The Demon Energy Battle of the Bands 2016 Championship came to its two-night header over the weekend with over 30 bands talking to the Kings Arms stage on Friday and Saturday July 22/23.
With the shows starting early and scheduled to run through until the wee hours it was a marathon weekend, under the watchful eye of resident audio engineer Mark Peterson, and delivered a suitably long list of category winners.
Third place went to popular Auckland musicians’ band Harvey Knows A Killer, with the second place prize going to another quality Auckland alt-rock four-piece, Royal Jackets. The big winners for 2016 turned out to be The Rubics – namely Rob Jatulan Jr, Brendon Thomas, Zel Kust, Jason Bell, Leo and Simon Opit – who hail from Auckland’s North Shore.
Other bands featuring in the top 10 scoring list were Rubita, Black Alpine, Otium, The Gentleman Callers, Nation, Empire and Egovalve.
Royal Jackets and Rubita shared honours for the best songwriting award. Jesse Samu from Otium was judged the best vocalist on show, while the most passionate performances were judged to be those from The Gentleman Callers, Black Alpine and Hearse Nurse.
Battle of the Bands’ organiser Andrew Featherstone congratulated all the bands for putting on such enthusiastic, quality sets via Facebook. Having initiated and pulled out of a last minute crowd funding campaign, and subsequently come under social media fire a week earlier, he hadn’t anticipated the Auckland cleansweep, but was pleased with the finals competitions, and remains confident about the event’s future. While admitting that both sponsorship income and door revenues have been light in 2016, ahead of the finals weekend NZ Battle of the Bands had already secured the international flights necessary to get the winners to and from their major prize of a European rock’n’roll tour.