Rocking out at Battle of Xi Bands

Students and local community members gathered for Battle of Xi Bands at Warehouse on Watts.

Junior Temple student Heather Niemoeller sings at Battle of Xi Bands, with her band Bread & Butter. COURTESY / ALPHA XI DELTA

Just one short subway ride away from Temple University’s Main Campus, panhellenic sorority Alpha Xi Delta, hosted its first Battle of Xi Bands at Warehouse on Watts, located at North Watts and Cambridge Streets Saturday night. 

Under the neon lights at W.O.W., sisters of AXID, concertgoers and community members rocked out to local bands to raise money for children in the foster care system. Bands like Mom Cheese, Wallace, Tonight!, Bread & Butter, Cadalay and Mars Counsel performed and competed for the most audience votes. 

“It really seemed like everybody was very just engaged the entire time even though there’s a TV with the Phillies on so I really appreciated that,” said James Kull, the guitarist of Mars Counsel. 

Concertgoers paid for a $15 ticket in advance or at the door, and could Venmo AXID $1 per vote for whatever band they wanted to win. The proceeds were donated to FosterClub and StandUp for Kids, peer support networks for children and youth in foster care. AXID is expected to raise more than $4,000 from the event and hopes to establish Battle of Xi Bands as their “signature event.” 

For many of the sisters of AXID, establishing a “signature event” is important, as most sororities on Temple’s campus host an annual event to promote their organization, like  Iris Icon event, previously known as “Deepher Dude”. 

Each band featured at least one Temple student or alumni. The only band without at least one current or former Temple student was the Pennsylvania-based All Day Special, an indie rock band. All bands submitted an audition tape to AXID and members of the chapter’s philanthropy team, said Sophia Nicolosi, the vice president of philanthropy for AXID and a junior english and biology major. 

The bands are unique in their own way. Mom Cheese describes their music as “cosmic punk funk,” while All Day Special define themselves as, “going to a diner and ordering the All Day Special, you get it all.”  

Throughout the event, concertgoers could be seen moshing to the live music, buying drinks at W.O.W’s cash bar and purchasing event merchandise designed by Philadelphia artist  Ethan Carroll, a 2022 graphic and interactive design alumnus. 

Alyssa Blandford, a junior horticulture major, came out to support Mom Cheese because she’s friends with the band members, but she was excited to see the lineup of other bands. 

For many of the bands, this was their first time playing in a legitimate event space, instead of a house show near Main Campus. 

“It’s just a little easier when you play somewhere like this, especially when the sound systems are nice,” said Charles Gromo, the bass player for Mom Cheese. “The venue is nice and big, and you’re not like tripping over yourself while you’re playing.”

AXID’s 2021-22 philanthropy team passed down the idea for the event to the current team, said Margo Haas, a junior public relations major, and AXID’s internal philanthropy director. Once the idea was transferred to Haas and Nicolosi, they worked together throughout the summer to plan, what they hope to be, an annual event.   

“The event is geared towards college students because we go to Temple and the house scene kind of revolves around Temple and college students, and people around that age,” Nicolosi said.  “But our main focus, besides, like philanthropy, was to engage the community, especially.”

At the end of the night, Bread & Butter won the most votes. They received a $100 gift certificate to Russo Music, a family-owned, independent music shop based in Asbury Park and Hamilton, New Jersey. 

Although they didn’t win, when asked about how their set went, Mom Cheese said, “we tore their faces off, wiped the floor with them and sewed them back on.”

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