Misfortune Tellers will be opening Fall Fest 2024
On Jan. 5th, Misfortune Tellers, paro!, Delta 88, Lewd Antics, and Trireme fought to the death for the opening slot of Fall Fest 2024. Just kidding!It wasn’t to the death — just a little friendly competition.
The night started at 7 p.m., where rock ‘n’ roll fanatics packed into Starlite Room’s Temple Bar like little sardines to watch MacEwan history go down — and headbang, of course. According to Chris Larsen, president of the MacEwan Music Club, this is their first sold-out Battle of the Bands.
Larsen and his team started planning Battle of the Bands in September leaving them just over three months to find bands, prepare a panel of judges, book a venue, and begin marketing.
“With the help of SAMU and the MacEwan music faculty, we’ve been able to get to something like Starlite Room,” says Larsen, “It’s bigger and better, and next year it’s going to be even bigger and better.”
Last year, Battle of the Bands was hosted at Towers and had a much smaller turnout. Larsen agrees that the event held up much better than last year.
“In early November is when we did the audition process [for the bands], and about two weeks before that, we sent a poster for auditions around Instagram and in-person on campus,” says Larsen. “We got nine auditioning bands. A judging panel — just like today — listened to the audition tapes and selected the top five.”
Since last year, the MacEwan Music Club has been looking to take more steps forward and is focusing on rebuilding from the ground up after COVID-19 forced the club to pause. “It’s been a journey since the beginning of the semester until now, and I’m super proud of the club members and the work they have put into this event, as well as the bands and their cooperation,” says Larsen, “We now have five executive members and 12 [to] 20 other general members.”
Misfortune Tellers opened the show and set a high bar for the rest of the bands. Zach Hassan (lead guitar), Steve Cameron (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Jessica Pradhan (bass and lead vocals), and Tanner Reid (drums) said their band initially started as two separate bands.
It was during the pandemic that they decided to join their bands into one. “Fall of 2020 is when we started practicing whenever we could,” said Cameron. “It was obviously hard with isolation and stuff.”
The band played their first show at the Naked Cyber Café in 2021. “It was still iffy,” says Reid. “Our first poster said, ‘Please wear masks and be vaccinated.’”
The band likes to describe its sound as pop punk and niche Midwest emo. “I always tell everyone we sound like Green Day, and they go, ‘Oh, I know Green Day,’” Reid laughs. “We’re not really like them but somewhat, to give them an idea.” For accuracy, Zach would compare the band’s sound to the American rock band Joyce Manor and the English rock band Basement.
The band recently released an EP called, I Wish I Cared Less. The band feels that with this release, they’ve come into their own, found their unique sound, and adapted to their shared creative process.
Adam Howard, the lead singer from Delta 88, moved from Vermilion, Alta., to start a band with his childhood best friend, Jon Pries.
“I was starting to begin my journey as a musician and thought it would be fun to collaborate, so we got together, and by happenstance, things just fell into place,” says Howard. “We ended up getting the chance to play together like we did when we were kids so it was a lot of fun.”
Delta 88 gets its musical influences from blues, R&B, and rock. Adam says artists like Chris Cornell and Audioslave’s sound are sources of inspiration for the band.
The band is in its infancy, being just over a year old, but is excited to get comfortable with playing more shows. “We just added our bass player Marshall Hughes, and he’s only been in the band for about two months,” says Howard. “It’s been a lot of adjustment, but I feel like we’ve been getting more comfortable with being up on stage.” They have an album coming out called Bury Me and, following its release, a two-part album that is currently in the works.
Paro! was enthusiastic and energetic as ever, being a band with a lot of talent and unlimited potential. They gave me Weezer vibes, which is a compliment in my books.
Lewd Antics, who formed their band from a call-out post on Facebook Marketplace, brought wild energy in the show’s second half with a powerful drumbeat from Jack Healy, a current MacEwan music student.
Trireme put a metal twist on Mozart’s classic Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major. Staying true to the name, the band played music that carried a unique “Viking” feel that the crowd enjoyed.
The night was coming to a close, and at the final hour, Misfortune Tellers was announced as the winner. The band will be back in the fall for SAMU’s most exciting and anticipated event of the year.
MacEwan Music Club aims high
“Coming out to events like this and showing interest in us doing these things definitely gives us the motivation to put these things together,” says Larsen.
“The goal of the club is to enrich the music community in Macewan, not just in Allard Hall but the whole university, and hopefully, to branch out into the Edmonton music community.”
Chris Larsen, president of MacEwan Music Club
He hopes to take the MacEwan Music Club to new heights and wants to collaborate with the rest of campus to get MacEwan students more exposed to Edmonton’s vibrant music scene.
“The goal of the club is to enrich the music community in MacEwan, not just in Allard Hall but the whole university, and hopefully, to branch out into the Edmonton music community.” he says. “We can only go up from here.”
Photo credits to Sam Poier