Battle of the Bands takes to Colonial Theater stage on Friday

Courtesy photos

IDAHO FALLS – The Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls will be rocking this Friday as local musical groups compete for prizes, glory and bragging rights in this year’s Battle of the Bands.

The Idaho Falls Arts Council puts on the event to give bands a chance to show off what they can do in a professional concert environment. Battle is returning to the Colonial after a one-year absence and helps make use of the venue that has been left underused during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Battle of the Bands in the past has been part of our Youth Jam event in the summer,” Arts Council spokesperson Georgina Goodlander told EastIdahoNews.com. “It was a way to connect with teenagers and young people in town, give them an opportunity to perform in a professional setting with professional technical staff. Then, a couple of years ago, we made the decision to move it away from Youth Jam, as Youth Jam has morphed over the years to be far more geared towards younger kids, and Battle of the Bands didn’t feel like it fit there anymore.”

With that decision, Battle was moved from the Green Belt during the Youth Jam to its own event at the Colonial Theater. This year’s show will feature six bands made up of musicians of all ages. There will be a limited in-person audience and, for the first time, the show will be live-streamed to Facebook and YouTube.

The livestreams won’t be the only feature that will be new this year. Not only was the contest opened up to musicians of all ages, but the method of judging the performances has been shaken up, too.

“This year, instead of a panel of judges, we have decided to select the winners by public vote,” Goodlander said. “There will be an online vote that will open up right after the last band performs and it will stay open for a short period of time, everybody votes and then we will announce the winners.”

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Along with the challenges presented by the new voting format, staging the actual performances presents some unique obstacles.

“Obviously, six bands performing, they all bring their own equipment and instruments,” said Goodlander. “So we have one band perform on half the stage while the next band gets ready on the other half of the stage in the dark. Then we try and change over as fast as possible because nobody wants to sit there and wait while we break down and set up for the next band.”

The bands will play a variety of genres, so fans of many different styles of music should hear something they like.

“There’s usually a lot of rock,” said Goodlander. “We get some pop. It doesn’t have to include vocals. We really open it up. Any group performing music is fine. It should be a nice mix.”

You can catch the Battle of the Bands at the Colonial Theater on Friday at 6:30 pm. Admission is free, but the audience size will be limited to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The show can also be streamed on the Idaho Falls Arts Council Facebook page and on YouTube. Click here to get those links, as well as the links for online voting.

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