Bands battle it out to secure opening spot for Dillo Day

Jeff Stone

It wasn’t quite Axl Rose versus Kurt Cobain, but Northwestern’s Battle of the Bands allowed campus groups to flash some of their more potent ammunition.

The battle, which packed Nevin’s Live Wednesday night, showcased 11 campus bands competing to open for the daylong concert on Dillo Day, May 25.

At the end of the night, only Porch Band, a bluegrass quintet, was left standing.

“They were by far the most original act and they had a lot of talent as well,” said Medill sophomore Ryan Dombal, a judge and nyou music editor. “They were very refreshing.”

Mayfest, which organized the battle and organizes Dillo Day, announced five of the six professional groups that will play the concert: Local H, The Dismemberment Plan, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Mystic and The Pages.

One additional group is still in contract negotiations.

“I’m really excited to see Local H,” Moses said. “I saw them at The Metro and they were awesome. I really hope that the additional group is Weezer.”

Speech junior Jeffrey Shuter, who DJs under the stage name jephreee, also will play because he won last year’s battle, but his performance was rained out.

For 4 Chord Max, a band that came up short in the battle, playing Dillo Day would have been the group’s largest audience yet.

“This is almost the most people we have played for,” said Tim Mooney, a senior and member of the band, before the results were announced.

“We usually just play bars. Dillo Day would be a great opportunity for us,” Mooney said.

The band was the first of six groups to perform Wednesday night. Five other groups competed last week.

The other nine bands were Lotus, Utility Room, Bleeding Charity, Die Trying, No Doctors, CDU, Alyssa Brightman & Co., MMHg and Buddha’s Belly.

Within the crowd, there was heavy debate over which was the top group.

“I think No Doctors should win,” said Lindsay Warshaw, a Weinberg junior. “They are the greatest music on our campus without a doubt.”

Others disagreed. As No Doctors played, Mooney sneered derisively at the stage.

“I don’t really care (who wins) as long as it’s not them,” he said.

Last week 326 people attended the concert, and this week more than 300 attended, according to the bar’s door attendant. Nevin’s usually takes in much business from NU students Wednesday through Saturday, said Dan Roberts, a Nevin’s bartender.

“This lets the people that run the music here have a chance to see what they can do,” he said.

Adam Moses, a Weinberg freshman, had a hard time choosing.

“They should let more than one play at Dillo Day,” he said.

Along with the daylong concert, Dillo Day is known for campuswide drunken debauchery. Last year, however, rain prevented performers including the Mighty Mighty Bosstones from playing.

“I’m looking forward to Dillo Day. I really hope it doesn’t rain,” Warshaw said “I think every day should be Dillo Day.”