by Serena Wong
Braintree High School was quite the place to be Thursday night, with the school’s semi-annual “Wampstock/Wampapalooza/Battle of the Bands”. It may have many names, but this was the only event with such a united set of musicians. “I think Wampstock is a great place for kids to showcase their talents,” Mr. Jefferies, one of the night’s directors, remarked. “It always amazes me when the quietest kid in the classroom ends up rocking the hardest.”
It seems like people knew that, for the BHS auditorium was packed, making it quite the event for some performers. Some would be showcasing their talent for the first time. Other weathered veterans simply shrugged and went over to see what the Stone Soup literary magazine had at the bake sale.
The event kicked off with John Forbes’ patriotic rendition of the national anthem, quickly moving into the band Reflex. Acoustic acts followed, including an impressive guitar cover of Bastille’s “Pompeii” by Hannah Ilagan and Meg White. Soon after was the BHS Soul Company, bringing a refreshing change to the acts, especially with a violin. “It was the performance of a lifetime,” Macy Kwan admitted after her stint on the stage with her violin. “Definitely not something I’d ever imagined doing,” The acoustics continued, with Jess Fruth making quite the impression with her versatile vocals and piano skills.
Intermission brought waves of audience members over to the Stone Soup bake sale, where cupcakes, cookies and Arnold Palmer abounded. Soon enough, however, it was time to return to the theater. Right away, Dougie Sunshine breathed life into the audience with a set that put them on their feet, especially with their cover of “Radioactive” by the Imagine Dragons. A dynamic duo then emerged in Deanna Doherty and Jimmy McAuliffe, with the two delivering a well-done “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen”. Crazy, considering that the idea had been conceived in homeroom. “Portraits in the Attic”, which could be heard as “Monsters and Men. Only with girls,” backstage, blew the audience away with the harmony of vocals and the bands’ unique instruments. The entire shebang ended with an inspirational set from the Niall & James Funtime Bonanza’ Featuring Emily DiGiusto, with the entire audience doing the wave with their cell phones’ flashlights, not to mention clapping voraciously along and singing to “Hey Jude”.
“Wampapalooza, Wampstock, Battle of the Bands-whatever you call it, it’s one of my favorite events of the year,” Mr. Dahlbeck, the other director,commented. “I love how all of the bands support each other and the talent is usually pretty good. In my opinion, this year was exceptional. We even had an accordion,” he added as a last thought.