Saturday night I had the opportunity to judge the first ever Battle of the Bands at Liberty Hall in Downtown Tyler. Four unique bands took the stage and performed thirty minute set each. I was really impressed with the variety of bands.

Liberty Hall before the Battle of the Bands began Saturday August 17th, in Downtown Tyler.

The first band to take the stage was the metal band, Stillbent. These guys rocked, hard. They were dressed all in black, and one guy was even wearing a full mask. It was not only an impressive sound, but visual experience. If you enjoy metal music, check out Stillbent.

The second band, Struck By Hammerz, was more of a pop-rock sound. The guys each had on bright color-coordinated t-shirts and really had some fun music. I especially enjoyed the keyboard solos and the song about Zombies. It was a fun-light pop experience.

The third band, Blacktop Mojo, was more of southern rock or outlaw country sound. They had a great front man, and got the crowd involved by covering the Proclaimers. They had a powerful presence and great guitar solos as well.

The fourth band, Westbound 21, is a local country favorite and put together a fun set filled with original songs, and even covered the Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire theme song by Will Smith.

All four bands were great, but only one could take home the prize. Kyser Musical Products offered up $300 to second place, and $500 to first place. Struck By Hammerz took home the second place prize, and Blacktop Mojo walked away with $500, and a spot in the upcoming East Texas All-Star Showcase outside Liberty Hall on September 7th. Each band that performed also received a DVD of their performance to use for their own promotional purposes.