Reel big victory for Samuriot

BRITTANY RUESS / The Journal Lead singer and guitarist Mikey Medwin and bassist Joe Batzer perform as 431 during the Battle of the Bands March 28, at the Highway 61 Roadhouse. 431 came in third place, behind Webster bands Samuriot and Aaah! Real Monsters. PHOTO BY BRITTANY RUESS

Andrew Shafer threw balloons onto the crowded tables at the Highway 61 Roadhouse on March 28. The band 431, made up of Webster students, performed on Roadhouse’s stage while Shafer stripped down to red v-neck, footie pajamas. Shafer said his main role in 431 is to get the crowd hyped up.

“Part of our band is about stage presence and I bring the stage presence to the show,” Shafer, junior film production major, said.

Four roommates, Mikey Medwin, Joe Batzer, Max Barnett, and Andrew Shafer, living in apartment 431 in the Webster Village Apartment started the band 431 last fall.

431, made up of  was one of three bands that performed live at the Roadhouse on March 28 as the final phase of Campus Activities’ Battle of the Bands. Campus Activities posted videos of candidate bands online in March.  Students voted for their favorite band online.

Online voting narrowed the selection down to three bands who went on to compete in the live competition for the opportunity to open for Reel Big Fish. The three bands’ online votes — Samuriot with 361 votes, 431 with 122 votes and Aaah! Real Monsters! with 120 votes — didn’t count toward their votes for the live performance. These top three bands performed for 30 minutes each. Students in attendance voted for their favorite band on a paper ballot.

Samuriot, a ska rock band, won with 73 votes from the night. Aaah! Real Monsters was close behind, losing by just a few votes. Samuriot will open for Reel Big Fish at SpringFest on April 14.

Samuriot said it was a challenge to get into the competition because they opened at SpringFest last year. Campus Activities almost didn’t consider them for the Battle of the Bands competition. After talking to Campus Activities, the band was allowed to compete. Samuriot’s Nate Golomski, senior audio production major, said they were appreciative for the opportunity.

“Opening for Reel Big Fish is one of our dreams,” Golomski said.“We’ve (Golomski and band member Andrew Vogel) gone to signings and we’ve each met them like, three different times, so to finally actually perform on the same stage as them is freaking awesome.”

This is the first year Campus Activities incorporated a live performance into their Battle of the Bands competition. Courtney Turner, Campus Activities, said the event at the Roadhouse seemed successful.

“Each band has kind of the posse group, which is awesome,” Turner, sophomore advertising and marketing major, said.

Brittany Dunn, sophomore undecided major, said she knew everyone in 431 and was rooting for them.

“They’re my bros, my broskis. I wanted to come and support them,” Dunn said.

Shafer said the Roadhouse is a different atmosphere than 431 is used to performing in. He said usually when they play, there is an open dance floor. He said the atmosphere and tables were a challenge.

Shafer said 431 didn’t expect to win, but performed with the intention of entertaining a crowd.

“We really do feed on the energy of the crowd,” Shafer said. “It was fun, though.”

Aaah! Real Monsters’ Matt Moore, senior business management major, said he’s happy for Samuriot.

“Reel Big Fish is probably a pretty big influence for Samuriot,” Moore said.

Aaah! Real Monsters started in November 2009.  Moore said they were glad to get exposure through the Battle of the Bands.

“We just had fun playing together. If we make it big that’s awesome, but mostly we enjoy making music together,” Moore said.

Dunn also watched the other bands’ performances.

“It’s awesome, I love coming out and seeing all the people,” Dunn said. “Live music is great.”




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