Which of these undiscovered musical acts should be crowned Staten Island’s best?
The Greene Space’s 2014 Battle of the Boroughs continued on Friday, May 2 with a showcase of the borough’s most exciting hidden musical talents. From singer-songwriters to hard rockers, nine acts representing the energy and diversity of Staten Island’s music scene competed. Now, the votes are in. Here are the five finalists!
UPDATE: See which musical act voters chose to represent Staten Island in the Battle of the Boroughs!
STATEN ISLAND FINALISTS:
Tom Cintula & The Buffalo 24
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This acoustic rock band started our night off right with what singer and veteran Battle judge Alicia Olatuja called a “catchy, very musical” number that showed off the harmony between their two vocalists. After ten years together, the band members are “like brothers” according to frontman Tom Cintula, who added that they all have day jobs teaching music to the next generation of Staten Island talents either as NYC public schoolteachers or private tutors.
Leila left the Greene Space audience speechless with nothing more than her voice and the piano. Alicia and fellow judge LaRonda Davis both declared her vocal technique “perfect,” while Eren Cannata sounded like the songwriting professor that he is praising her “very delicate” song, noting that “showing restraint at the beginning can give you so much more power at the end.”
All three judges were drawn to the energy of Audiometry’s instrumental music, with Eren calling their song “powerful,” Alicia appreciating its “cranking intensity,” and LaRonda declaring it “epic…definitely a journey.” Guitarist Enrico Ancaro told host Terrance McKnight that’s exactly what the band is driving at with its “primal” style of hard rock.
Frank Schiazza was the night’s fourth solo act but he had no trouble impressing the audience or our judges. “I definitely heard the influence of Billy Joel and Jackson Browne,” said Eren, adding, “We could all sing along with you.” Alicia complimented his “beautiful, soulful, honest piano performance” and also “loved the lyrics.”
The Rising Sun All Stars
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The show ended strong thanks to the efforts of The Rising Sun All Stars. LaRonda started her response by saying, “I love it when a band represents this city, not just being racially diverse but a musically diverse group of people.” Eren threatened to jump onstage to join them saying “the vibe is right, the rhythm is right” before Alicia told vocalist Ariana Smith her “rich mezzo voice” fit perfectly with the “tight rhythm section.”
Video Favorite Award
Your favorite band didn’t make the finals? Help them win a produced behind-the-music video of their band. The video with the most YouTube views during their borough’s weeklong voting period wins!