Crowd decides band battle champs

By Jay Ibarra

DeKalb | This year’s Battle of the Bands ended with a crowd tiebreaker between two returning bands ­— Charlie Haley and I, the Martian.

This is the third year Battle of The Bands was hosted at NIU and Kimberly Manno, Holmes Student Center events programmer, said this was the first time in history that Battle of the Bands has ever ended in a tiebreaker. The event was hosted by freshman marketing major Lydell Curry.

Lindsay Powell

The show opened with singer Lindsay Powell, a pianist with a powerhouse of a voice. Powell’s only instruments were her soulful vocals and a grand piano.

Powell’s most memorable song was a mashup of popular hits all played in four-chords, popularly known as the “Four Chord Song” by Axis of Awesome.

“I liked it because there are so many songs in one you can notice,” Powell said.

Despite being the only one-person act, Powell set a powerful mood for all of the acts to follow.

Subatomic Wiggle Room

Subatomic Wiggle Room is a band so musically strong that its setlist consisted of songs with solos that showed off each of its instrumental strengths. From artists like Jimmy Eat World, Magic! and Maroon 5, the familiarity of the band’s setlist brought continuous cheers from the audience.

The band experienced a series of mic troubles during the middle of their set while playing “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. Lead singer Jaclyn Fowler walked across stage while continuing to sing to find a working mic until the sound came back on right as the song picked up in the perfect place. The chorus sent a chilling effect as she continued on.

Charlie Haley

Last year’s third place winner, Charlie Haley, performed its set and even got the audience’s participation during the performance.

The chant was “mama knows best,” a call-to-action, ‘50s style crowd pleaser that had everyone smiling and recalling the tune. The band had great energy and was comfortable as members on stage easily got the audience’s involvement during the set.

The Mondo Tones

The Mondo Tones changed the feel of the entire night with their refreshing, cool and psychedelic rock sound. The audience went wild as guitarist Mike Good went for a behind-the-head guitar playing trick. The band performed a set full of cool coastal vibes, and rough and new aged rock.


The final contender of the evening, I, the Martian, threw everything they had into their performance. Drummer Lionel Morales jammed so hard throughout the set that he was continuously fixing his snare drum and at one point lost his stick. That didn’t affect the band’s overall performance as they fought their way to victory.

The band has been in several competitions and finally has been able to clinch a victory at the battle.