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Basement Baby rocks KCSU’s Battle of the Bands

At+the+end+of+Battle+of+the+Bands+hosted+by+KCSU%2C+Basement+Baby+won+first+place+Sept.+14.
At the end of Battle of the Bands hosted by KCSU, Basement Baby wins first place Sept. 14. Vocalist Jill Smith yelled to the crowd after collecting the first place trophy.
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  • Josh Langhorne and Will Given perform with their band Stil Runnin at Battle of the Bands hosted by KCSU Sept. 14. Stil Runnin was the last band to perform.

  • Mason Martinez, Audrey O’Malley and Jill Smith perform with their band Basement Baby at Battle of the Bands Sept. 14. Basement Baby won Battle of the Bands, hosted by KCSU.

  • Nancy Kahdeman of Bridge Renaissance performs a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” during the KCSU Battle of the Bands in the Lory Student Center Theatre Sept. 14. “We’re kind of a jam band,” Kahdeman said when describing the band’s sound. “We do a lot of covers. Every time we play, it turns out a little bit different.”

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt
  • Keiran Wisell, Larin Graff, Caleb Crowe and Samuel Claiborne of Fort Collins rock band Clementine form a human pyramid while performing during the KCSU Battle of the Bands in the Lory Student Center Theatre Sept. 14. Wisell and Claiborne are first-year students at Colorado State University.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt
  • Ethan Le, Nancy Kahdeman, Keyhan Moeen-Ziai, Calvert Nolan and Avery Smithen of Fort Collins band Bridge Renaissance perform during the KCSU Battle of the Bands at the Lory Student Center Theatre Sept. 14.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt
  • Keiran Wisell and Larin Graff of Fort Collins rock band Clementine perform during the KCSU Battle of the Bands in the Lory Student Center Theatre Sept. 14.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt
  • Keiran Wisell of Fort Collins rock band Clementine stands on top of a speaker while performing during the KCSU Battle of the Bands in the Lory Student Center Theatre Sept. 14.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt
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KCSU’s annual Battle of the Bands competition took place Sept. 14 at Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center Theatre, where one talented band won the fan vote. 

Due to poor weather, Battle of the Bands was moved from the LSC West Lawn to the LSC Theatre, but the gloomy conditions didn’t stop students from filling seats to support the four local competitors. 

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“I love Battle of the Bands,” CSU student Benjamin Stickland said. “This is my second time going ever, but local music is so slay it’s so important to support local artists and Fort Collins music. Every band in that room is extremely talented.”

The bands that play at the annual competition are local to Northern Colorado and composed of mainly CSU students and alumni. This connection to the community brings in students and Fort Collins music fanatics alike. 

This year’s competitors — Stil Runnin, Bridge Renaissance, Basement Baby and Clementine played for a chance to win the title along with a cash prize and spot playing at Ramskeller Pub & Grub later in the month. 

From 3-6 p.m., the bands played both original songs and covers of popular songs that the crowd went wild for. Music and cheering could be heard echoing through the LSC throughout the event, but in the end, Basement Baby reigned victorious as the crowd’s favorite. 

“Oh, I wanted them (Basement Baby) to win,” audience member Mattie Morris said. “I’ve got to look them up on Spotify or something. I really liked them the most. All of them were great, but they deserved to win.”

Basement Baby is an indie-rock band from Fort Collins comprised of Jill Smith, lead singer; Audrey O’Malley, keyboardist; John Michael, guitarist; Rilee Paler, bassist; Parker Orth, drummer and singer Mason Martinez

The group met through the CSU transfer program and had classes together during the school year. They quickly became friends and found they shared the same dream of making music for a living. Soon enough, Basement Baby was born. 

“I think we’re kind of like a family,” said Paler, who received “awwws” of agreement from his bandmates. “We’re definitely a family. We just get along so well.” 

The band described themselves as a family with “chill and groovy” vibes, and they said they hope students will see the thought and work they put into every song they play together. Their main focus is the music and connecting with people who enjoy their kind of sound. 

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Just last year, the group attended Battle of the Bands as audience members and remarked that it was their dream to play on that stage. Before their performance, the band said they were excited to even be there. 

“I honestly didn’t even think we’d get into a Battle of the Bands, let alone win,” Smith said. “It’s been such a journey getting here. I just feel so grateful. The local music scene is crazy here, and I can’t believe we’re a part of it. I feel so unbelievably lucky to be able to share my music with such an amazing, supportive community.”

Basement Baby, Clementine, Stil Runnin and Bridge Renaissance can be found on all major music streaming platforms. Basement Baby will be performing again 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Ramskeller.

Reach Sophia Masia at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @sophie_masia.

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