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Battle of the Bands perches at Raven’s Tavern

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jun. 27, 2013 | Modified: Jun. 28, 2013

While the Vans Warped Tour punk rock revival roars throughout jam-packed venues on the West Coast this month, lesser known, yet equally ambitious local acts are trying to burst out of the garage for their chance to get noticed, as well.

Raven’s Tavern on Highway 105 South is hoping to give these highly devoted acts some much needed love and stage time with Friday’s “Battle of the Bands” contest, which kicks off at 8 p.m. The cover charge is $2. The contest is fan driven and voted on, with half of the winnings going to the winning act. Bands play free of charge.

“I grew up in a family of musicians and to be heard in public for the first couple of times is nearly impossible unless someone invites you,” said tavern owner Ed Lucas on why he started the contest. “Many bands walk out of the garage and become famous because someone gives them a chance. When we first opened, I kept getting all of these bands coming in with demos wanting to play and one day, it all just clicked.”

Now in its third run, Lucas said the contest is beginning to build some momentum with local fan bases and added the first two editions went “fantastic.” Lucas added the show is not age or genre specific, noting that fans from 18 to 60 flocked to Raven’s nest during the past two shows.

The contest, however, is not just limited to alternative styles of music, said Lucas.

Hard folk rock, indie punk rock, classic blues, and acoustic performances are just a few of the hard working acts that have shredded through set lists at previous installments.

The format of the contest is similar to other “Battle of the Bands” showcases. Each band is given 30 minutes of stage time to melt the faces of audience members, so to speak, with blistering guitar rifts and dazzling arrangements.

Lucas said the Tavern’s wooden and spacious interior is also complimentary to any live act, which should make for an optimal performance experience for fans and musicians alike.

The excitement of the “Battle of the Bands” contest culminates into a crescendo with a grand finale show later this summer, said Lucas. Details of the season’s final show will be made available at a later time.

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