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Two bands advance to final 'battle'

Monster, featuring PCC student Pat Beers, was one of four bands to play at Monday's "Battle of the Bands." Tonight, four more bands will compete, with the finals coming on Sunday. All concerts are on the UA Mall.
By Nathan Tafoya
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
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With 195 total votes cast, Monday's Battle of the Bands winners, Skitn and A Makeshift Tradition, pulled ahead in what University Activities Board chairs said was a close race. But it's not over.

Tonight will be the second round of the Battle's semifinals. The lineup includes Dakari Connection, Troy's Bucket, Haley Jane and XLP. Two winners from tonight will join A Makeshift Tradition and Skitn on Monday for the finals. The Battle begins at 5 p.m.

A Makeshift Tradition kicked off last Monday evening with about 100 audience members and fringers.

Sitting on his custom bike, Eric Gonzalez, a non-degree seeking graduate student, gave his approval of the quartet.

"They remind me of Boxcar Racer," he said.

Two members from Callbox Situation took the stage next and played an acoustic set because their drummer injured his back and couldn't make the show.

Their last two songs were dedicated to all the single ladies and any ladies on the rebound.

In the crowd, veterinary science sophomore Leslie Pansing listened to the acoustic love songs while she waited to go to class.

"It's nice," Pansing said when asked to comment on the serenade. "It's a cool song."

But she said the song wasn't cool enough for her to give Callbox Situation her digits.

Third on stage was Skitn, which is an acronym for "A Swift Kick in the Nuts."

Skitn bassist and management information systems senior, Mike Sierra, said the band's name was in place before he joined.

"They only played four songs, the didn't have a name and some random guy gave them the name before they started playing and it kind of stuck," said Sierra of the band's upstart. "We tried to come up with our own but it's hard to think of one, so we just use that."

Skitn, which has opened up for Slightly Stoopid and Agent 51, will soon be made up entirely of UA alumni. Sierra is the only student but graduates in December.

"Before all of us are totally gone, we want to just leave a mark," said lead singer and 2003 graduate Earl Rosales.

Eric Jay Begay, a music business junior, said the band was good.

"Kind of a Jamaica-reggae-type sound," Begay said. "Kind of reminded me of Sublime."

Skitn's Rosales worked the crowd into cheers and applause, and a homeless-looking guy was observed moving his head to their songs.

Monster, whose lead singer came onstage in a high-collared Dracula-type cape and neon green sunglasses, had a harder time of it when both the bassist and a guitarist broke their straps.

"Everything popped off, man," said bassist Antonio Apodaca, a philosophy junior. "It was a nightmare, dude. It's the name of the game around here though, you know? Things go wrong. What are you going to do?"

Lead singer Pat Beers accommodated by holding the guitar out from his body by its neck and strumming sideways. Apodaca sat down on his amplifier, then stood and raised a leg on which to balance his bass.

The performance included long instrumental solos and Beers playing on his knees.

"I think Monster's performance was about a journey through issues that the lead singer/guitar player had with his guitar strap, and it was touching and moving," said Nicole Mark, a biology freshman. "Did you see that? I mean, vertical guitar playing? It was really impressive - the vertical guitar playing. And I want him to know that."

Impressive as it may have been, Monster was not able to pull off a win. But the band is planning to reinvent, or at least rename, itself.

"After tonight, instead of Monster, we're known as Predator," said Apodaca. "It's a farewell performance so, it's special in here." Apodaca tapped his chest.

Both tonight's semifinal and Monday's finals will last from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Mall stage.

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