Local rock talent battles it out

Ben Lippert

The 2011 battle of the bands event put on by the University Programming Council drew five upcoming South Dakota bands; a reminder of the musical talent in our state.

The bands dueled each other with their stage presence, guitar rifts and penetrating vocals. At the end of the night, only one band could take home the spoils, which included a crafty trophy and a $500 award.

Winning the top prize was “More Than Heroes,” a five-piece band based out of Pierre, SD.

Although the band is originally from Pierre, the majority of its members have spent some time at SDSU. Raury Cruse and Graham Schuetzle are freshmen, and Luke Schuetzle is a 2009 graduate.

“It’s weird playing with a bunch of little kids, but they’re all amazingly talented and it’s just been a blast,” Luke Schuetzle said.

Schuetzle said the money will help pay for gas, but for him and the members of “More Than Heroes,” it’s clear that getting the chance to perform is the biggest reward.

“Lost Autumn,” a Rapid City based metal band won runner-up, and “More Than Heroes” double-dipped, winning the fan favorite.

The winners were picked by a panel of judges and total fan votes. The judges based their selections on five categories: musicianship, originality, stage presence, crowd response, and overall performance.

UPC concert coordinator, Ashley Dumke said finding bands to perform was difficult but she was pleased with the turnout.

“I really like the battle of the bands event because I’m paying an artist around Brookings instead of one from California,” Dumke said.

Other performances were by “The Broken Resolve,” “The Tinder Box,” and “Across the Flying Circus.”