FIZZ wins Battle of the Bands, looks forward to first Dillo Day set


Source: Paul Kim

FIZZ practicing in Annenberg Hall before the group’s Battle of the Bands win. The 10-member group will open up the Dillo Day main stage on Saturday.

Stephen Council, Reporter

Morgan Buckley had been recently accepted to transfer to Northwestern when she came to visit her high school friend and bandmate Paul Kim for one of campus’ most anticipated days of the year: Dillo Day 2017. Now, two years later, Buckley and Kim are set to perform on Dillo’s main stage themselves.

“It’s just a literal dream,” said Kim, a Weinberg senior. “This is the best Northwestern ever. It’s a lot of music, it’s a lot of fun.”

Kim and Weinberg junior Buckley are in FIZZ, a 10-member band that earned a spot in the Dillo Day lineup by winning Mayfest’s Battle of the Bands last Thursday. Mayfest co-chair Molly Dudas said the winner was chosen by judges inside and outside of the organization. The criteria included technical ability, crowd involvement, band dynamic and “fit for Dillo.”

This year was the second time competing and first win for the band, which specializes in funk, R&B and Latin music and plays a mix of cover songs and original music.

Five of FIZZ’s musicians are Northwestern students, the other five coming from a previous indie rock group called Elise and the Police. That band, of which Buckley and Kim are the only Northwestern students, gained some traction in Chicago — it headlined a 2015 House of Blues show and appeared on the Fox 32 TV station in 2016.

At last year’s Battle of the Bands, 10 members strong, FIZZ lost to what Kim called a “very well-deserved” Wop St. Bass Ritual. Since, FIZZ has improved its chemistry to the point that Buckley said the many rehearsals for this year’s competition didn’t feel like work at all. The growth paid off with last Thursday’s win and Buckley said she’s excited to perform at Dillo without the competitive battle environment.

“I get to do my favorite thing ever with actually my favorite people that I have ever met. That’s so insane,” Buckley said.

FIZZ’s Dillo success may determine how the future looks, but with many of the group’s graduating seniors staying in the Chicago area, Buckley said the band will keep playing over the summer and that she hopes the exposure will be helpful in landing more shows.

In recent years, the chance to perform at Dillo has acted as a launching pad for Battle of the Bands winners. Derivations of a jazz band eventually called The Syndicate won each year from 2014-2016, and tenor saxophonist Alex Gandolfo (Weinberg/Bienen ‘16) said the Dillo exposure increased the bands popularity and helped the group book gigs in ensuing months. Bienen sophomore Jacob Galdes, guitarist for Wop St. Bass Ritual (now known as Honey Butter), said Dillo was the band’s first professional performance and helped the group believe in themselves.

“We were able to engage the crowd and put together a good set for this kind of venue, like: ‘Why not? Why not keep doing this? This was such a blast,’” Galdes said.

Mayfest’s website tallies the number of festival attendees at 12,000, making it the largest student-run music festival in the country. FIZZ will join a lineup that features A$AP Ferg, Teyana Taylor, Daya,Monique Heart and student DJ Luminosity. Kim said Hippo Campus, who will follow up FIZZ on Saturday, is one of his favorite bands, but playing on the same stage as them won’t even be the best part.

“The thing I’m looking forward to the most is definitely just being on the stage with Morgan and everyone else and looking out onto the water and our friends, who are going to be there, and just playing music for them,” Kim said. “How can I think of a better way to end my senior year?”

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