Battle of the Bands at Jupiter comes to an end

Brooke Marshall

The final round of the Battle of the Bands 2010 at Jupiter Bar and Grill will be held tonight.

The contest has been ongoing since July 8, said Jeremiah Jones, owner of the Jupiter Bar and Grill. There were eight bands that entered the contest with one band from each week continuing to the final round today.

“It gives [the bands] exposure,” Jones said. “It’s good for the bands and the bar.”

This is the second year the venue has presented a Battle of the Bands contest, which aims to boost attendance since enrollment at the University of Alabama drops during the summer, Jones said. It’s a chance to rely on the city population as well, instead of solely on students.

In addition to helping business at the bar and giving bands a chance to prove themselves, the contest also earns door money that benefits different charities, because outreach is very important to Jones.

“A large portion of the money is being donated to United Cerebral Palsy,” he said. “I don’t want to be the only person to benefit from this. If we can help someone who is less fortunate, it’s good.”

The final three bands that will be competing are The Letter Three from week one, BitchGypsy from week two and Southbound from week three. The winning band will receive five hours of studio time at Old Capitol Studio in Tuscaloosa, a $250 gift certificate to Tuscaloosa Music and a $100 gift certificate to Guitar Gallery.

John Tyler, lead guitarist and vocalist for BitchGypsy, said their band is based out of Birmingham, and they found out about the competition through Facebook.

“We play in a lot of bars,” Tyler said. “The Jupiter has an exceptional sound system.”

He said they normally play in the Birmingham area, but have played at a fraternity here in Tuscaloosa. This is the first competition they have entered and gone all the way, though they previously entered a contest where all the other bands dropped out.

The band plays covers from Aerosmith to Guns N’ Roses, he said. Their music can be found on myspace.com/bitchgypsy.

“[Our music] is really in your face music,” Tyler said.

Members of each band enjoy playing at The Jupiter for both its technical advantages and the general feel of the place.

“It’s a very comfortable atmosphere,” said Tim Dixon, bass player and backing vocals for Southbound. “The crowd seems very open and inviting and wants to hear you play.”

Southbound plays music from southern rock, blues, funk and reggae to hip-hop in their sets of originals and covers. Some bands they cover include Widespread Panic, Phish and Dave Matthews Band, so the band has a diverse sound, Dixon said.

Jonathan Milling, lead and rhythm guitar for The Letter Three, said they play music from classic rock to 311 and are based out of Tuscaloosa.

“I love every second of it,” Milling said. “I’ve never done this before. If I get another chance, I’d do it again.”

Milling describes The Letter Three’s music as upbeat and rarely slow.

The Letter Three’s music can be found on MySpace and Facebook by searching for The Letter Three.

The bands will play 45 minute sets. Doors will open at 9 p.m. with the first band going on at 10 p.m., Jones said. There will also be drink specials including $1 Natural Lights and $3 dollar baby bombs. There is a $5 cover for those 19 and up, he said.

“It is something I want to continue to do as long as the community continues to support us,” Jones said.