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"Last but not least is…"
The emcee shuffled through some papers to find out our latest band name.
I didn't blame the guy. The Insomniacs was our newest band name, which probably wouldn't last that long since previously we were Blue-Eyed Revenants (although none of us had blue eyes), Dead Last, and The Pyros all in that order within a course of a year.
We took our music seriously though despite our frequent name change, but the band name was tough to decide on. It was unbelievable how far our garage band came when I first met my future best friends and bandmates back in my repeat of ninth grade after a very low point in my life. Miguel was in my class, and Oliver and Elliott were in tenth grade—the grade I would've been in. Despite us all being in different grades, our passion for music made us tight.
It was Oliver's idea to participate in Battle of the Bands this year. There was some contest he saw on campus and swung it by us to try it out. We all entered the university contest as a joke but much to my surprise, it was a lot of work and I enjoyed every moment of it. For the better part of this year, we had played a bunch of gigs and started getting our name out to the public.
The emcee popped onto backstage. "You guys have a ten-minute intermission to get ready. Good luck!"
I nodded to the emcee. "Thanks, man."
Oliver and our drummer, Elliott, popped up backstage. They tossed me and Mig a water bottle and told us that they were going to set up the amps on stage. Mig and I joined our bandmates to help and do sound check.
When the ten minutes were up, the emcee introduced us once again and it was our cue to start.
Oliver stepped forward and spoke into the mic, "Are you guys ready for actual music?"
The crowd screamed.
"All right, ladies and gent. Our first song is Thought Overload." Oliver continued.
"Wooooo!" I screamed to the crowd, prompting them to cheer. They erupted crazily.
Elliott started off, pounding softly on the cymbals before breaking out. Oliver, Mig and I joined in, both of them on the guitar with me on the bass.
A few minutes later of just pure instruments, Oliver sang into the microphone while stomping away and shredding on his guitar. Mig contributed to the screams in the background while I concentrated on my riffs, lolling my head back and forth and getting lost in the loud noise that was our music.
"Oh how do I escape the treacherous mind?" Oliver sung-screamed into the mic.
He reached the chorus, and he continued to roar "How do I? Tell me. How fucking do I?!"
I opened my eyes, still jamming away intensely, and scanned the crowd. People jumped, danced, made out and watched us. Their screams encouraged me to play harder, livelier, and louder.
I slammed hard on the chords, jumping up and down on stage and Miguel joined me with his solo. Elliott got up from his seat and started banging away on the drums like a madman. Oliver finished off with a low growl and the small room exploded with shouts.
A rush of euphoria flooded through me. We were just getting started. We played a couple of more songs and ended our show with what I hoped was impressive to the judges.
"Thanks everyone for coming out! You guys rock!" I snatched the microphone off the stand. "We are The Insomniacs!"
When the cheers erupted in a final roar, it was our cue to head off stage. The four of us started removing our instruments to pack up, taking out the cords and pushing our amp off stage. I slung my bass off me and secured it in its case.
"You guys nailed it again up there!" a girl's voice caught my attention. I peered up and grinned at Roxy, one of my best friends and Mig's girlfriend.
"Hey, Rox. Thanks!"
Roxy laughed. "I filmed it for you guys so hopefully the recording isn't too crappy."
Mig greeted Rox with a smile and she went over to kiss him on the cheek.
"Omigod. You guys were awesome!" some girly shrieks sounded. We all glanced over to see a couple of girls giggling. I grinned at them and they giggled even louder.
"Well, ladies," I stretched my arms out widely while mentally preparing myself for a group hug. "Who's first?"
They tackled me, pulling me against their bodies and holding out their phones for a quick snapshot. As Oliver and Elliott appeared, the girls abandoned my side to attack the rest of the band. I told Mig and Rox that I was going to head out for some fresh air. The judges would announce the results in half an hour so all there was left to do was wait.