The Vermont Cynic

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Student band to open at SpringFest

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Under colored lights, the sound of instruments reverberated off brick walls as four bands dueled in front of a lively and spirited crowd.

The finale of UVM’s Battle of the Bands took place March 25 at Nectar’s in Burlington.

Navytrain, Rose Street Collective, Kudo Stooge and Jeddy were the four student bands competing for a chance to open for SpringFest’s main act.

“We’re so pumped for Navytrain,” said Madelaine White, the Coordinator for Campus Programs at the University Program Board. “[The bands] were all so good. It was definitely a tough decision, the scores were really close.”

The winner of the night, decided by attendees’ votes, was Navytrain. The band’s four members are Cole Davidson, Ray Belanger and Zebulon Carney.

Davidson is the lead guitarist, Belanger plays percussion and Carney plays bass. All three members contribute vocals.

The musicians met by living on the same floor their first year, and they have been friends ever since, Carney said.

They formed Navytrain in September 2016, according to the band’s Facebook page.

“We had messed around before, but never really decided to start anything until this year,” Davidson said.

The band’s first EP, “Souls,” came out Dec. 2, 2016.

“[The band] started out as a distraction,” Davidson said, “but now it’s turned into more of a serious idea.”

Given the correct circumstances and opportunities, the members would consider continuing the band after graduation, Davidson said.

Navytrain will have a residency at Nectar’s for the month of April, they said. The band will take the stage 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The preliminary rounds of Battle of the Bands took place at Brennan’s Pub in the Davis Center, according to UPB’s website. 12 bands entered the competition, and they battled over the course of three nights, Belanger said.

Navytrain was performing at Parkside Lounge in New York City the night prior to the finale, Davidson said.

“We had to hustle and drive through the night to get back in time for Battle of the Bands,” Carney said.

The band thought Nectar’s was the perfect venue and was surprised at how many people showed up, Carney said. “It was really fun to play in front of such a big crowd like that at Nectar’s.”

150 people attended the event which used to take place in the upstairs of Club Metronome, White said.

“This is the biggest Battle of the Bands we’ve had so far,” she said. “We switched to a new time and a new venue, which I think made a difference.”

Senior Grace Yasewicz said her favorite band of the night was Navytrain.

“Navytrain’s clear sound is so unusual,” said Ariana Ferraro, who agreed that Navytrain was her favorite act.

“All four of the bands were really impressive,” senior Emily West Geary said. “[UPB] did a great job organizing the event.”

Navytrain was surprised by the end result, and is now excited to open for Two Door Cinema Club at SpringFest, Davidson said.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Davidson.

SpringFest is April 29, according to UPB. Tickets for students are on sale now for $10.

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Student band to open at SpringFest