Sing it loud

This year’s Battle of the Bands provided a slew of talent and promise from the students of McHenry High School


Madison Wise

Joe Cangelosi plays guitar for Winter Tennis during the Battle of the Bands. On January 24, MCHS student-formed bands competed for the title of 2020 Battle of the Bands champion.

Jared Bysiek, Features Editor

Standing behind the curtain, the band waits to be introduced by the emcees before they can start performing. The time leading up to the performance has been full of excitement and anxiety, but now it’s in full force. As the curtain begins to open, applauds filling the room to eagerly welcome the band, a deep inhale escapes the singer. No turning back. Soon after, the room is full of energy: music, dancers hyping everyone up and even some confetti being shot out to the crowd. 

The Battle of the Bands may have only had three participating bands, but the diversity between not only them but the intermission acts made up for it.

It began with a performance from the teacher band Staff Infection. Featuring 14 total teachers, staff members, and administrators, the band performed cover songs that ranged from Alice in Chains to Lizzo, and brought a fun start to the event with their performances and banter.

In between each main act was an intermission where one or two people would perform while the next band set up for their set. The intermissions included ukulele performances, a country duet, and a variety of dances. All acts were met with high praise from the audience while waiting for the next band to begin.

The bands that performed in the competition were Temporary Delay, Nyght Stryke and Winter Tennis, each one bringing something unique to the show, including a variety of styles, songs and even crowd interaction.

Temporary Delay played covers of more alternative rock songs, like “Fell in Love with a Girl” by the White Stripes and “Mister Brightside” by the Killers. The singer carried the energy throughout the set by providing stage banter. Featured dancers boosted the set’s energy as the band shoot confetti at the crowd.

The band that followed, Nyght Stryke, brought a touch of 1980s rock ‘n’ roll to night, even dawning glam makeup and headbands to further drive the experience. The drummer brought the excitement to it all, hammering away and twirling the sticks to wow the crowd.

At the end of it all, Winter Tennis won first place for a second year in a row after an energetic and entertaining set that provided a pop-punk experience to the night.  They not only performed some interesting cover songs, like “I Miss You” by Blink 182 and “22” by Taylor Swift, but also two entirely original songs that night, titled “Calligraphic Tragedy” and “Ready? Ready.” During songs, friends danced with them on stage and hit inflatable beach balls into the crowd.

“Winning again felt just as great as the last time, and we’re really happy people enjoyed our show,” said Winter Tennis’s singer/guitarist and senior Joseph Cangelosi who felt nervous about their set but felt that everything worked out in the end. “We were flustered, and I was definitely anxious because our band hadn’t practiced in a month due to everyone being away at college,” he said. “However, we put all of that behind us, and realized we were just there to have fun. The show got easier the more the crowd got into it, and their energy really helped us perform at our best.” 

The bonds in the band keep everything strong, since all members were good friends. “Me, Vic, and Ben were all drummers and played in a lot of MCHS’s different music ensembles,” Cangelosi said, “so we were already really good friends. I knew Ben played guitar and we liked the same music, so we had to convince Vic to play drums for us… [And then] I asked our friend Billy, who’s actually a trumpet player, to learn bass for us. [We] have been best friends for years, so our synergy and prior experiences as musicians made practicing, and pulling the band together, painless and a ton of fun.”

The Battle of the Bands ended on a high note, with no performance ever ending without roaring applause and joy. The competition provided students a chance to show talents that may not normally be easy to display. And though Winter Tennis came out as the winner, it’s clear to see that everyone left having earned the respect and enjoyment of those who watched.