BRANDON – This year’s Battle of the Bands has been canceled because too few bands signed up to compete. Instead, the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department will present a Teen Band Showcase for the groups that registered for the competition.
From 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, three bands will perform on a stage at the east back side of the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, closest to State Road 60, at 4810 State Road 60 E.
That worked out for the best for the contemporary Christian band from the music-lessons studio Mikkeal Music & Co. in Plant City, according to their 19-year-old front man and acoustic guitarist, Mike Wilson. At age 23, lead guitarist, J.C. Tulloh was too old (older than 20) to play in the Battle of the Bands, but he will be able to play in the showcase.
At 6 p.m., the Mikkeal Music & Co. band will perform. The group is about a year old and includes two of Wilson’s siblings, Lauren, 17, on vocals, and Josh, 14, on drums, as well as keyboardist Martin Feyes, 19, and bassist Jacob Brannon, 16.
They cut their musical teeth singing at Independent Christian Assembly Church, where the Wilsons’ dad, Troy Wilson, is pastor, and mom, Betty Wilson, is worship leader. Mike Wilson said his band’s stage presence is its strong point.
“We’re very comfortable on stage,” he said. As a worship band, its energetic and professional show is “something you walk away from with a good thought, something positive, something encouraging.”
At 7 p.m., Welcome the Wanderer will take the stage. All four members are juniors in high school – three at Jesuit and drummer Matt Sabo at Robinson.
South Tampa residents Sabo and guitarist Joe Cadrecha have been creating music together for about five years. Two years ago, vocalist Noah Persha of St. Petersburg and bassist Matt Rodriguez of Tampa joined them to form Welcome the Wanderer.
Sabo described their music as a mash-up of genres: alternative rock, reggae, funk and jazz.
“We’re fun guys, but we take our music seriously and have a really unique sound. We write originals, but we’re going to play covers, too, at the show,” he said.
At 8 p.m., The PeaceMakers will play hard-driving Southern rock. Members include Plant City High School seniors Benjamin Luchka on lead guitar and Colton Conrad on vocals, sophomore Jordan Gude on bass and junior Jesse Butterworth on drums.
The band’s founders, Colton and Benjamin, got together about three years ago. They wanted to project an old Western image, so they named the band after the Colt Peacemaker. Jesse and Jordan joined the group less than a year ago.
“Every time we do a show, it’s a lot of fun to hang out—we’re all friends,” said Benjamin. “We come from different backgrounds and enjoy all kinds of music. Our show will be a mix of originals and covers.”
Send news of community interest to Barbara Routen at [email protected]