New band battle series off to strong start



With most so-called Battle of the Bands, you get a motley mix of talentless acts. More often than not, the entrees are pimple-faced kids who haven’t played a gig outside of their parents’ basement. That certainly wasn’t the case at Brothers Lounge Thursday night as three very sharp bands kicked off the event that will take place every Thursday night until the end of May.

f13a/1238782130-zach.jpgAlong with former Scene clubs editor Cris Glaser and Sun newspapers columnist Peanuts, I was enlisted as a judge. First up was the unfortunately named Lackluster, a Columbus trio with a powerhouse lead singer who often sounded like Eddie Vedder. The band had prog rock tendencies but kept them in check throughout a tight, well-received 45-minute set. Next up was Akron singer-songwriter Zach (pictured). With his band in tow, the hippie dippy singer-guitarist played a number of songs from an album that’s due out later this month. A seasoned performer, Zach worked the crowd like a pro and even had a few patrons up and off their bar stools and dancing to his memorable tunes. Ashes, another Akron act, came up next. Accompanied by a cellist and a stand-up bassist, the band’s moody music had just enough energy to keep from becoming pretentious and the group got a rapturous response from the audience, which was undoubtedly stocked with friends and acquaintances.

Though one judge (Peanuts, you know who you are) thought the contest ended in a tie between Zach and Ashes, Ashes ended up winning Week One. I’m not going to be judging Week Two but I might just head back to Brothers to see how the competition shakes out (and those Molson specials they’re running during the competitions are pretty tempting, too). — Jeff Niesel

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.