Northwestern students packed into 27 Live on Thursday to see the first four acts in Mayfest’s annual Battle of the Bands competition.
W.O.R.D. (The World Order of Rap Domination) opened the night with a set that blended elements of rock and rap. Although the crowd was still small this early in the competition, W.O.R.D. got the audience dancing with its booming rendition of “It’s Always a Good Time,” led by rapper Jeffery McGuire and singer Jolisha Johnson. McGuire jumped into the audience and drummed up even more enthusiasm for the energetic set, which concluded with a bluesy, gospel-inspired final song.
Then pop group Ric Cross took the stage with their rendition of “Do You...” by Miguel. Ric Cross, led by McCormick senior Eric Cross, played off its excited fanbase in the audience. The band took its set in a Beyonce direction, performing a portion of “Say My Name” before a guitar-driven cover of “Love On Top.” The crowd called for an encore of the pop-synth sound after Ric Cross finished its set, to which Cross replied, “We don’t have time now, but we hope to make an appearance on Dillo Day.”
Indie rock act Mori and the Moonwalkers followed Ric Cross. Between the power chords, clean guitar sound and driving beat, Mori and the Moonwalkers played the heaviest rock of the entire show. Reminiscent of Metric with Communication senior Mori Einsidler on vocals, the band performed a couple of more traditional rock songs with a different kind of girl power rock cover sandwiched between: “Trouble” by Taylor Swift. Leave it to Northwestern students to pay tribute to the hit song’s popular goat videos at a live show, yet continue to fist bump regardless.
The final act of the evening, the six-member act Appomattox Trap House, proved to inspire the most audience interaction of the night. The band, which takes its name from a historic courthouse and the popular hip-hop genre, opened its set with a high energy trap tune “Serena Williams,” with clever lyrics rapped by Medill sophomore Gideon Resnick and Communication sophomore Adam Slater. The crowd called for a performance of “Don Cheadle,” and App Trap had a chant-back with the crowd after that. Following a drum solo by drummer and Medill sophomore Tommy Carroll as well as a guitar and keyboard solo, the set ended, and Mayfest announced electronic artist Lunice as the penultimate act of Dillo Day.
Catch the other four acts competing in the Battle of the Bands at 27 Live Friday night starting at 8 p.m. The winner, who will open Dillo Day, will be announced at the end of the show.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story inaccurately called the band "W.O.R.L.D." instead of "W.O.R.D." NBN regrets this error.