Local bands showed off their musical abilities at Battle of the Bands: Thunderground, one of the biggest Thunder 91 events of the year. The competition was held on Friday, Oct. 24, and featured seven local bands: Black Cat Parade, Grace Parke and the Spectre, Redcaps, Runaway Fire, Jimmy Carter’s Peanut Farm, Seizer and TyKoona.
Bryson Oleson, a communication student and Thunder 91 DJ, highlighted the large scale of the event.
“It’s bigger than Guitars Unplugged usually is,” said Oleson, referring to another popular Thunder 91 event. “Battle of the Bands feels like you’re going to a concert, and that’s kind of the production level that they put on.”
At the end of the night, the recipient of the first-place platinum record was Runaway Fire. The band performed a set of original rock ‘n’ roll songs during their set, featuring dramatic guitar riffs reminiscent of bands such as Soundgarden and Pixies and emotional vocals from seasoned frontman Mike Wilson.
Seizer was another Battle of the Bands: Thunderground award winner. This three-piece rock ‘n’ roll group delivered an electrifying performance that transformed the floor of the America First Event Center stadium into a dance floor for students. Seizer walked away with the second-place gold record despite the stiff competition.
The final prize was a black record awarded to the band labeled people’s choice. Attendees were able to vote on this winner via Google Forms. Jimmy Carter’s Peanut Farm, a larger ensemble featuring former Thunder 91 station manager Ethan Baum, was selected as the audience’s overall favorite performance. Their set included covers of popular songs from bands such as Talking Heads and Radiohead.
Although there can only be three prize winners, each band contributed to the success of the event by putting on well-rehearsed performances that encouraged Southern Utah University support and brought the campus community together.
“Everyone gets to come together and share what they’ve been working on,” said Ike Petersen of Black Cat Parade. “It’s really great to be a part of the local music scene.”
Many bands from 2023’s Battle of the Bands: Thunderground can be found on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, as well as on the Thunder 91.1 radio station. To learn more about Thunder 91, visit their website.
Author: Nick Stein
Photos: Courtesy of Thunder 91
Editor: Nick Stein