Battle of the Bands Goes High-Tech

Nicholas Sasso

Last Saturday evening, the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop) TV Room was a hub of musical talent as over seven bands battled to see who was the greatest at Colgate. Guitarists and bassists picked away as lead singers sung familiar tunes to their drummers’ beat. And while the bands were met with a sizeable crowd, all eyes including the band members were on the televisions, tactically playing along to Rockband. Sponsored by The Game’s Afoot and the Colgate Activities Board (CAB), Guitarmageddon brought the battle of the bands into the age of computers and video games.

In a well attended event, groups of three to four friends could sign up to form a band and compete for the respectable prize of $200 for first place. Each round brought heated competition with two set songs and one random song. After every round a band would be eliminated and the last standing would claim the title of best band.

The Game’s Afoot, Colgate’s gaming club formed just last year, set up various televisions for bands to play on and provided an abundance of snacks, drinks, and pizza – with a little monetary help from CAB. Overall, the event was a success, drawing in both concertgoers and bands.

“It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon, just kind of relax and get away from work for awhile,” senior Dan Trickler said. And while some were in fact there for recreation of sorts, others were there for the big win.

“We just missed a million [points] so we’re a little disappointed, but we’re big in Japan, they love us there … but we’re the real deal; we came here to win,” sophomore Dan Muniz, lead singer of Oops, one of the many bands that completed for the prize money, said.

Guitarmageddon was the first major event held by The Game’s Afoot this semester. Rising from its humble beginnings with small game nights held in chemistry classrooms in Wynn Hall, the club now has monthly game nights and enough influence to plan big events such as the one this past weekend.

“The Game’s Afoot, no assembly required,” Co-President and founder sophomore Benjamin Ashwell said. “We set up the events, you come, you play, you eat food, you leave and we clean up. You don’t have to do much work; unless you call playing games work.”

As the club has grown, Colgate has been quite generous in providing it with games of all sorts. Moreover, the student body has reacted in quite a positive light.

“We’ve had upwards of 200 people at our events over the course of a year-and-a-half,” Ashwell said of students who come and play both video games and board games. “People come in at seven, they set up and start playing, and by eleven o’ clock we say we’ve got to clean up … and they say, ‘hang on hang on, couple more turns’, and they try to invade Russia or something.”

In all, The Game’s Afoot has provided Colgate students a way to come out and socialize with friends and strangers while playing some games. The club has monthly game nights and plans to hold another large event after spring break. Guitarmageddon proved to be a hit and an exciting competition both for those who were in it for the money and those who were in it for the fun.

“It’s not just about being the best, it’s about having fun, rocking out and being a rock star,” Ashwell said.