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Battle of the Bands to feature groups from Germantown, Menomonee Falls

July 21, 2014

Germantown — There was more than a love and appreciation of music in common for a surprising number of the bands who competed in the July 22 Battle of the Bands competition at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Many of them are high school and college students by day and band members by night.

Five of the 10 bands to compete will feature Germantown High School and Menomonee Falls High School students, past and present. And they all come to play.

"I love the energy I feel when I'm on a stage," said Justin Wedal, who plays guitar for Immortal. "Seeing that energy I have translate to people in the audience is why I love music."

Wedal and his bandmates have been playing together in his garage since high school and continued playing upon graduation from Germantown High School in 2013. The band plays a combination of covers and original rock songs, always with the goal to involve the audience as much as possible.

"It's fun to compete, but we ultimately play because we love it," Wedal said, of his bandmates Marie Burnham, Justin Senour and Tanner Wolf.

The same is true for North Breese, a group that also originated out of friendships formed at GHS. Now Matt Schabel and bandmates Ryan Lane and Sean Crain are studying together at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to become an athletic trainer, biomedical engineer and civil engineer.

The members of group, which also plays a combination of covers and original music, are roommates on North Breese Drive in Madison.

"Music is our passion," Schabel said. "We started playing together about a year and a half ago and realized we could do something with this." Indeed they have, with their first album coming out this month.

Passion and purpose coincide in music for fellow GHS alumni Ben Pendergast, who plays in both No 1 You Know and The Paths We Take. It will be his fourth year competing with No 1 You Know, as they have earned a first and second place finish at the competition.

"It's been really cool to see the different groups and competition each year," said Pendergast, who plays guitar and provides vocals to No 1 You Know and plays guitar for The Paths We Take. "The best part of both bands is the amount of energy we can put out and how much fun we have doing it."

Finding ways to make people think is one of a few ways Rachel Dickinson said Xanatos Gambit seeks to impress its audiences.

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