Young up-and-coming bands got a chance to jam out and give back as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland and Liquid Ice Nightclub in Nanuet hosted a Battle of the Bands fundraiser Wednesday. Approximately $1,000 was raised with the proceeds going to Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland.
“I think it’s great,” said Mel Davis, a former New York Knicks basketball player and celebrity judge for the event. “It’s a wonderful event for Big Brothers Big Sisters, which I’ve been associated with for almost 14 years. Hopefully we raise a lot of money, but more importantly is to see these young kids that come out here and display their skills. We want to motivate them and hopefully they’ll be successful.”
Davis was part of a group of celebrities that supported the event. On the judging panel with Davis were Judge Scott B. Ugell and actor Brian Albert. Eddie Ojeda, the guitarist for Twisted Sister, and Rob Affuso, the drummer for Skid Row, were also on hand and lent words of advice to the bands.
Eight bands performed, each playing 2-4 songs. Perception opened the show, followed by Work Disorder, SamSarah, Fuzzy Dice, Blindfire, Kolor with a K, Rose and the Thorns, and Breaking Apathy. Rose and the Thorns, hailing from Manhattan, won first place with a score of 9.5 out of 10. Fuzzy Dice finished in second and Breaking Apathy came in third place.
Rose and the Thorns not only won a recording session courtesy of film-maker Bud Rebel, but also gained new fans, including Tommy Brenner. Brenner said he enjoyed their performance and the show overall.
“It’s pretty nice,” Brenner said. “It’s something fun. Good energy.”
Rebel, who also organized the event, said he was happy with the show and noted how talented the local bands were.
“It was a lot of fun,” Rebel said. “It was a little crazy, it was a little hectic, but it all came together in the end.”
Devante Wyatt, the lead singer of Blindfire, said he had friends who came through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland organization and saw what it gave to younger people. He said it also gave his band a chance to get some exposure and some new fans.
“It’s actually pretty fun,” he said. “I didn’t think this many people would show up. I enjoyed it. It’s a good organization, which I hope profits from this.”
During the show, Gillian Ballard, the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland, stepped on stage to thank Liquid Ice Nightclub, the bands, the judges and Rebel for staging the event for her organization. She said an important facet of the event was that it gave the youth in the participating bands a chance to give back.
“Because if it wasn’t for their time being here, then we wouldn’t have the people coming in to pay the money to have the proceeds go to the agency,” Ballard said. “So if they come off the stage, whether they win or not, the mere fact that they’ve spent their time making a difference to an organization that serves youngsters perhaps less fortunate than themselves, I’m sure they’ll feel a sense of achievement.”