Battle 4 Bacchanal: A High School Relic for the Collegiate Set

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From a Cypher organized by CUSH, the winning group, earlier this year

The Abacchalypse approacheth—only 14 days away! Last night, CU Records hosted a battle of the bands to see which Columbia band would get to open for inimitable Snoop Dogg and Das Racist. We now know that CUSH (Columbia University Society of Hip-Hop) came out on top, but Bwog’s resident Rocker Groupie Lily Icangelo was there to give us a more atmospheric look at the evening.

The term “Battle of the Bands” recalls beautiful high school nostalgia—you know, when bands with names like “Xtreme Darkness” and “Fallen Angelz” would duke it out in a half empty school gymnasium for the coveted prize of a $50 Guitar Center gift card. Luckily, CU Records’ Battle 4 Bacchanal left the bleak awkwardness of those high school squabbles out of this grown up college version of Battle of the Bands.

Despite its unfortunately lame name, Lerner Party Space managed to transform itself into the perfect venue for this event. The crowd around the stage was sizeable and pleasantly packed while the line for the bathroom was non-existent (the true markings of a successful night)!

It can sometimes be hard to find genuine excitement and enthusiasm in the typical jaded college student, but the audience at Battle 4 Bacchanal seemed genuinely entertained by the surprisingly talented bands. The audience’s excitement was key, as their active participation was part of the voting process. Every band had its own code that the audience could text as their vote to a special Battle 4 Bacchanal phone number.

Each act was very well received by the audience, but there were definitely a couple of crowd favorites. A loud group of fans chanted “Blaxel! Blaxel!” both before and after the band played. Blaxel didn’t let their chanting fans down as they played an energetic set of catchy pop/rock songs. The voice that came out of Meghna Prasad, CC ’11, was unexpectedly strong and soulful, while her stage presence left a powerful impact on the audience.

Listening to the audience was almost as entertaining as listening to the bands. During one band’s set, a group of guys stood in the middle of the crowd discussing how easy forming a band and performing would probably be: “No dude like playing the guitar is really not that hard, you just put your hands on the strings, learn five chords, and you can write super popular songs. That’s all that these guys are doing.” Later in the night, the always-pleasing Night Eyes inspired some interesting dance moves from the audience as well as a couple of public make-out sessions.

CUSH (Columbia University Society of Hip-Hop), the largest group of the competition in both members and in sound, was the overwhelming crowd favorite, so it was no surprise when they were announced as the winners. The crowd seemed to double when CUSH came to the stage. They played a set that had everyone up on their feet jumping and swaying to the beat (or at least trying to move in some sort of rhythmically correct manner).

It’s nice to know that a group that inspired so much genuine zeal from the Columbia audience will take the Bacchanal stage at the end of this month. After the fantastic show that CUSH put on last night, it can only be assumed that they will play an equally, if not more, entertaining show when they open will Snoop Dog and Das Racist.

Image via http://welcometocush.tumblr.com/





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  1. not that im disappointed  

    but CUSH was definitely not the best of the bands. Half the people in there were there because the people of CUSH told em to go and vote for them. I guess thats fair ...

    • WELL

      maybe if the other bands had a bigger fan base, or more dedicated friends, they would've won. it's a hip hop takeover baby and "we wont stop at all till we make it to the top at bacchanal"

  2. "Despite its unfortunately lame name"  

    Why are we allowed to say "lame" but not "gay"?
    I have a friend in a wheelchair, who probably doesn't care about either usage, but I'm just wondering.

  3. Alexis

    A number of people think saying lame is ableist and offensive.

  4. Anonymous  

    on that note, i say we ban the use of the word "stupid," too. i know many people who would find that offensive.

  5. While we're at it...  

    "Not cool" is pretty offensive to people who aren't cool; some have disorders like Asperger's Syndrome that make it very difficult to be socially adept.

    • Anonymous

      Shitty analogy - when one pejoratively comments on something by saying it is gay or lame, they are directly connecting a certain sexual preference or disability with regards to the legs with a negative connotation. Saying someone is not cool implies no inherent distaste with regards to aspergers, as being "not cool" is not at all an innate attribute of aspergers - your definition of cool also seems to be pretty narrow and juvenile. - and don't be an asshole, ok?

  6. you guys are all

    lame, gay and not cool bunch of queers. Freedom of speech bitches.

  7. NE6

    night eyes would have killed it if the sound system was working..

  8. Anonymous

    SNOOP DOGG!! so pimp-ly!!
    sorry guys, I'm just excited :(

  9. just came back from Brown...  


  10. seriously  

    more hip hop/rap... seriously

  11. huh?  

    \the line for the bathroom was non-existent (the true markings of a successful night)!\
    why would that be a part of a successful night? wouldn't it be the opposite....?

  12. Where was my sound check?  

    Had the sound system been working appropriately for CUSH, we would've won unanimously instead of overwhelmingly.

  13. Anonymous

    actually it was a 25 dollar gift certificate plus one of those gift wrapped tins of peanuts. that didn't make it any less glorious

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