet Rooms at 7 p.m.