Friday, June 1, 2012

Battle of the Bands!

One aspect of the Booth experience that I value the most is that as students, we have numerous outlets to express ourselves creatively. One such event that showcases Booth's musical talent is the Battle of the Bands, where students from both Booth and Kellogg head to Metro (a popular music venue here in Chicago), for a night of watching their classmates perform and rock out. In this week's TBE blog post, Cory Burns, a second-year student and drummer for Hobo Goat Chic, gives us a glimpse into what it's like to be a literal rockstar at Booth. If you'd like to see more photos from Battle of the Bands, Photobooth (a photography oriented student organization) has a great Flickr set, which you can find here.



Bright lights, loud distortion, crowd-surfing classmates, torn t-shirts, melted faces.
While Chicago Booth gives students plenty of opportunities to develop their leadership skills in real-world projects, very few of these projects have the above goals. They were achieved last week when AudioBooth held the 2nd Annual MBA Battle of the Bands (BOTB) against our rival Kellogg bands, drawing a crowd of 850 sweaty b-schoolers from both sides of town at Metro, a historic Chicago venue that has hosted such acts as the Ramones, Bob Dylan, and Kanye West, and now, Booth bands HOBO GOAT CHIC (HGC) and Guitarbitrage. Let me take you behind the scenes of rocking at Booth.

What’s a HOBO GOAT?
Besides confusing non-Boothies, HOBO GOAT CHIC (anagram-tastic name) formed last year to provide the live-band pre-show entertainment for Booth Follies—an annual student-run variety show. Before that show, Bala TK (HGC’s bass player) met with a few Kellogg students thinking that if our bands could combine, cross-market, and leverage our existing rivalry, we could draw a much larger crowd for a show. We did. The first Battle of the Bands was held at the Double Door in Wicker Park and sold out at 550 tickets.

What happens at the band practices?
We usually meet at a studio in West Loop that rents practice rooms with a drumset, PA, mics, guitar and bass amps, and just bring our own guitars and bass. Other times we’ll have an acoustic practice in someone’s apartment who needs to retaliate against noisy neighbors. Every time we jam (improvise) a bit, drink beers, argue about which songs to play, rehearse and arrange songs, jump around, overheat, and end the 2- or 3-hour session sounding a little bit better than when we started.

How is running BOTB good management experience?
First, you must overcome the logistical challenge of finding 10 hours per week that a group of 7+ can get together to make a set worth listening to. Throw in a few more weekly hours for 100+ threaded emails with subject lines like “FINAL SET LIST GOOGLE SPREADSHEET—rank and insert comments NOW!!” Next, design and implement an effective marketing strategy: how do convince enough people to come that we don’t all lose money fronted for venues, pro-sound gear, lights, etc…? Finally, how do you do this all with a budget of zero? If you’re looking for a good answer to recruiter’s “Describe a time you’ve led by influence” question, getting involved with BOTB could be for you.

Ancillary benefits
From my experience, having a resume with the line “Organized, marketed, and managed Booth’s first BOTB competition; drew $12K in revenue” was a huge hit with recruiters and gave me an excuse to talk drums and bands with almost every potential employer. It should also be noted that rockers are automatically cooler than non-rockers.

Getting involved
AudioBooth will be holding auditions to fill departing musician slots next fall. We welcome rockers of the Class of 2014!

1 comment:

  1. This is very nice. It gives the students some chance to develop their skills. My friend tim jones in Spokane also play the band.