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Riley’s Rock Stars


Evan Lesniewski (11)

WESTFIELD, Ind. (Nov. 29, 2018) - With the familiar rhythms of “Funky Town” and “I Feel Good,” Just Some Dudes opened up the third annual Battle of the Bands competition.

“Opening the show was interesting,” Just Some Dudes member Matt Klink (12) said. “But it’s fun to open the show because you’re the first act the audience sees, so they’re like, ‘Oh, wow, look at that,’ and for the rest of the show you don’t have to worry about performing. It was nice to be able to just sit back and watch the rest of the bands perform and just have a good time overall.”

While Klink was glad to sit back and relax after his song, singer Donovan Barbosa (12) had a different experience. Barbosa performed with three different bands, and each of his performances flew by in the excitement of the moment.

“I feel almost an energy that I couldn’t describe to you,” Barbosa said. “It’s like being in front of people and being able to be up there, it’s such an adrenaline rush that you almost forget it in the moment. It’s so much fun. Everything goes by so fast. It’s crazy. It’s really indescribable.”

After performing, Barbosa experienced a mixture of emotions as the night reached its end.

“I felt a little bit of a weight lifting off my chest because there was that pressure before, but then I also felt gratification or a feeling of being satisfied that I was able to do that in front of so many people and have that opportunity,” Barbosa said.

Evan Lesniewski, member of the band AUX, felt that playing onstage was one of the better ways to share his passion: music.

“It was a lot of fun getting up there with all of my friends that I’ve been working with for a long time, doing what we love to do,” Lesniewski said. “Playing music has always been a passion of all of ours, so it’s a lot of fun to be able to get up on stage and share that passion with a lot of people.”

Lesniewski’s excitement was amplified later that evening when the winner was announced and AUX was crowned the winner of Battle of the Bands.

“I was surprised, and I was really excited,” Lesniewski said. “We were and are really excited that we have the opportunity to play at Dance Marathon, and we ended up meeting up that Saturday and practicing again because now we have a big thing coming up.”

When the teachers and committee announced the places, each band had the chance to reflect on its performance and the cause it was supporting.

“I was really happy, even though it’s not really about the placement,” Klink said. “The whole thing was about raising money for the kids, so the fact that a lot of people dumped tickets into our box means that a lot of people were donating money for the kids, for Riley. So, in general, I was not just happy because we got a good placement, but also because all of these people are coming out and putting their money forth to support the kids at Riley.”

Just Some Dudes - Burger King Closed Captioning - The Red Creme Sodas - Fink Ployd - Plustime Pals - Bryan Lambs - AUX - Under the Radar - Introduction Noise - Miki Jeff - Hortonville - Yellow Zebras - The Stitches

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