News

Rain? What rain?

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

The Battle of the Bands had to duke it out with the rain Saturday.

Federal Way’s annual showdown of which rock band gets bragging rights as the best was hampered by rain and a lot of it. The competition started after 5 at the Steel Lake Skate Park, and by that time the audience was already soaked and many were taking refuge under some trees.

But the faithful stayed around for the music, which opened with Bloody Nectar and closed seven bands later with PRIS. Members of the audience were judging each band over a range of topics, from how they sounded to what they sang and if they stood in one place or moved to the beat. Each band had to have 25 minutes worth of material to play.

Aaron Moe, a coordinator of the event for the city, said the crowd was much smaller compared to 2003, when the stage was closer to South 312th Street and the grass didn’t see the sun because of the crowd standing on it. The rain was the make or break factor. Some bands even arrived long enough to play.

Still, Moe was impressed the bands and fans came out on a day that had new records set around the Puget Sound region for rainfall.

Truce was the winning band, and Embers Ablaze was the runnerup in final judging. Both bands won gift certificates for restaurants, concerts and clothing stores.

The drenched concert was also a promotion site for the city’s new youth center. EX3 is the name of the center, and Emma Lasko was busy handing out shirts to young concert goers.

Troy Hartelius and John Shepherd were checking the bands out, especially Years to Zero, because a friend was playing. Hartelius and Shepherd have been going to Battle of the Bands for three and two years respectively. They said they were laying the plans for their chance to play next year with their band, AWALL.

Jerry and Linda Keller were there to watch their daughter’s fiance play in Slaverace. The band has a following. While the group was setting up, the rain slowed and the fans started filling in their ranks and getting closer to the stage. It didn’t take long before Slaverace’s fans were making their approval known as the band went through its set.

Derek Oberlander was working his salesman groove, selling umbrellas to the crowd for $2 per. He said sales were going pretty good.

Derrick Bell said it was his first time playing at Battle of the Bands. The Bloody Nectar lead singer said the group has been together for a few months, playing mostly to friends. This was the first live show.

Bell said the microphones weren’t set properly and caused his voice to get drowned out behind the guitars. Also, they were running late and Bell could see event organizers were getting ready to shoo the band off. Bloody Nectar wasn’t about to leave that easily and ripped through its last two songs without stopping.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565, mhalliday@fedwaymirror.com

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