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Bands Unite

Marjorie Solo, MC and musician at Warehouse 21 event. Photo by Jessie Leigh

Marjorie Solo, MC and musician at Warehouse 21 event. Photo by Jessie Leigh

From 5:30-10 p.m., Feb. 20 at Warehouse 21, local musicians and bands such as SFUAD’s Venus and the Lion, Marjorie Solo, and Scarlet Cortex (previously known as Ruder and the Shockwaves), will perform for the Rock & Roll Anti-Competition—an event at which everyone wins.

The system focuses on avoiding direct competition between performers by ensuring that all musical acts receive the recognition they deserve. Kurt Boyer, a drummer and producer from Denver who founded the Rock & Roll Anti-Competition, ensures the event unites both musicians and audience so that no one is excluded.

“The concept started about four years ago when me and some other musicians noticed a few things about local rock shows,” Boyer says about the drawbacks of typical events like band battles. “Everyone was playing to the number of people they drew. There were very few crossover listeners. Musicians would show up late or leave early instead of supporting each other. I even knew musicians who, if they played in an opening band, would schedule an after party, for a different location, that started before the show was over.”

A solution they came up with was to create the exact opposite of such an event, one where the atmosphere was about appreciating each other’s music and going back to the basics of what punk rock was all about.

“It’s basically everything that Battle of the Bands is not,” says SFUAD student Marjorie Solo, who is hosting the show and will play one of her original folksongs. “You don’t have to pay to play a show, artists come together and decide on a price pool and who’s going to get which prize.”

This event places a spotlight on collaboration. “It’s a show for local bands to come together and perform,” says Matt Ruder, a member of the band Scarlet Cortex. “A lot of young bands and musicians that are just starting out have trouble selling a certain amount of tickets to perform since they’re not as well known.”

Band members of Scarlet Cortex, (from left to right) Darrell Luther, Nich Quintero, Matt Ruder, Marcus Difilippo, Dan Mench-Thurlow.

From left, band members of Scarlet Cortex: Darrell Luther, Nicholas Quintero, Matt Ruder, Marcus DiFilippo, Dan Mench-Thurlow. Photo by Jessie Leigh

Besides SFUAD bands, local high school bands Stealing Hearts and Choking on Air will also be playing. “It’s nice that the anti-competition is for all ages since a lot of venues have bars and don’t allow bands under 21 to even play,” says Dan Mench-Thurlow, who plays the saxophone for Scarlet Cortex and is a bass player for Venus and The Lions.

The event itself is also open to all ages. Tickets cost 7$ in advance and 10$ the day of the show.

“We’re looking for people who want to reject the mainstream and do something more holistic and communal. We try to have as much respect for the people welcoming the artists as for the bands themselves,” explains Boyer. “Venus & The Lion, for instance, are an incredibly mature band. If you played their record, you would never guess they were undergraduates in college.”

Along with other performances from bands such as Choking on Air and Stealing Hearts, the Rock & Roll anti-competition will feature a genre mash-up at the end. Bands will play outside of their typical music type and experiment with different styles. Scarlet Cortex for example, will be playing their first cover and mash-up of some Daft-Punk tunes. “We’re really excited to be playing at the Warehouse. The sound quality there is really great,” the band states. “We’re all looking forward to playing with musicians of the same age group, and to playing live.”

Or in the words of Marjorie Solo; “I <3 live music.”