Locals: Clark Hall Pub’s Battle of the Bands

Locals: Clark Hall Pub’s Battle of the Bands


One of the best parts about being a Queen’s student is the sheer number of musical events that are always happening in and around campus. Whether it’s dancing at the Brooklyn’s popular MOD Club, knocking back a few beers at Ale on Tumble Tuesday or bringing sexy back at the Underground’s popular throwback nights, there is always something happening for everyone. But, if you’ve ever spent your Friday afternoon attending a classic Ritual, or tested your smarts at one of their famous trivia nights, you know that Clark Hall holds a special place in many students’ hearts.

Interestingly, Clark is also well known for their strong presence in the Kingston music scene. Their stage has welcomed bands like Arcade Fire, the Arkells, the Darcy’s, the Hip and a plethora of other exciting musical talents. Completely student-run, this unique venue is known for giving a platform to young Canadian performers and has proven this time and time again with their lineup of talented Battle of the Bands artists. So, as I returned home from my three-hour statistics lecture on September 20th, I knew exactly where to go to wind down.

Facing off at Clark that night were four student bands, all of which I found to be noteworthy.  Each group played a mix of originals and covers that kept the crowd impressed and invested. Starting off was MISK, a brand-new addition to the music scene made up of Anthony Gismondi, Nick Dal Farra, Isaac Jahncke, and Matt Flewelling. It’s not always easy warming up a crowd, but with their laid-back style, cool-guy attitudes, and overall groovin’ sound, these guys started the night off on a high note, instantly firing everyone up with their personal twist on popular hits like Sex on Fire and Supersonic. After their set, I got a word in with the band and found out that they’d just gotten together a few weeks prior. Considering their cohesive performance, I was definitely impressed.

Following them, Late Dorian came on stage, a Kingston band made up of Alex Daicar, Bryce Fletch, Jonah Baetz, and Josiah Ascough. Self-described as indie rock artists, these guys were great at engaging with the audience and had a well-received, enthusiastic on-stage presence that everyone instantly connected with. In a brief conversation, they told me they were going for “an alternative sound that you’d find a piece of each of [them] in.” After watching their entire set, I genuinely found their music to be just that: idiosyncratic and fun.

Half-way into the night, and half-way through my first pitcher, The Tales grabbed their guitars and started setting up. Made up of Benny Fulton, Max Fulton, MUSE’s very own Ben Dinsdale, and Daniel Griff, these guys brought a modern edge to classic rock and had everyone laughing exultantly. Mixing covers and original songs, the band had a good smorgasbord of sound and kept everyone immersed in their performance.

Finally, at around midnight, Kiss the Fish, a band comprised of Cory Scholtz, Sam Skolrood, Mattveeko Hrushewsky, Evan Khodeir, Kelby Gutz, and Misko McGregor ran on stage ready to end the night with a bang. Instrumentally, their trumpet playing immediately stood out to me, providing an edge, and had the audience moshing around to their set from the second they started to play. Clearly, this group had a fan following as they ended up taking home the title of House Band and left everyone wanting more.

After a successful night of good tunes and good vibes, I left excited about all the new musical talent I’d encountered. So, for those of you who have yet to undergo the Clark Hall musical experience, I’d say mark your calendars and line up early so you don’t have to miss out on the next one. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your MUSE there.

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