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The Sanpete Messenger

Bands hold fundraiser, “Rock On for the Red Cross” to aid hurricane victims

AneUnhu and the Arguably Better Musicians, the winners of Friday night’s benefit Battle of the Bands. L-R, Sergio Arellano, Iyonna Herbert, AneUnhu Gwatidzo, Nathan Lauti, Nick Zunkowski, and Parker Andrezzi.

 

Bands hold fundraiser,

“Rock On for the Red Cross”

to aid hurricane victims

 

Oct. 26, 2017

 

EPHRAIM—Last Friday night, five local bands came together at Ephraim’s Canyon View Park in a battle of the bands.

And the prize for the winner? They will have their music played on Sanpete County’s newest rock-and-roll radio station, KUTC 95.7, “The Boss” FM.

“Rock On for the Red Cross,” as the battle was called, was a fundraiser for the Red Cross’s efforts to provide relief to Texas and other parts of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The event was organized by Snow College’s Public Relations class.

A crowd of about 100 Sanpete residents and assorted Snow College students attended the concert. Food trucks lined the parking lot next to the stage to serve food to concertgoers.

J.D. Fox, a DJ from The Boss FM, served as the event’s MC and sound technician. The Boss is a new radio station broadcasting classic rock to Sanpete County. The battle was judged by Dr. Vance Larsen, chairman of Snow College’s Horne School of Music, and Ted Hinckley, the director of music technology and music business at Snow.

The show opened with a set by Last Minute, an alternative rock band consisting of five students from Snow’s music department. The band’s lead singer, Max Higbee, explained that their name was a play on the fact that they formed the band the week of the show and that the name had been made up that morning by Tofer Warden, one of the band’s guitarists. Their lineup was rounded out by Jackson Price on the drums, Garrett Renda on bass guitar, and Jackson Larsen on guitar. They played a set of covers of songs by Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and The Strokes, engaging the audience with their high-energy performance and candid communication with the crowd.

They were followed by the band What Remains, a group of three who played emo and pop-punk music. Fronted by Davis Hansen and Rebecca “Stevie” Stevenson, they covered such bands as All Time Low and the Jonas Brothers, and performed an original song by Hansen. They explained that they had formerly been in a band with Last Minute members Jackson Larsen and Max Higbee and that it was after those two left to form Last Minute that What Remains came up with their name.

In a dramatic change of style, local rapper Taylo performed original rhymes to original beats. His performance was a display of verbal cleverness and studio engineering prowess. Taylo related personal experiences and stories from his college life in his raps in his solo performance.

Skyline Drive, a two-man group consisting of Luc and Ross Christensen, played country music. Luc sang lead vocals, accompanying himself on guitar, while Ross kept a beat on the congas. Their set was defined by heartfelt, warm, rich vocals and a laid-back feeling.

The show was closed out by a band led by Snow College junior AneUnhu Gwatidzo performing all original songs. Calling themselves AneUnhu and the Arguably Better Musicians, they played a markedly unique and invigorating set, stylistically inspired by Motown, rap, popular jazz, and modern Zimbabwean and American pop music. Their lineup included Sergio Arellano and Nathan Lauti, both on the acoustic guitar, Nick Zunkoswki on the saxophone, Parker Andrezzi on the trumpet, and Iyonna Herbert on the drums.

Despite the advancing evening and the creeping cold, the audience perked up to clap and sing along to Gwatidzo’s catchy, creative original tunes, and he was named the winner of the battle by Fox.

The public will soon have the chance to hear Gwatidzo’s music on “The Boss.”

“I feel humbled that the songs that I made up in my head about my feelings came to life with these really talented musicians,” said Gwatidzo. “Even more, just to have a crowd of people vibing to the songs, that was beautiful for me. I’m so grateful for the whole experience.”