Students compete for Battle of the Bands title
NineTies frontman Brandon Michealis performs during the annual Battle of the Bands, Wednesday, Nov. 23, in Kennedy Union. (San Kumar/ Staff Photographer)
NineTies takes victory, will open for spring concert
By: Mary Kate Dorr – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton’s best and brightest musicians competed in this year’s Battle of the Bands competition Saturday, Nov. 23, in Kennedy Union Pub.
The battle, presented by the Campus Concert Committee, consisted of sets from four bands composed entirely of UD students: Schneider & Co., The Leap Years, the People and NineTies. Each band brought both skill and personality as they competed for the opportunity to be the opening act for the Campus Concert Committee’s annual spring concert, although the headlining performer has yet to be announced.
After roughly three hours of talent and high-energy performances, a victor was announced: NineTies will be the opening act for this year’s spring performer. The band’s pure happiness upon being announced winner was almost tangible, especially after coming in second place by only six popular votes to Lauren Eylise and the Part Time Lovers last year.
The eight band members have only been together under the name NineTies since the beginning of the semester, previously known as Brendan and the Bandits, because guitar and vocals are led by music major Brendan Michaelis.
“The new name just clicked,” said Matt Sprague, a electrical engineering major who plays piano for the band.
Saxophonist and music therapy major Chris Satariano said the band did not even realize they were drawn to playing songs from the 90s and early 2000s until the name was suggested.
“We play the songs we can relate to,” said McMonagle. “It’s the music we grew up with.” These familiar songs brought energy to both the musicians and the audience as the band performed covers of “All Star” by Smashmouth, “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind and an introductory excerpt from Outkast’s “Roses,” decked out in jerseys and backwards baseball hats.
Although driven by songs from this generation’s childhood, each band member had a variety of influences individually.
Music education major and trumpet player Andy Killeen has several inspirations for his musical career, including Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz and Streetlight Manifesto. McMonagle and Satariano both agreed that Dave Matthews Band is a major influence, and Michaelis said that Sublime and Streelight Manifesto are where he draws personal inspiration.
Despite being influenced by major musical icons, drummer and public relations major Matt Graves said that the band as a whole does not have a specific genre influence. Bassist and music major Kieran Grace, however, insisted that Celine Dion is their biggest inspiration.
Collectively, the band’s favorite song to preform is their original piece “Rainfall,” also a favorite among NineTies’ fan base.
“When people think NineTies, they think of ‘Rainfall.’ It’s become our staple,” said Michaelis.
Opening for Campus Concert Committee’s spring concert this year will be the largest audience NineTies has performed for. Previously, their biggest show took place at the Barn Jam, although the band has high hopes to play this summer at Dayton 2 Daytona. D2D is one of many goals the band holds for the future.
NineTies is in the process of releasing an EP album and hope to continue writing music together and promoting themselves.
Regarding their victory, the band members expressed their happiness and gratitude for the accomplishment.
“We love making music together,” said McMonagle. It’s not hard to see how much time and effort the band mates, and friends, put in to create the best possible product. “We want to thank the Campus Concert Committee, fans and judges for helping us reach this incredible accomplishment,” said McMonagle and Michaelis.
NineTies makes it a priority to practice every day, despite each of their hectic schedules and the 20 plus credit hour curriculum of the five music majors.
“Even if we had lost, we were not looking to beat out the other bands,” said saxophonist and psychology major Fernie Martinez. “We’re happy we won because it’s a chance for improvement and we’re always looking for improvement.”