Habitat for Humanity brings awareness to hunger and homelessness through music

Habitat for Humanity kicked off Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with the Battle of the Bands.

The annual Battle of the Bands rocked the Mabel Brown Room at Keene State College on Nov. 15. Five bands competed for the first place title: Llua, Kurtosis, Eyes for Others, he Mabel Brown Room and the James Bird Band. Admission was $3 per person or $5 for two people.

Contributed Photo / Sarah Bean

Contributed Photo / Sarah Bean

Audience members could vote for their favorite band with a raffle ticket given to them upon entry, but more raffle tickets could be purchased for 25 cents each. Although the winning band did not receive a prize, the money raised went towards a beneficial cause.

“We do fundraisers throughout the year for our tithing location,” Sarah Bean, KSC senior and Habitat for Humanity member, said, “This year we chose Madagascar so all of the money will go towards that.”

Jeremiah Miller of Habitat for Humanity explained that every chapter of the group has an international tithing location that needs aid.

“They have a really bad problem with human trafficking and poverty,” Miller said, “The money will hopefully go towards building low-income housing for people who need it.”

Miller said that they sent out casting calls to draw in bands. Claiming a stage slot was free for bands, the only requirement was that band members must be current KSC students or alumni.

Miller said six bands were scheduled to play, but one dropped their entry last minute.

Despite this, the bands present transitioned smoothly and blasted their music from the stage. Most of the bands fell into the alternative rock or metal genre, except for the James Bird Band who played with more of an acoustic feel. Singer and guitarist of the James Bird Band Nick Tornatore described their genre as “vocal-heavy” in comparison to the “instrument-heavy” bands performing before them.

Bean admitted the turn out for Battle of the Bands was less than satisfactory upon commencement, but added that “most people show up for ‘their’ band.” Eyes for Others, the winners last year and opener for Student Activities Council’s presentation of Four Year Strong this year, expected a large turn-out.

She said the Mabel Brown Room and the James Bird Band were also expected to draw more of a crowd. Approximately 50 people paid to see the competition in total.

The bands involved seemed not to care about the competition aspect, but simply wanted to play in the Mabel Brown Room for the stage and acoustics. Kurt Daniels, singer and guitarist for Kurtosis, said they didn’t enter with intention to win.

“We didn’t even care about winning at all. It’s just a fun venue to play,” Daniels said, “I like playing in the Mabel Brown Room.”

For his performance, Daniels wore wrestling tights and donned a bright red mask. “I just always wanted a luchador costume,” Daniels said.

Daniels jumped off stage during one of their songs and also kicked one of the drummer’s symbols, unintentionally knocking it over.

The flamboyancy must have worked because Kurtosis was deemed the winner with the James Bird Band coming in close second.


Allie Baker can be contacted at abaker@keene-equinox.com 

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