Battle of the Bands riff off 2024

ROCK ON: Laced Inhaler Band turned down the house with the power of punk. DylanBacker

Eden Havel | Head Editor & Newsroom Manager

5 March 2024

Once again, crowds were roaring for Battle of the Bands—a week presenting the amplified performances of San Clemente High School’s musicians, whose distinct sounds ring proudly from the library to the football field. These student bands showcased creative and original songs, confident and engaging stage presence, and shocking mastery of musical talent.

“Battle of the Bands is my favorite week,” says senior and photographer of the event, Gavin Nils. “I photographed the event last year because my friend was in the band that won [Apollo Weekend]. It’s so fun to see what new bands came up this year, and how hard they worked to put their EPs together too.”

MELON HEADS ATTACK: with a soulful sound that had the crowds on their feet. DylanBacker

In three weeks, band leader and sophomore Ty Beck composed his five-song EP track alongside his new group, Height of Sun. This first show of the week presented a unique, electric, upbeat sound in original rock songs that had the audience dancing along. Tuesday presented the beach rock trio, the Melon Heads, whose members (Aiden Carrol, Luke Adams, and Mason Nelligan) upheld the influence of their inspirations beneath the power of their independent sound.

Laced Inhaler redefined the direction of the week with a hardcore rhythm constructed from a collective passion for the infectious electricity of unapologetically authentic punk. Fan favorite and returner from last year’s Battle, The Bad Kissers, included their lively and groove that has audiences dancing, singing, clapping along. And finally, Friday introduced us to the bold and innovative voice of Current Location.

“I love Battle of the Bands,” said sophomore Mila Curtis. “It’s like a free concert as you eat lunch. I like seeing all the talent because you never know what special random skills everyone has in their back pocket.”

Throughout this competition, each band stole the show in their own way, with a distinct presence and talent that remained defiantly powerful, artistic, and inspiring. In this singular, annual opportunity to display their hidden talents to the student body, these students’ proud and confident expressions filled the campus with the joy and movement of music once again.

After this exciting week, students and judges came together to collectively vote for the ultimate winner of Battle of the Bands. With each leaving an exciting impression of their own, the champion of this event closed the week with a bang that left a memorable impact across campus. A trio with an alternative, soulful, bold presence that ended the week on a powerful note—the winners are Bryce Celeya, Keiran Ota, and Jack O’Neil of Current Location.

HANDS IN THE AIR: Battle of the Bands biggest fans front and center. DylanBacker 

Special thanks to the reviver and organizer of this event, Mr. J Bisch, whose passion for music and helping his students shine catalyzed this special opportunity for musicians and audiences to connect. Also thanks to judges Biff Cooper, Gary Beer, Joshua Paskowitz, Brandon Richter, Ashton Minnich, Patt Huber, and the parents and audiences who came together to support the continued success of this beloved and timeless tradition.

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