Toronto Metropolitan University's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1967

All Arts & Culture

Battle of the Bands triumphantly returns at TD Music Hall

By Ava Zelyony

We had a chance to sit down with each of the six bands that competed in Battle of the Bands and get to know more about their songs and their stories alongside their performances, don’t miss it!

Following a four-year-long break due to the pandemic, Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) Battle of the Bands made its triumphant return on March 22. Showcasing a wide variety of talent from TMU, the competition was held at TD Music Hall—located within the iconic Massey Hall—which for some bands was the biggest venue they’ve ever played.

“It is gonna be the biggest show we’ve played so far,” said Colin Higney from third-place finishing band Taplin, ahead of their performance.

The night kicked off with a bang from the pop-rock outfit Mystique, and the night didn’t slow down from there. The next band to perform was So Delicious, a jazz-infused group that featured silky smooth vocals from Julia Fung and a killer soprano saxophone solo from Walter Chan.

From there, Taplin wowed the audience while showcasing electrifying guitar solos. Aden Worton harnessed a more alternative sound that had the audience dancing. DAPHNE gave a performance that harnessed the vibes of driving down the highway, blasting music with your windows down.

Finally, the night ended with the hardcore/grunge band Placeholders, who had the crowd chanting for an encore following their three-song set.
Placeholders—consisting of band members Ethan Petch, Evan Johnston, Sebastian Waits and Noah Jack—went on to win the entire competition. This winning title means the group will get the opportunity to record some music with a professional audio engineer in the newly renovated recording studios located above Massey Hall.

Additionally, every group that competed in the event received a professional video recording of their entire set. Regardless of whether or not they won, all groups said they were very pleased to simply have the chance to perform with fellow TMU musicians and receive a professional recording for their records and memories.

“It really is more than just a competition, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with [the other bands],” said DAPHNE.

Not only was each performance astounding in its own way, but the crowd did not disappoint either. Whether they were responding “Yes Chef!” whenever So Delicious frontwoman Julia Fung asked them to, or shouting out for DAPHNE whenever she spoke to the audience, everyone in the venue was fully invested in the performances.

Following their win, Placeholders took to the stage to appease the crowd’s ceaseless chants for “one more song,” wowing the audience with their cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

The competition was judged by Toronto songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Blades, as well as Michelle Treacy—winner of CTV’s The Launch, and Max Cotter, a production staff member of the RTA media program. While the judges deliberated on who to crown the competition winner, the audience was happily entertained by the TMU musicians Carina and Amy Kisser, who both brought a whole other level of energy to the night.

While it remains to be seen what the future holds for each of the six TMU bands, the show-stopping performances by each group and the lively reception by the audience made one thing abundantly clear: Battle of the Bands is back and here to stay.

Leave a Reply