Fraser Valley’s Battle Of The Bands is off to a strong start, showcasing the talent of both seasoned veterans and energetic newcomers in the Fraser Valley music scene. The younger acts (like Casinos) have the clear advantage of energetic crowd participation, seeing a rush of fans and acquaintances fill the dance floor with loud cheers and polite dance moves (awkward sidestepping mostly, it’s all the rage these days). Meanwhile the long committed acts (like Old Mare) have the advantage of confident stage presence, having spent the greater part of ten years learning how to balance fatherhood with touring, translating the craft of musicianship into the writing and recording process of full length albums, and building a strong fanbase to share their work with. Seeing both sides of the artistic spectrum share stages is indeed a fascinating experience. Lonely Cave Kings from Langley played a solid set and nicely complemented the other two bands.
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One would be tempted to call the results a popularity contest (with Casinos taking 1st prize while Old Mare placed 3rd), but to say one act is better than another would unfairly discounting the advantages and disadvantages faced by both artists. If anything the success of a Battle Of The Bands contest should be judged by the sense of shared creative expression it is able to inspire, not by who the eventual top prize is given to.
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The fun continues next week with an equally diverse line-up with Folk-rock group Hrdwtr, from Aldergrove, Langley brothers Poppy And The Pistols playing alternative rock, and Surrey Kara Kata Afrobeat Group.