Last week, Booth’s best bands – Maroon 7 and The Beluga Fails – faced off against bands Rocket Pocket and Captains of Industry from Kellogg for the coveted legacy of being crowned winners of the annual ‘Battle of the Bands’. The Vic Theatre witnessed an evening of maroon pride, sticky floors from outrageous thumping and spilt frosties, and sore throats from roaring refrains to support Booth’s indubitable MVPs. As Maroon 7’s opening song Locked Out Of Heaven re-energized the room, following Kellogg’s medley of high-school favorites, Boothies turned out in maroon for the greatest show of support. The drop and slide from Uptown Funk to Sweet Child O’ Mine brought out posters from the crowd, including one that read ‘South Side Funk You Up!’ We’ve come to fall in love with their rendition of Foo Fighters’ Times Like These. Last Friday however, their performance of the song had the energy of victory and nostalgia of a year gone by. If it wasn’t clear that music got people together, Maroon 7 proved it song after song after song!
As The Beluga Fails stepped out, we were reminded of what brought bands together all those years ago – old school rock! If their white shirts coming off didn’t confirm that conforming wasn’t their thing – they’re exhilarating performance of ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ achieved a unanimous shedding of any shy and quiet that remained in the crowd. Both purple and maroon sang and cheered in increasing decibels, hoarse from expressing our disbelief – how were these guys so good?! The passion they brought to the stage, for Booth and for rock, kept us rooted and rooting for more. As they closed off with their signature take on Psycho Killer, their energy had us throwing our heads and hearts back to the 70s.
Though we did not win the battle in the end, our two bands won our admiration and our promise to be stronger and louder next year. We came for the music and left with steamin’-bellowin’-pride. As Emil Fretheim, bassist for The Beluga Fails added, “The Beluga Fails decided to be a rock band. We chose to be true to our vision of what we wanted to play. We wanted to win, and we feel we gave it our full effort. Thank you for all of the rowdy support, we felt the love. Your chants of "BE-LU-GA" will be one of my most cherished Booth memories. Dust off your musical instruments. Sing somewhere other than the shower. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Make music, make friends along the way. Be authentic."