A crowd of about two hundred Penn students welcomed the sounds of punk, jazz and plain-old rock at last night's unofficial christening of 4040, Penn's new indie music club. Four student bands rocked for more than two hours during the Battle of the Bands, a friendly competition showcasing some of Penn's best undergraduate musicians. The event was sponsored by 34th Street magazine, which is published by The Daily Pennsylvanian Inc. Each of the groups -- The Atreyu Complex, Half an Echo, The Ally and Don't Look Down -- played for 20 to 30 minutes. A panel of judges -- including a Penn music professor, the 34th Street music editor and local group the Jazzyfatnastees -- graded the groups. The Ally, a jam band fronted by College sophomore Ira Tuton, won the competition and left with $200. 34th Street Editor-in-Chief Matt Rand explained that the purpose of the event was to bring something new to Penn's campus. "We wanted to bring in people who wouldn't normally go to a live music show, and we wanted to show them there's some stuff going on that's pretty good," the Wharton junior explained. Each of the four bands gained a spot in the contest by submitting a demo tape to the editors of 34th Street or were asked to participate. "This is a great event for us," said Wharton senior Dave Goldman, the lead singer of The Atreyu Complex. "We get a chance to play for some important people." Half an Echo member Leo Dugan, a College sophomore, said his band is "always looking for opportunities to play. We play all around Philly." The band will be performing in the Quadrangle during Spring Fling. Several participants and organizers said they felt that the Battle of the Bands was an important step for the Penn music scene. "This is a good start for things to happen at Penn," Goldman said. "4040 is a good club that Penn kids don't know about -- they don't know about the music scene." But if many students didn't yet know about the club, perhaps that is because its first show took place less than a month ago after months of negotiations with the University, which had been seeking to bring a non-alcoholic music club to campus. Indeed, the concert was designed to introduce the Penn community to the new club at 4040 Locust Street. 4040 will hold its grand opening tomorrow with emo-band Atom and the Package. 4040 co-owner Sean Agnew felt positive about lending his space to 34th Street's first-ever event. "I want to incorporate more Penn events and get Penn students involved in this scene," Agnew said. Agnew's reputation in Philadelphia's music scene served as an additional draw to both the participating bands and audience members. Wharton and Nursing sophomore Grant Martsolf expressed his excitement at the possibilities opened up by this event. "It's a great idea," Martsolf said. "It's something to do right in my backyard." Judging from audience reactions, the Battle of the Bands was a good step toward the goal of inolving Penn students in the music scene. "I had heard this place was pretty cool, that this was the hot indie rock place in town," Engineering freshman Nirav Batavia said. "Now I'll definitely come back."Comments powered by Disqus
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