Attention rockers: the ballots are in, and this year's winner of Isthmus' Band to Band Combat is ...
(drum roll please)
The Frequency was packed with music fans and a wide variety of sounds Thursday night as The Big Payback was selected by the audience to receive 20 hours of recording time at Madison's Blast House Studios.
This year, Band to Band Combat started with a pool of 35 bands and was narrowed down to four after a series of eliminations decided by over 1,000 online voters. Originally created to lend some much deserved attention to up-and-coming local acts, the contest has increased in scope and musical stylings, with this year's field one of the most diverse yet.
The Big Payback is a nine-piece funk and soul group that features a horn ensemble and one truly sassy singer. Their full sound, not unlike the origin of their James Brown-related moniker, incorporates a saxophone, trumpet and trombone to create a scene that had most of the audience feeling good, like The Big Payback knew they would. The prevailing act inspired dancing and early trips to the ballot box.
Runners-up included El Valiente, Sky Road Fly and TL;DR, who each mobilized their own fan bases and won over a few converts as well. Each performance was completely different from the one before, displaying an array of genres and a true representation of what Madison's music scene has to offer. Though good-natured and appreciative of each other, the talent was unrelenting which made for a memorable night.