TAMPA – The University of Tampa’s student music group 20/20 Boulevard will be opening for the popular reggae band, Slightly Stoopid, as a reward for their victorious night at Battle of the Bands.
With Student Production’s Spring Concert rapidly approaching, students should prepare to have their brains jumbled and their ears blown off in the next few weeks.
Lead bassist for 20/20 Boulevard Miles Parks remembers having a bit of a rough start at Battle of the Bands. After they got on a roll, though, the night turned out to be a success.
“We had a real big problem with the sound check…” said Parks. “We started to doubt ourselves.
“But in the end, we got everything figured out, got some momentum going, and by the end of it, [we] felt like we had people really enjoying our stuff.”
By the time the winning announcement was made, the audience was cheering for an encore.
Gordon Bonnett, lead vocalist and guitarist for the band, described the win as a huge achievement.
“It felt really, really good to win because we’ve been putting a lot of hard work into the band,” said Bonnett.
“Having won that now…it’s a great sense of accomplishment.”
In the down time between the Battle of the Bands and the Spring Concert, the members of 20/20 have been keeping busy.
Between late night rehearsals and weekend performances, the band members are getting themselves prepared for the biggest show of their young careers.
“It’s the biggest opportunity we’ve had yet. To be able to be on the same stage as somebody as big as they are…you just have to appreciate that,” said Parks.
Bonnett also felt humbled at the chance to play with a band of such caliber.
“[It’s] humbling to open up for Slightly Stoopid because they’re really, really popular and a really good band,” Bonnett said.
In honor of Stoopid’s reggae genre, 20/20 has decided to play a cover of “The Struggle” by Ballyhoo, another reggae band.
Parks said that the decision to play a cover song is not an effort to change the band’s style, just a way to appeal to the crowd.
“We have our sound and we’re gonna stick to it, but we figure we might want to throw in something that could really get people into it and [feeling like they] can connect to our music.
“Just like they connect to Slightly Stoopid’s,” said Parks.
Since their style and sound are so original, the band members find it difficult to classify themselves.
Lead Guitarist Keith Miller narrowed that category down as best as he could.
“Sometimes we have a hard time labeling the specific genre of our songs,” said Miller. “We’re kind of leaning towards progressive alternative…”
Miller had the following to say concerning their live performances, “I think we try and convey a certain level of bad a–ery, mixed in with a large dose of face melting, [as well as] a strong sense of awesomeness and musicianship.”
With percussionist Victor Quinones about to graduate and planning to move back up north, the other three members agreed that they would like nothing more than to be signed by a record label in order to keep Quinones in Tampa.
Bonnett clarified, though, that they aren’t necessarily looking for a major deal.
“Getting signed is definitely a really, really big goal of ours. Not a major record label, just something indie so we can get our music out there faster,” said Bonnett.
First things first, though. 20/20 Boulevard is just looking to put on a great show for all of the fans at the Spring Concert.
“We’d love to put on a good show; that’s first and foremost,” Bonnett said.
You can see 20/20 Boulevard open for Slightly Stoopid on Sunday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in Plant Park. The concert is free to all UT students with a valid ID.
Students who no longer attend the university but still have their ID cards will not be admitted into the show as security will be scanning cards Re-entry into the show will be prohibited.
The band hopes that they will entertain the crowd as much as Slightly Stoopid. “I just hope people like our stuff as much as people like their stuff,” said Parks.
For more information on 20/20 Boulevard, visit their MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/2020boulevard or search for them on Facebook.
Daniel Feingold can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.