Twelve bands with members hailing from some seventeen high schools around the state will be going head to head in a "Battle of the Bands" on Friday night in the 2007 finals competition for Launchpad Wisconsin. Organized by the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music and the Wisconsin School Music Association, Launchpad is an annual competition featuring state high school students that celebrates music education.
Over the months of March and April, scores of bands from around the state went head-to head in four regional concerts, with three finalists and one alternate advancing from each to the state competition. Of this group, three are from south-central Wisconsin.. The members of the jazz and soul quartet Alton Kelly, barely six months old, hail from Edgewood and Middleton high schools in the Madison area. Beloit Memorial High School, meanwhile, is the home base for the majority of Alakrity, the Madison regional winners this year and the state runners-up in 2006. This Christian pop-punk quintet plied their success in the competition to score a gig playing at the 2007 MAMAs show at the Barrymore. The third group is Exmoor, a hard rock quartet from Milton and has played clubs in Edgerton.
All of these bands, along with nine others from around the state, have been preparing for the Battle of the Bands at the Union Theater on Friday with practices and live shows. One of the busier bands on the latter front is Alakrity. One recent show was on May 26 at The Core, a youth music venue at Evangel Life Center on the south side, where they played an acoustic version of their song "Just Words."
A live concert video of the performance follows below.