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Battle of the Bands rocks Hagerstown

July 28, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

When the Downtown Live Battle of the Bands started cranking up Saturday morning, nap time probably was over for any sleeping babies within several blocks of the parking lot behind Baltimore Street Station.

But those who shelled out $5 to gain admission to the show seemed happy with the volume, as were those who avoided the fee by gathering in the parking lots of adjacent businesses to hear and see the show.

Eleven bands performed for the inaugural event, said Toni Britton, who organized the Battle of the Bands with her father, Jeff Britton.

"My dad booked all the bands, and I'm handling the logistics - the million details to make this work," Toni Britton said.

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Though the heat seemed to be affecting turnout, Britton said she wasn't worried.

"People have been flowing in and out, and will probably all be back to applaud for their favorite band at the end," she said.

The original prizes were $500 for the band receiving the most applause, $250 for second place and $100 for third, but Britton said the top three bands - The Pham, Dimestore Profit and Calisus - decided to split the $850 in prize money.

"The crowd cheered so loud, we couldn't distinguish between first, second and third, so the top three bands decided to split the money evenly," Britton said.

Julia Ross and her friend, Rosemary Bowins, came over from Potomac Towers. They brought chairs, water and their lunches.

"I love to listen to younger music," Ross said. "It's nice to see young people doing something good with their time."

Drew Adams, 20, of Waynesboro, Pa., is the lead vocalist for Dimestore Profit, and also substitutes with Basement. He said the parking lot was a cool venue for young bands.

"I hope to make music my career," Adams said, mopping the sweat from his brow.

Dimestore Profit's drummer, Patrick McCullough, also professed that music is his life.

McCullough, 21, said he and his fellow band members have been able to keep the band together even through college.

"I graduated with a business degree, so I can afford to stay in the band," McCullough said.

Toni Britton said there will be another Battle of the Bands at the Baltimore Street Station parking lot on Sept. 8, leading up to a third competition in Hagerstown's Public Square on Oct. 20.

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