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Monday, April 14, 11:57 a.m.
Style & Culture

Gamer-musicians prepare for shred-off

Fingers will dance from green to blue, back to green, then on to red and yellow. Sticks will twirl and pound ferociously while the singer does his or her best imitation of some of the worlds greatest vocalists. Local Rock Band bands will attempt to attain rock star status on Thursday, April 30, when the University of Maine Gamers’ Guild hosts the Battle of the Rock Bands.

Four-piece bands can register up until the competition starts at 4 p.m. in the Union. Registration is $20. Prizes will be given to the winning band along with the person with the best costume. Prizes include a free meal at Margaritas, GameStop T-shirts, Movie Gallery gift certificates and more.

“We want to see a lot of people rocking out,” said James Robertson, vice-president of the Gamers’ Guild. “I want to see guitarist kicking, drum sticks twirling and people having fun.”

The tournament set-up will be modeled after the World Cup format.

“There will be five team brackets with the top two advancing,” said Justin Barker, president of the Gamers’ Guild. “Bands will perform before a panel of judges, and they’ll be scored on the number of notes they hit as well as showmanship.”

Since showmanship will be a big factor, guitarists will have to kick around a la Axel Rose. Singers won’t have to bite off the head of a bat, but creativity is definitely a plus.

“I’m going to try and do some cool stuff – something zombie related,” said John Talbot, the guitarist for the Rock Band band Rockapocalypse. “Maybe I’ll go over and eat my partner’s brains out or something.”

Only one band has officially entered, but more will sign up. Justin Barker said there are a lot of unconfirmed bands.

In the opening round of the tournament, each band will play a set of four songs. Bands with the highest scores will advance. In later rounds, songs will be chosen by the bands, giving them the chance to impress the judges with songs they feel the most comfortable with.

The tournament has a very strict set of rules. Team names may not be vulgar in any way, and underage sobriety is required. No mention is made to the necessary level of sobriety for those of age.

The Gamers’ Guild and WMEB will provide the equipment needed to play, but bands are allowed and encouraged to bring their own instruments and consoles. For more information on rules and registration, visit the Gamers’ Guild folder on FirstClass.

Some will triumph while trying to nail Flea’s smooth bass line in “Give it Away.” Vocalists may find themselves in trouble trying to replicate Serj Tankian, should their band draw “Chop Suey” by System of a Down. Talbot hopes to strum along nicely during Tenacious D’s “Master Exploder.”

Audience members are more than welcome to cheer on their favorite bands or heckle the less than spectacular ones. Bands of all skill levels are welcome; those that can only handle easy level songs to those who jam on expert. The most important criteria for entering the competition – the willingness to be a bit foolish, have fun, and melt faces.