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It's never too hot to rock

Battle of Bands brings end to ChambersFest

July 24, 2010|By DANA BROWN
  • Daniel Sheets, left, guitarist and vocalist, and Travis Turner, guitarist, perform with their band Breach of Silence at the Battle of the Bands competition Saturday in Chambersburg, Pa.
Dana Brown, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Six rock 'n' roll bands battled the heat and each other for top honors Saturday at the first Battle of the Bands contest.

The event at Chambersburg Memorial Park was sponsored by the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Verstandig Broadcasting and other ChambersFest sponsors to close out the community's annual ChambersFest celebration.

Kathy Leedy, events coordinator for the Chamber, said 25 to 30 local or regional bands submitted CDs for consideration before the competition was narrowed to the final six bands, who earned the chance to play live before a panel of three judges and an audience Saturday.

The bands in the competition were Dreams in Fear, Breach the Silence, Love Hate Thing, Mad Era, Black Materia and Golden Butter Band.

Leedy said she expected between 500 and 1,000 people to turn out for the event.

"We like to offer low-cost events for the whole family," Leedy said. "And this one's free."

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Blake Truman, general manager for Verstandig Broadcasting in Greencastle, Pa., said the final six bands were selected for their "musicality."

"We tried to get bands representing different rock styles, all in the rock universe," he said.

Each band performed a 40-minute set of original music only. The winning band, selected by the judges, was to be awarded $300 and one week of promotion on 101.5 Bob Rocks as well as airtime on the station in early August, Truman said.

People in the crowd also could vote for their favorite band for a $1 donation, Leedy said.

Lori Farner and Mike Lehman, both of Chambersburg, braved the heat and the sun, placing their blanket on the lawn in front of the Memorial Park band shell to enjoy the music.

Lehman said it's never too hot to rock.

Farner disagreed.

"I'm into country," she said with a laugh. "I just came because of him."

Matt Cissel of State Line, Pa., said the heat couldn't keep him away from the concert.

"The music and the park -- it's a fun place to be on a hot day," he said.

Melissa Ocker and her children, Kloe, 9, and Luke, 6, watched from a shady spot beneath a tree.

"I thought they would like to see the live bands," Melissa Ocker said. Both of her children want to be musicians some day, she said.

Rick Batka, guitarist with Golden Butter Band of Shepherdstown, W.Va., waited patiently for his opportunity to perform. He said the Battle of the Bands offered the musicians a "cool opportunity."

"It's really an honor," he said.

Breach the Silence guitarist Travis Turner of Martinsburg, W.Va., said his band was "incredibly excited" to be part of the competition.

"We don't get to play shows like this," he said. "I love the event."

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