CU Denver’s Battle of the Bands
Hard Rock Cafe hosts CAM’s best and brightest
On April 19, CU Denver’s most talented musicians were put on display to win the ultimate competition: Battle of the Bands. CU Denver Live! hosted the event at the Hard Rock Cafe inside the Denver Pavilions. The event featured four groups, all of varying genres and styles. The winning group will be given the opportunity to perform at the seventh annual CU Denver Block Party this fall to kick off the 2018-19 school year.
The first group that was featured on the four-name bill was NEPO—a hip hop producer from San Diego, California. When asked about her sound, NEPO said, “I’ve been told that I sound like the internet, but genre-wise it’s a blend of So-Cal rock and hip hop.” NEPO’s influences include: Slightly Stoopid and Linkin Park, the artist is inspired by both of the groups’ reputations with fusing rap a
nd traditional singing. NEPO got her start in music at 10 years old playing guitar, which she taught herself, and with classical piano lessons.
The second group featured at the event was Stop Motion, a “hipster soul” group, originally from Portland, Oregon. Stop Motion is influenced by Hiatus Kaiyote, Joni Mitchell, and Esperanza Spalding. The group originally began when the group’s guitarist, Evan Lei, moved to Denver for school. The group’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Faith Allen, began writing songs back in Oregon as a goodbye project. The songs and sound eventually turned into the group present today.
Fresh Fruit!, the runner up, described their sound as alternative R&B. “Just like their fruits’ freshness, they are also all ‘freshmen’ here at CU Denver,” CU Denver Live! said when announcing the group.
The first group to perform, and the group to win the title, at CU’s second-ever Battle of the Bands was Violet’s Gun. The three-piece group began when the members were seniors in high school and lead singer, Jack McCombs, had their first record to release but needed bandmates to play live. The group describes themselves as “hard rock with 90’s grunge, a twist of modern sound, and metal drumming.” Violet’s Gun is influenced by bands like Muse, Nirvana, Royal Blood, Pink Floyd, and Dream Theater. Violet’s Gun won the title and will be the opening band for the CU Denver Block Party’s live music portion on August 23.
All of the groups that were available to comment unanimously agreed that the event is a great way to broaden their audience and introduce themselves to each other’s fan base. “It’s a really cool opportunity for bands to get their foot in the door and meet other bands that are in a similar position,” Lei said. “Even though it’s a competition, we’re all rooting for each other.”