By Nadia Abdulahi (Staff Writer)
The 12th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands was held at the Georgia Dome this Saturday.
Before the showcase, 40 bands nationwide competed to participate in the event. Then, only eight are selected to participate in the Battle of the Bands, depending on which university receives the most votes from online and text vote results.
V103 DJ Ryan Cameron hosted the event with DJ Baby Yu (a.k.a. “The Remix Kid”). Throughout the showcase, all audience members participated in “Party Time” or Ol Skool (those who are 26 and up) versus Nu Skool dance-offs.
Another competition was to win a brand new Honda Civic. The competitors were two female singers and one male rapper who performed original songs. The winner for the 2014 HBOB FAME contest (and the winning school of Battle of the Bands) is determined by audience members texting their favorite throughout the show. For the HBOB FAME contest, the winner was Nica Nashae of Kennesaw who said, “Always strive to be your best.”
During the half-time, Big Sean performed several hits including “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay” and “Mercy.”
Each band played with precision, rhythm, and enthusiasm. As DJ Ryan Cameron said, “This is how we throw it down in the ATL!”
For 2014, the eight finalists were Alabama A & M University’s Marching Maroon and White, Alabama State University’s Mighty Marching Hornets, Bethune-Cookman University’s Marching Wildcats, Morehouse College’s Marching Maroon Tigers, North Carolina A & T University’s Blue and Gold Marching Machine, South Carolina State University’s Marching 101, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South, and Winston-Salem State University’s The Red Sea of Sound.
A crowd favorite was South Carolina State University who paid tribute to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. It was interesting to see that South Carolina State had male color guard performers.
Speaking of diversity, Alabama State University had the only “pleasantly plump” dancers who performed vibrantly to Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.” The audience cheered for them as they performed even better than some of their skinnier counterparts.
A clear crowd favorite was North Carolina A&T University’s band, which played a variety of music including Justin Timberlake. Mid-way through the performance, people dressed in medieval attire came out carrying a throne.
Suddenly, a girl got up from the throne and started performing with batons while leading the dance team. Overall, the band’s theme was “regal” in attire and performance style. And, in the end, North Carolina A&T was declared the winner of Battle of the Bands.
The Battle of the Bands is definitely a display of students’ hard work, choreographed dance moves (performed by band, dance, and color guard members), and “heart-pounding” music. It is an event that everyone-regardless of age, gender, or race-can truly enjoy!