As football season comes to an end, every year FAMU and Bethune-Cookman face off in a rivalry football game; but, nothing compares to the kick-off event like the Battle of the Bands between The Marching 100 and Marching Wildcats. Each year alumni from both universities fill the Amway Center stadium to get down and boogey to the phenomenal beats of FAMU and Wildcats.
Before the Rattlers and Wildcats took the field, many high school bands throughout Florida showcased their talents to the audience. First to perform was Jones high school choir who appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show along with performing in Carnegie Hall. Jones choir opened last night’s festivities with singing the negro national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and closing with America’s National Anthem.
The first band to perform was from Palm Beach County, Faith Place Arts and Education Marching band. This band might have been a band of kids but played like professionals, the bands little drumline performed the song “2k”. These young men did not come to play around, which was evident as the crowd roared and cheered as these little drummers showed their skills.
Royal Palm Beach high school marching band was next to take the field, their single female drum major opened the performance with stellar dance moves to get the crowd up and out of their seats. The band impressed the audience with their many marching transitions to each song, one being “If I Ever Fall In Love” by Shai. The bands high energy, electrifying sound and vibrant dance moves had the crowd in a groovy mood.
Following each performance was a dance contest which the audience participated in, the first contest was for the moms called the “Sexy mom dance contest”. All the moms in the arena were on their feet dancing to the beat, the camera man featured a few moms in the crowd all ranging from different ages and representing either FAMU or BCU.
There were nine high school bands that performed in the battle of the bands, some travelling as far as South Carolina and select high schools around Florida.
After the high school performances, Joe Bullard, a Rattler since 1975, introduces The Marching 100; needless to say, the crowd goes wild for the best band in the land, The Marching 100. The bands performance opens with the percussion section showing off their skills and moves, one drummer loses his drum stick but never missed a beat. Following the percussion performance, the remaining of the band joins the percussion section on the field, and from then on, as always, gave the audience a show. A few song selections played by the band were “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” by Aretha Franklin, “LOVE” by Keisha Cole and many other popular selections the younger and older crowd sang along to.
As the Wildcats Marching Band made their way onto the field, Bethune-Cookman alumni roared and cheered as their announcer introduced their percussion section named Sudden Impact and described them as the Navy Seals of drumline. Watching their performance was entertaining, their transitions were swift and precise, and their dance moves were adequate. The Wildcats Marching band, that is a mouthful, played many upbeat and high tempo songs which in the beginning was great but as the performance progressed, I had to drown them out because after a while the sound became consuming.
As a proud Rattler student, nothing compares to the sound and precision of the 100. As Joe Bullard always wonderfully states the “Marching 100 is the baddest band in the land, class will be in session.”