Jazz reigns supreme at Battle of the Bands 2016


Sac State’s jazz study major and lead saxophonist of ACTUALITY, Whitney Allen, performs with her bandmate at UNIQUE Programs’ Battle of the Bands competition in the University Union Ballroom, Thursday, Dec. 1. (Photo by Bryce Fraser)

Eva Hoch

Local jazz quartet ACTUALITY took home first prize at this year’s Battle of the Bands competition Thursday night at the University Union Ballroom.

Sacramento’s indie-alternative group Atlas Park won second place while Stockton-based Malaska won third.

“It feels really good (to win),” said ACTUALITY’s keyboard player Sky Manzanetti, who helped the band win a $500 gift certificate to Guitar Center and an opportunity to return and headline a Nooner concert in the spring semester. “(The show) was really awesome and we are looking forward to everything in the future.”

The rules of Thursday night competition required each band to play a 15 minute set that must include three originals and one cover song. Some of the songs that a few bands covered for their set at the show were The Beatle’s Strawberry Fields and Jimi Hendrix’s Upon the Watchtower.

The other five bands competing were Whorrifick, Plots, 21B, Bad Mother Nature and Nevergood.

Even though they did not take home any of top three prizes, all bands said that the experience was already valuable enough since they get to surround themselves with local faces that share the same passion for music.

“We are enthusiastic about the event because we love to play our music and we enjoy getting to know the other bands,” 21B’s lead singer Jebby K. said before performing.

Thursday night’s competition was UNIQUE Programs’ third Battle of the Bands since the contest’s inception in 2014. Last year’s winner, Average League, performed its winner’s Nooner show in February. You can read a profile on the band here.