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Slug Bug to be Devilpalooza opener after winning Battle of the Bands finale

ASU's Programming and Activities Board presented the music competition to an excited crowd of students on the Downtown Phoenix campus after qualifiers on other campuses

BOTB Slug Bug.jpg

ASU Battle of the Bands winner Slug Bug's customized amp at the Battle of the Bands finals on Friday, Feb. 17, 2022 in Tempe.

After an underwhelming kick off competition, the Battle of the Bands brought four bands together for the final showdown this weekend. Despite some confusing missteps, the evening ended with an excited, entertained crowd and one victorious band: Slug Bug. 

Stakes were high as the winner of the Feb. 17 competition showcase was awarded the opportunity to open for a mystery musical guest at the upcoming, highly-anticipated Devilpalooza, one of the largest ASU events of the year.

ASU's Programming and Activities Board, PAB, hosted the event at Civic Space Park on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus. 

Slug bug is a local alternative band based in Tempe. The band is composed of four artists who represented the Downtown campus in the preliminary competition. They will go on to open for the upcoming Devilpalooza concert performance in March.

"We had a team of about five people working on this event," said PAB president Avion Wick, a senior studying mass communication and media studies. "We started planning out about six to seven weeks before the event. Then we walked through and had to get paperwork approved by ASU three weeks before, so everything was mainly solidified."

According to Wick, PAB worked closely with the Undergraduate Student Government Downtown along with other on-campus organizations. Together, the groups organized an excitement-filled night for students and community members. Vendors provided boba drinks, snacks and even a temporary tattoo station.

"I like to have more going on at my events than just one big programming thing," said Lydia Curry, PAB vice president of special events and a junior studying journalism. "But again, it is an outdoor concert event, so we want the focus to be on our bands."

The event started slow, with many family members of the bands performing making up the majority of the crowd. Twenty minutes into the show, there was still only a small crowd in attendance, meaning many attendees were unable to vote for the earlier performers they didn't see.

As the night progressed, however, more students and community members danced under the neon lights and upbeat music, a notable change from the preliminary competition in Tempe.

READ MORE: Tempe Battle of the Bands leaves students bewildered

Four bands were competing: 3IDragon, Metallic Malik, Wicked Sisters, and Slug Bug. With such diverse assortment of bands, students were bound to find a song or genre they enjoyed. The performances ranged from rap to indie, drawing a wide variety of people to the event.

"We give (the bands) a set time of 15 minutes," said Wick. "Other campuses like Tempe only do two songs ... we like to give them a set time so that they can use it however they want to and how they think is best."

Despite the impressive lineup, advertising for the event was limited. The PAB Instagram page, which usually promotes their events, had no posts dedicated to the finale.

Toward the end of the night, when it came time to vote, students were given just 10 minutes to cast their votes using a QR code that was passed around on a piece of paper by a PAB staff member.

The purpose of the votes, however, was unclear, as later before announcing the winner, a PAB staff member delayed the announcement due to continued deliberation from the judges.

"We want to know our final score," said members of the band 3IDragon in an interview after the show. "We would have loved to know how we ranked in the show, and by how many points, so we can continue to improve as performers. Constantly growing and perfecting our craft is something that we try to take away from every experience we have."

Edited by Claire van Doren, Piper Hansen and Caera Learmonth.

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Gillian McComeskeyPolitics Reporter

Gillian Mccomeskey is a reporter on the Politics Desk. She has been reporting and producing news articles for 4 years. She has been published by 5 news stations.

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