Familiar guitar chords ripped through the humid, hazy air at the Music Farm Thursday night. The bustling crowd was full of free birds — people in band shirts commemorating rock legends, hippies showing off their flower power, and two women dressed in full disco gear complete with bell bottoms and bangles. No, it wasn’t a time warp, but the sixth annual Trident United Way Battle of the Bands.
Dance moves ranged from fist pumping to the boogie as Lowcountry talents paid tribute to the 1970s. Local band NOTA, made up of cardiologists and CofC students, took the stage early on and sang their hearts out (pun intended) to the Allman’s Brothers’ “Melissa” and “Smoke on the Water.” They lit up the stage with their contagious spirit and the crowd started to chant their name.
Later on, KISS came back to life through the members of Cold Gin, and the event soon took on a karaoke vibe as the audience belted out the lyrics to “Rock and Roll All Night.” The Big Bangs Theory got everyone shimmying and breaking out their best moves as they sang “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” while Ascending Heights closed the show on an energizing note with their punk rock version of Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son.”
After a drawn-out four and a half hours of music, the votes were cast and officially counted. Not surprisingly, NOTA stole the show and took home the trophy, along with a year’s worth of bragging rights. Maybe it was the summer heat — or the free beer — that started to get to us, but a slurry thank-you speech later, a friend of the band took off his shirt on stage and threw it into the crowd in celebration. Now that’s a whole lotta love.