Catapillar Silk rocks Battle of the Bands

The popular UM funk quartet Catapillar Silk emerged victorious over five other bands in Friday night’s first Battle of the Bands at the Rat.

The winning band, composed of lead singer Charles W. Pebler, guitarist Jordan Davidson, bassist Eric England and drummer Jon Lazar, was elated with its win as band members hugged friends after their encore performance.

“I feel good. [We won because] we love each other the most,” Pebler said, attributing his band’s success to its newfound cohesiveness.

According to Molly Matthieson, one of the evening’s judges, the band stood out compared to its competition because of their evolution since the loss of one of their members.

“They also had the ability to bring a lot of their fans,” Mattheison added. “Everyone was excited when they came onstage, but [the band] kept it mellow to have a good time.”

As an amalgam of funk, hip-hop and soul, Catapillar Silk’s sound exuded their chill nature. As they played, band members often seemed to space out, closing their eyes and bobbing their heads while lead singer Pebler howled.

Although amateur bands often suffer from unintelligible lead vocals due to overpowering instruments, Catapillar Silk’s backing members seemed to defer to Pebler’s voice when he sang. However, they did have their chance at the spotlight in swells of increased decibels as they took advantage of available volume during vocals-free moments.

“The event was a complete success,” said Mike Weinflash, senior, an M.C. of the evening as well as one of the outgoing chairs of the concert committee. “I was happy with the size of the crowd. From the beginning to end, there was not an empty seat in the house.”

The Hurricane Productions (HP) event featured five other bands: The Keyrats, Atlantic Skyline, The Gardies, Addicts and Storyville. The HP Concert Committee selected the six bands from an original pool of 14 after auditions. Each band played three song sets and was judged on its songs, musical performance and crowd response.

“It was difficult to choose which bands we put in play,” Weinflash said.

The evening’s lineup seemed pre-slated, with the level of talent increasing as the night progressed. Other standout acts were the female-led Addicts and groupie-beloved Storyville. Addicts’ charismatic lead singer crooned with a voice like a gooey brownie, rich and sweet and distinct from her bandmates’ playing. The obviously talented Storyville played to its band of shirt-clad groupies with earned arrogance, complete with the lead singer’s lovemaking session with his microphone.

“We thought Storyville would win because of the 16 girls wearing their T-shirts,” Davidson of Catapillar Silk said. “We didn’t expect to win.”

Expected or not, as the first-ever champion of UM’s Battle of Bands, Catapillar Silk will take a guaranteed place on a plaque in the Rat, as well as a slot on HP’s musical calendar for the 2005-2006 school year.

Catapillar Silk closed out the evening with a triumphant encore performance with a cover of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride,” rocking the crowd one last time.

Hannah Bae cane be contacted at