Four bands battled for the title of Clark Hall Pub’s next house band last Thursday.
With Clark filled to the brim with spectators, four student bands competed for the title of Clark’s house band on Sept. 14. Upon entry, students were given tickets to vote for their favourite act, where the winner of the competition had the honour of closing the show. The groups competing were Girldad, The Brightsides, Carnelian, and Red Compass Rose.
With each band given only 25 minutes for their set, Girldad opened the event with a bang and got the crowd on their feet. Their performance reached its climax when the beginning notes of “O Canada” began to play, while the crowd sang along with the band off-key.
Vocalist and guitarist, Thomas Panksep, Sci ’24, spoke about his performance with Girldad.
“I think the band as a whole really performed and showed out. These guys are the real heart and soul of the band, they bring all the energy, and they have the sex appeal,” Panskep said in an interview with The Journal.
Panskep’s bandmate Thommy Pendergast, Sci ’23—another vocalist and guitarist—said Girldad practiced two to three times per week leading up to the event in the Queen’s Music Club’s room in the Queen’s Centre.
The next band to perform was The Brightsides, where they kicked off their show with a cover of The Killers’ classic “Mr. Brightside.” With supporters in the crowd cheering them on, there’s no doubt The Brightsides’ competition had to look away because jealousy was turning saints into the sea.
Lead vocal and rhythmic guitarist David Cox, ArtSci ’26, spoke to the high energy he felt while performing.
“The bar [Clark] is packed to its limit so we’re super happy about it. I had a really fun time, and that’s always fun to see,” Cox said.
Bassist Sean Cullum, CompSci ’24, said The Brightsides would keep practicing every week and keep the energy up if they were to win the battle of the bands.
The highly anticipated Carnelian was the third act on stage. They began their set with “Reptilia” by the Strokes. Coming into the contest, Carnelian was the defending house band for Clark Hall Pub, and their lead singer dazzled the audience with his glaring red sunglasses and black locks.
Carnelian drummer Angus Carter, BFA ’25, praised the crowd’s response and the support he felt from the bar.
“Considering the amount of sweat on my shirt and how sore my fingers are from playing those drums, I think it was spectacular,” Carter said.
Carnelian hopes to perform at other venues in Kingston, but Carter said he always looks forward to playing at Clark. After Carter came down from the stage,he mentioned how “Reptilia” by the Strokes was their first song of the set played, as well as his favourite song they performed that night.
“It was too good and probably a really hard number to play but fun.”
The final band to compete before the winners were announced was Red Compass Rose, whose performance featured a five-piece band consisting of engineering and computer science students.
Battle of the Bands was Red Compass Rose’s third performance together and their first time playing at Clark. Keyboardist and rhythmic guitarist Callan Robinson, Sci ’25, said he felt confident once the band started playing.
“I think we encountered a different sort of crowd than we normally do and we’re hoping we can still keep playing for students and show them how much fun we are,” Robinson said.
After each band had their 25 minutes of fame, students cast their ballot to vote on the best performing band.
The audience erupted when the Clark managers crowned Carnelian the winner.
Despite losing the battle, Red Compass Rose drummer David Drobner, Sci ’25, expressed happiness when Carnelian won. He added the crowd must have really enjoyed their style of music, saying they played energetic songs that kept the crowd going.
In the end, the Battle of the Bands struck a resounding chord with the audience, leaving everyone in perfect harmony.
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