On Campus, Arts

Battle of the Bands Winners to Compete in BC’s Best

In the quiet halls of O’Connell House, the annual Battle of the Bands competition turned a common study space into a concert hall filled with good music, friends, and fun. 

Battle of the Bands, organized by the Boston College Music Guild, is made up of two categories: singer-songwriter and, of course, the bands. Among the competitors, three singers and three bands will then move forward to compete in BC’s Best during Boston College’s annual Arts Festival. The winner of BC’s Best will then go on to headline BC’s annual Modstock concert. 

On Sunday night at O’Connell House, the first stage appearance was the band Whistle Rock. Whistle Rock played one of its first original songs titled “One More Day,” a rock song with a hint of a country sound to it. Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues and the band’s missing drummer, it had to perform under the singer-songwriter category. The lead singer, Colin Martin, MCAS ’24, was accompanied by guitarist Cole Dumas, MCAS ’24, and Andrew Vagra, MCAS ’24, who played the harmonica. 

Following the opening performance, singer-songwriter Julia Piccard, MCAS ’26, introduced herself and her first song of the night: possible upcoming single, “Paper Cut.” According to Piccard, the song was inspired by a breakup that happened last semester. She then went on to play a cover of “Monogamy” by Leith Ross dedicated to her best friend, followed by a few more singles that she told the crowd could be found on her Spotify. 

Melina Piperis, MCAS ’26, took the stage right after and started with “Forever” and “American Spirit,” both original songs she wrote about love and relationships. Piperis announced her recently released debut single in November 2023 titled “Amethyst.” Piperis plans to release a five-track EP in the summer, featuring singles like “Vulnerability,” and possibly new ones like “McCarthy.” 

The singer-songwriters that proceeded were Ian Yu, LSHED ’25, with an original song about homesickness named “Boston Boy,” and Madeline Dunlay ‘24, an edgy pre-med singer who performed her single called “B.S. in Neuroscience and B.A in English.” 

After Yu’s performance, the judges decided on the three singer-songwriters that would move on to compete at BC’s Best: Whistle Rock, Piccard, and Piperis.

More and more people entered the previously semi-empty space, shifting the energy into a louder and more lively environment. At this moment, it was time for the second category’s performances: the bands. 

The first band of the night was Chicken Liver Testimony. While the band had some initial technical issues, the lead singer, wearing no shoes, cracked a few jokes, keeping the audience entertained in a lighthearted and unserious manner. The band then started with a groovy sound, leading the small crowd at O’Connell to tap its feet and bob its heads to the beat. The band’s infectious energy and joy soon made a few people dance unabashedly with constant laughter. 

The second band of the night was Reigning Scarlet, who started off with an edgy rock song reminiscent of an early 2000s punk rock band. They played an original song called “Nightmares” as more and more people entered the room. The lead singer Alexandra Bates, MCAS ’26, left the audience wanting more as her voice entranced the crowd with a poignant high against even louder instruments. 

Last but certainly not least, The Town started off with a song called “Second Time Around,” an indie-rock song that would be perfect for summer 2024 playlists. Then, they played a cover of “Last Nite” by The Strokes, adding a few of their own playful twists to the song. To end it off, the band took the risk to perform one of its in-progress songs called “Ireland.”

“Battle of the Bands is the perfect time to take risks,” band member Alex Murphy, MCAS ’25, said. 

This risk certainly paid off, as the crowd rewarded the band with a standing ovation after its performance. 

All three bands and solo performers made a regular Sunday night an exciting experience. On top of the three singer-songwriters who will participate at BC’s Best, The Town, Reigning Scarlet, and Chicken Liver Testimony will also be competing for the spot as headliner for the 2024 Modstock concert. 

April 6, 2024