Stattic takes home the gold at WHUS’s annual Battle of the Bands 

Four bands played for a large crowd of both UConn students and other members of the community at the Battle of the Bands. Photo by Emily O’Bannon/The Daily Campus

Music and moshing were afoot on Saturday at WHUS’s annual Battle of the Bands event at the University of Connecticut. Students were treated to a plethora of seven different UConn-based bands in the Student Union Ballroom. 

Students who work at the WHUS radio station were not able to compete due to conflicts of interest, so immediately prior to Battle of the Bands, a WHUS artist showcase was held. Three bands featuring WHUS student staff members took the stage. U. N. Faisal Project kicked off the night with funky basslines, classic covers and a jam band rendition of Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” that gave way to ballroom dancing among the audience. 

Punk outfit microplastiks switched up the pace with fast riffs, spooky keys and lots of attitude, upping the audience’s energy in preparation for the final act of the WHUS showcase. Dash Cam, proclaimed UConn’s only hardcore band, pulled off a brutal set to great success. Audience members were pummeled with animalistic vocals and aggressive instrumentation, a perfect fit for the moshes that ensued during the performance.  

With the end of Dash Cam’s set, the WHUS artist showcase concluded and the Battle of the Bands commenced. GunkCrab was first up, treating the audience to their signature brand of gunk rock. With the endlessly looping “Crab Rave” video playing on the background screen, it was clear that the battle was off to an excellent start.  

Indie rock outfit RockGati followed up. With audience members singing along, as well as an increase in energy, the band appeared to be favorites among many. The three-piece went on to win the first round against GunkCrab, competing in the final face-off round later in the evening.  

Hip-hop collective Stattic kicked off the second preliminary round, contrasting the previous groups’ sounds with a saxophone, trumpet and smooth rapping courtesy of front man Joey Soprano. Each member of the five-piece band was given time to shine. Breakdancing and regular dancing was infectious among the audience. Stattic won their round against the following band. 

Punk group Melovictoria finished off the second round. With both original songs and a Pierce the Veil cover, they conjured mosh pits with their high-energy performance. They proved that the evening was filled to the brim with standout local artists that should be on your radar.  

How did WHUS choose this lineup?  

“In December, we sent out forms for bands to fill out. This included them sending in preliminary ‘audition videos’ or clips that we used to decide if we’d give them a live audition slot,” said WHUS Event Coordinator Lee McAndrews, a sixth-semester biological sciences major. “We offered live auditions to about six bands that were held in mid-January, and we narrowed it down to four competing bands. We were looking for bands that were musically pretty tight and would have good crowd engagement. We also wanted bands that would hold a level of professionalism while still being fun!” 

It certainly appears they succeeded in all fronts, as audience members were consistently engaged and energetic throughout the night.  

Four bands played for a large crowd of both UConn students and other members of the community at the Battle of the Bands. Photo by Emily O’Bannon/The Daily Campus

Stattic and RockGati faced off in the final round, each playing one last song. Both gave exceptional performances. Stattic’s infectious grooves and unmatched levels of swagger proved they were here to stay. Meanwhile, RockGati cranked the mayhem up to 100, performing a sprawling track that gave way to two separate moshes at different stages of the song.  

While the results of the first round was decided by UConn Late Night staff, who helped with the event overall, the final round was voted on by the audience. In the end, Stattic won the competition, taking home the prize of performing at WHUS’s annual Spring Fling concert later this semester.  

If nothing else, the seven bands that performed on Saturday made it clear that there is no shortage of local talent at UConn.  

“All of these bands are pretty known in the music scene at UConn but providing them this space to perform might introduce some cool bands to people don’t always have the chance to catch house shows,” McAndrews said.  

You can keep up with future WHUS events by following their Instagram @whusradio

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