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Should've Been Cowboys wins Battle of the Bands

Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013

Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 21:10


Caleb Stewart

Clayton Tumilson, guitar player and lead singer of Should've Been Cowboys, performs a song for students Friday evening in Rudder Fountain Plaza.

Students slowly filled Rudder Plaza Friday night, attracted by the sounds of musical tones and vocals echoing from the stage. Instruments crowded the area, signifying the beginning of MSC Town Hall’s musical standoff, Battle of the Bands.

Three judges — Nathan Hogg, senior mechanical engineering major; Rahul Dhuka, senior biomedical engineering major; and Mackenzie Mullis, senior English major and lifestyles editor for The Battalion — recorded scores and monitored the bands for smoothness of performance, stage presence, sound, time and crowd appeal.

Abby and the Philharmonics, The Lounge, Should’ve Been Cowboys, King and Nation and Bad Cat offered their signature styles during Friday night’s display. All of the bands added their own flair to the traditional drum and guitar sound, whether vocal depth, instrument variation or manner of play. At the end of the night, Should’ve Been Cowboys won the vote from the judges and $500.

“We weren’t really expecting [to win],” said lead singer and guitarist Clayton Tumilson. “This is our first real victory as a band.”

Should’ve Been Cowboys showcased its Kings-of-Leon-style and performed songs “New Home,” “Llama Beats” and “The Cigarette Song,” all originals. The members said they have been performing shows all month and are humble with their future plans.

“We’re working at it one day at a time,” Tumilson said.

The other bands delivered unique performances as well. Abby and Philharmonics were the opening act and showcased the vocals and keyboarding skills of Abby Sieverling, who performed a Taylor Swift-like tribute to the Corps of Cadets and Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” rap cover with a beat boxing loop of the tune.

Sieverling said the Macklemore cover is a fun song to play.

“It was really hard to breathe, but I like that one,” Sieverling said.

The Lounge presented its rock, jazz and R&B blend to its songs, “Karma Girl” and “Gesture.”

“I think they did [enjoy it],” drummer Travis Knight said of the crowd. “I saw quite a few bobbing heads and we did the way we practice so that’s always what you want.”

King and Nation was energetic on stage as it offered its acoustic rock sound to the audience. The band performed original songs, “Two Times,” “Ignite,” “Cross in the Backyard” and “I Am Spartacus.” Guitarist Frank Miller sat down his guitar and pulled out sticks to play the drums during one of the acts. He spoke highly of his band mates for helping deliver a good performance.

“I think they did awesome,” Miller said. “Stan’s a better guitarist than I am, Austin’s amazing at bass and our drummer’s fantastic.”

Bad Cat spread its reggae, funk and rock brand of music to the audience as the final act of the night. It performed songs including, “Beautiful Day,” “Flood and “LOVE.” Lead singer Marcus Rodriguez sang for all the performances despite facing a cracked voice.

“I wouldn’t say it was our best performance, but we gave it a good run,” Rodriguez said. “I enjoyed it. The guys enjoyed it. They seem happy so that’s the main thing about it. Every one walked away smiling.”

Battle of the Bands lasted three hours with a few mechanical complications prior to some bands’ performances, but when the time arose to take the stage, they had no problems playing in front of the audience.

“They sounded very professional,” said retired health and kinesiology department employee Bob Knight.

Spectators said they really appreciated the bands’ performances.

“Battle of the Bands was off the hook,” said senior electrical engineering major Kevin Penny. “College Station will never be the same.”


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