(Orange, Texas)

April 5, 2013

Bands, fans come together for ‘Gift of Life’

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

BEAUMONT — A special night of music and fellowship benefited a great local organization on Thursday night.

A “Battle of the Bands” event was held at Madison’s, located on Dowlen Road in Beaumont, on Thursday night to benefit the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” program. Five area bands performed in hopes of winning the grand prize, which was $500 cash, a special slot on the Champagne and Ribs fundraiser on April 18, an opening spot for a national act to be determined at Nutty Jerry’s in Winnie and a trophy.

The bands, The HFA’s, the Circuit Breakers, JAG, My Beautiful Disaster and Flava The Band, each offered the dozens of fans on hand something different.

The HFA’s opened the show with an inspiring set of hard rock-flavored material, including songs by Lenny Kravitz, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine and Velvet Revolver. The up-tempo “Rocket Man” by Elton John was nothing short of amazing.

As much raw energy as The HFA’s possessed, the Circuit Breakers oozed polished precision as the group’s set of rock classics had the more mature audience on its feet.

The six-piece band’s set included classic tracks like “Mustang Sally,” “My Girl,” “Soul Man” and an outstanding medley which featured hits such as “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and more.

Area band JAG has a well-earned reputation as a true variety cover band with plenty of party hits to make any night a celebration, and Thursday’s showcase was no different.

There was plenty of reason to dance as the group displayed its skills on dance hits “Get Down on It” by Kool and the Gang and “Brick House” by The Commodores. The group demonstrated its versatility with an impressive version of “Killing Time” by Clint Back before closing its set with the Marvin Gaye classic, “Let’s Get it On.”

Arguably the most versatile band of the night was My Beautiful Disaster which incorporated a mix of modern rock, classic rock, country and dance music into its 25-minute energetic set.

The band opened with “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence and then quickly switched gears to “Fancy” by Reba McEntire and the dance party anthem “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green. The Pat Benatar classic “Heartbreaker” added a hard rock edge to set before the band unleashed its medley of dance hits led by “Play that Funky Music” to fill the dance floor at the close of its set.

Not to be outdone, the four-piece act known as Flava the Band displayed its versatile prowess. Songs included “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain, “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele and even “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson.

The set-stealer for Flava had to be the closing song, “Purple Rain,” which had people waving cell-phones in the air.

In the end, the event did what it was supposed to do which was bring people together to raise money for a good cause. Approximately $2,500 was raised during the event and Flava the Band captured the Battle of the Bands crown.

“We’re so thankful for this honor and to be a part of this event,” said Ron Rocio, drummer for Flava the Band. “We did a good thing (Thursday) for a good cause and everything about it was awesome. And every band was awesome. This was truly a great night.”